I recently came across a Twitter bio from a startup founder that I loved:
“I stuck to a simple idea for an unreasonable amount of time”
She could have written “for a long time” but she chose “unreasonable”.
Unreasonable means “not guided by or based on good sense”. In other words, it means almost everyone around you is telling you why it won’t work (aka “good sense”).
However, it also reminds me of one my favorite quotes:
“Pessimists look smart. Optimists make money.”
- Nat Friedman (former CEO of Github)
The founders of Airbnb pushed their idea for an unreasonable amount of time. So much so that they had to create and sell custom cereal boxes to get through the rough times. Paul Graham called the Airbnb founders cockroaches because they just wouldn’t die. If you’re not sure what unreasonably long is, watch this talk by Brian Chesky of Airbnb.
Warren Buffet isn’t one of the richest people of all time because he made great investments (Okay, he did). He took the simple idea of compounding and stuck with it for much longer than anyone else. At 52, he was worth “only” about $375M.
Make sure you’re 1000% obsessed with the problem you’re trying to solve to get through the unreasonable.
Now the only question is: What are you willing to do for an unreasonable amount of time?