The role that good luck plays in startup success
is usually overestimated by founders as they are building…
and underestimated after they have achieved some success.
I wrote that as a short post on LinkedIn here. Then my friend Hamid Shojaee replied with a much more complete response.
His reply is worth sharing here:
That might be appropriate. Here’s why:
“You need a lot more luck at the beginning. Great product/market fit, market momentum for your product category (tailwind vs. headwind), competition ignoring your field (or not being good at it), choosing a great co-founder, initial key employees, etc.
“Once success comes, momentum takes you a long way. Momentum even fixes some bad luck and smooths out downturns, bumps in the road, and bad decisions. Momentum gives you time to fix things. Fixing them is not luck.
“Also, once things get going, great decision making, company culture, performance expectations, etc. plays much more important factor than luck.
“So I can see why founders put more emphasis on luck in the earlier phases of a company than later phases. Microsoft is no longer lucky, but it was damn lucky to be in the right place at the right time in 1975 (Altair), then again in 1980 (IBM).”