I am sure geniuses exist. The Steve Jobs and Da Vincis. But you can’t replicate their success by trying to find a perfect home run. What we fail to notice are the hundreds of average attempts made by them 365 x 24 x 7.
When you do something consistently over a long period of time, you start finding gaps in current teachings. The small ways in which you can be better than the masters. And your next result is unique. Something with your own voice. And that is real genius.
Van Gogh produced 2,100 artworks in just a decade, and here are some of his paintings:
You might call this stealing. I call it ‘shipping’ everyday :)
The daily grind of being consistent might be boring. But consistency brings a zen flow that leads to your global maxima. You get in the zone. My favourite author Isaac Asimov is best known for ‘The Foundation Series’, a sci-fi opera spanning a millennia of humanity’s progress through the stars. But those were just 3 books. Some of the other crazy stuff he wrote include:
- 14 popular history books
- A guide to the bible
- A sexual guidebook
- A college textbook on biochemistry
- A reform paper on the Georgian Calendar
And that is why consistency > intensity. Asimov’s ability to sit down at his desk and let the words flow is what produced his few home runs. The basics become 2nd nature, and you create unique things. Things that have you own voice, no longer copied. I have seen the same principles played out at startups.
- At Kaapi, built 6 core features in a quarter to increase employee engagement. The most popular one called Icebreakers was built as a joke by us in a few hours. Teams love it for its creative way to spark watercooler conversations.
- Pieter Levels built 12 startups in 12 months. The first 4 failures helped him build the product muscle. Ship, learn, ship and voila! One day you get product market fit and $400,000 ARR.
- I have written at least one new article every day for the past few weeks on the Kaapi blog (daily standup templates, 1-on-1 meeting tips and more) and the results are finally trickling in.
Don't confuse consistency with boring though. If you are trying to learn code, and if it's still boring after a 30 day streak. Please drop it. Life's too short to work on boring.
Be consistent my friend. 50% of the battle is just showing up. 49% is about taking those few steps everyday. The final 1% is your patience of playing the long game.