All startups seem like failures till they become overnight successes.

Many startups just got lucky and were successful overnight.


Suriya Raghav

Social media and the news makes it seem like many startups got lucky or enjoyed overnight success. But as a person who has worked at several startups, this can't be further from the truth. Sure, there might be some outliers who become viral and explode in popularity in a short period of time. But most startups struggle for several years without much success or popularity, while putting in the groundwork, understanding their customer and working on their acquisition channels. The accumulation of many years of efforts finally bears fruit and it may seem like an overnight success to everyone outside of the startup. The story of Melanie Perkins, founder of Canva, is quite apt in this context. Canva was rejected by more than 100 venture capitalists over 3 years. Melanie says that her early pitches focused on showcasing how Canva solved a technical problem. She didn't focus on the emotional problem users were facing and that didn't convince the VCs that Canva was a good idea. After several rejections and drawbacks, she refined her pitch and focused on the frustration her students (she was a part time design instructor) felt while working with expensive, slow and clunky design software. She focused on branding Canva as a way to make the process of creating designs "ridiculously simple". This helped Canva secure a funding round of $3 million after several years of rejection. Today Canva is a $25 billion+ company with over 2500 employees! So, if you have a startup or think of starting one soon, get ready for a bumpy ride! Don't look for a miracle pill that would guarantee the success of your startup and instead focus on putting the work in.

Articles related to this lesson

How Physics Wallah became the only profitable ed-tech unicorn startup?
How Physics Wallah became the only profitable ed-tech unicorn startup?
How Maggi won 60% market share and turned Indians into Maggiholics!?
How Maggi won 60% market share and turned Indians into Maggiholics!?
How Slack went from 0 to $1B valuation in just 8 months?!
How Slack went from 0 to $1B valuation in just 8 months?!

How Physics Wallah became the only profitable ed-tech unicorn startup?

All startups seem like failures till they become overnight successes.

How Maggi won 60% market share and turned Indians into Maggiholics!?

All startups seem like failures till they become overnight successes.

How Slack went from 0 to $1B valuation in just 8 months?!

All startups seem like failures till they become overnight successes.

Suriya Raghav
Suriya Raghav

Social media and the news makes it seem like many startups got lucky or enjoyed overnight success. But as a person who has worked at several startups, this can't be further from the truth. Sure, there might be some outliers who become viral and explode in popularity in a short period of time. But most startups struggle for several years without much success or popularity, while putting in the groundwork, understanding their customer and working on their acquisition channels. The accumulation of many years of efforts finally bears fruit and it may seem like an overnight success to everyone outside of the startup. The story of Melanie Perkins, founder of Canva, is quite apt in this context. Canva was rejected by more than 100 venture capitalists over 3 years. Melanie says that her early pitches focused on showcasing how Canva solved a technical problem. She didn't focus on the emotional problem users were facing and that didn't convince the VCs that Canva was a good idea. After several rejections and drawbacks, she refined her pitch and focused on the frustration her students (she was a part time design instructor) felt while working with expensive, slow and clunky design software. She focused on branding Canva as a way to make the process of creating designs "ridiculously simple". This helped Canva secure a funding round of $3 million after several years of rejection. Today Canva is a $25 billion+ company with over 2500 employees! So, if you have a startup or think of starting one soon, get ready for a bumpy ride! Don't look for a miracle pill that would guarantee the success of your startup and instead focus on putting the work in.

Dev Nair
Dev Nair

the show mistake button is awesome!

Karthik Sridharan
Karthik Sridharan

Glad you liked it :)