13 thoughts on “Success”

  1. I always thought that the point of a startup was to make something and be profitable, but in technology circles, it seems that it’s more about how much money you can raise, where your “exit” lies, or if you can get mentioned on GigaOM. Just kidding about the last part. 🙂

  2. Exactly. I’ve met founders who consider a write up in TechCrunch or a million dollar funding round to be their definition of success, even though their companies make zilch for profit and have no idea how to even go about making money. Startups are businesses. Businesses serve a single purpose: to make money. If you can do social good along the way, all the better, but the fundamental yardstick of success should be “how much money is it making”, and to extend that question, “is it doing any social good?”

  3. Do you think it is the age that we are in, where startups are not trying to build the next light bulb. Instead they are trying to first create a market where non exists now, such that they can then sell the stuff that they are making/creating/selling. In this age it is perhaps progressively harder to define success as simply as you laid out in your piece, rather one has to continuously redefine what success means for … say Pinterest and the 20 other photo sharing startups that followed it.

  4. I think the major difference – do I define my own parameters of success or go by the standards of success as set by majority of the world? The prior one is a tougher approach and people usually go with the latter one as that is more acceptable and quantifiable.

  5. Different people are carrying diverse definition about success, and that has been generalized by Om. And Yes, after reading this article- It gave me another view of success ! It helped me !

  6. As a manager, my job is to help my team be successful. To do that, they need to accept my definition of success, but each team member has their own definition. As long as we’re all moving in the same direction, regardless of their motivation, to me that is a successful day.

  7. Gorgeous piece of work, Om. I’ve had some personal struggles defining to myself what success is. On the one hand, I want people to use the product I’m handing them and I want them to continue to use it. On the other hand, I want to be a bajillionaire.

    At the end of the day, it is not about the amount of money attained or the amount of cars parked in the garage..it is about the success EARNED by providing something to the people that they can’t live without and not ruining the service in favor of material gain.

  8. I personally think that this blog post would be an asset to every startup company out there. I wouldn’t even stop there though. There are definitely some major companies out there that could learn a thing or two about success.

    I have recently been in big discussions about business ethics. I think that would play a major role into what it would mean to be “successful”.

    If a startup or any company for that matter is going to be truly successful, I think that they need to be successful on all aspects of the business, ethics included. There were/are plenty of examples of “successful” businesses out there that did/do not have the ethics side to them including Enron, Nike, and even Apple.

    Once again, great post and very intelligent outlooks on the idea of “success”.

  9. This is sort of what I had said in an interview with the VP of a company about 6 years back (define success) and he seemed quiet impressed…its another thing that I wasn’t hired then…
    I really like what you say here “If one person emails me with their thoughts or engages in a healthy conversation, that’s success”…
    I think that these small little personal, healthy, enriching, uplifting conversation give way more satisfaction ..and of course if you are really inspiring people around you by what you say or do – nothing like it..!!
    Wonderful blog and post…

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