Failure, Patiently Redefined

Rand Fishkin, writing about Louis C.K.’s tremendous success:

Even in an emerging field like technology/blogging, it takes years to get momentum and start the flywheel turning. I began my accidental career in this world 12 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s another 12 before there’s a hint of the traction Louis’ talking about.

The internet is not, in itself, a reputation machine, or a success machine. It’s completely agnostic as to whether you think it’s “your turn” now. Your turn might come tomorrow, in ten years, or never. And as Seth points out, it’s your turn to make it your turn.

The thing is, business has been unchanged for the past decades if you look at what matters at the core: An e-mail may zip around the globe in milliseconds, but relationships and trust need to grow over time, and there’s no indication that this is bound to change.

A Failure?

Rand shows a remarkable slide titled Be Willing to Fail for a Long Time.

Content work – strategy, creation, curation, governance – is always a long haul job. Even the kludgy sales brochure hacked together overnight for an impatient client is part of his overall web of content – intended or not.

However, I wouldn’t call the long, flat line in the graph above failure. I’d call it “doing the work.” — Patience, discipline, stubborness, and sometimes just not giving a fuck about graphs, flat or otherwise.