A very good contribution by Jeff Atwood on weblog Coding Horror: He quotes and analyzes Paul Buchheit, the original lead developer of GMail, telling that “overnight success” is misleading and pointing you in the wrong direction. From our current point of view and experience it is quite funny, if we look at the things, that Paul Buchheit says about the development of Gmail. The service is not only quite popular this days, but meanwhile got the best growing numbers of all e-mail services on the web:

“Quite a few people thought that we should kill the project, or perhaps “reboot” it as an enterprise product with native client software, not this crazy Javascript stuff. Even when we got to the point of launching it on April 1, 2004 — two and a half years after starting work on it — many people inside of Google were predicting doom. The product was too weird, and nobody wants to change email services. I was told that we would never get a million users. Once we launched, the response was surprisingly positive, except from the people who hated it for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless, it was frequently described as ‘niche’, and ‘not used by real people outside of silicon valley’.”

Every success is taking years and years in preparation and break through. Sure, when success is there, it’s there. And everbody is thinking of “overnight”, especially when there are new people on the radar, that nobody knew before. I am totally not an opponent of the “think smarter, not harder” principle. But, it is somehow clear to me, that betting on the “next big thing” overnight is not a wise strategy in some very special ways – it can be very frustrating as well. Overnight success is something, that do not come overnight, but is something that is perceived overnight by others.

Continue quoting Codinghorror. I totally agree at this point, where he Jeff quotes Peter Norvics “Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

“Researchers have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again.”

Thinking smart is part of the practise and experience you made yourself. Search for passion instead of fast success and everything will go its way. If you do that, success will come, and if you don’t expect it, eventually overnight. Passion and practice. Totally agreed. It’s more about having patience and a long breath. Be pragmatic.

Research and Theory - Date published: January 12, 2009 | 0 Comments

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