Most startups don’t work out. Even with an experienced management team, funding, and a good market, the chance of building a large, enduring business is minimal. So, the saying “may the odds ever be in your favor”, especially rings true when it comes to new ventures. If the chances aren’t great, yet you have to keep grinding it out, how long should you keep going?
The answer: as long as you’re making meaningful progress in a great market, keep grinding it out.
Breakthroughs can happen at any time but silver bullets are unlikely. Grinding it out in a great market long enough results in a solid understanding of the opportunities and a clear direction. Remember, almost all successful startups pivot at least once (see Pivoting is More Common Than Expected). What typically happens with success stories is that the entrepreneur thinks there’s an opportunity in a market, jumps in, and finds another opportunity nearby that’s the real winner. Sometimes it takes years of grinding it out to find the best opportunity (see Plan for Three Years of Runway).
Keep grinding it out if real progress is being made and the market it solid.
What else? What are some other thoughts on figuring out how long to keep grinding it out?