This post from Fred Wilson the other day really resonnated with me. It’s titled “Grinding”, and basically talks about how there rarely are any silver bullets - the way to solve problems is through a little bit of everything.
This reminds me of something I frequently hear: the “all you have to do is work smart” attitude - “Hard work is for suckers, I work smart instead”. I strongly disagree with this.
In my view, working smart is table stakes. There are tons of people who work smart. If you want to succeed at building something of real significance, you have to work hard as well. And of course, there people doing this as well. So you have to be lucky as well. But without hard and smart work the chances of succeeding quickly drops.
Over the past 6 years, I’ve had the privilege to observe a few hundred entrepreneurs working out of our workspace at StartupLab. I wish these observations would have given me lots of clear rules as to what kind of teams succeed, but that’s not the case. Nobody knows anything - there are no absolute rules.
Still, one thing I’ve seen again and again is that those who succeed have worked hard. It is not a two-way thing; not everyone who works hard succeed, but just about every entrepreneur I’ve seen build something of significance has put in more hours than the average entrepreneur. It’s not enough to just work smart.
I’m not saying you should push constantly yourself to burnout - that is unhealthy. But if you are only willing to put in an average number of hours, the outcomemost likely be average as well. I don’t believe in silver bullets, and I’ve yet to see evidence refuting this.