I was inspired recently after watching one of the founders of Living Social speak. He spoke of his successes and his failures, in addition to the countless ‘pivots’, or reevaluations, his company experienced before finally arriving at their latest project: Living Social. Above all else he emphasized the inevitable doom that comes with complacency… and I, for one, wholeheartedly agree.
For me, the key to mental happiness lies within constant challenge. A perfect example of this theory’s absolute opposite is MySpace. MySpace, everyone’s first social network got comfortable and for lack of a, well, nicer word, cocky. They were the ‘it’ kid in the cyber playground and as quickly as they inhaled the sweet breath of popularity, in came the new kid in town, you all know who it was, Facebook. By the time they realized what they were up against, they were back eating lunch in the bathroom. Nowadays, thank goodness, MySpace has learned its lesson, pivoting head first into the music realm. Good for you MySpace.
Living Social morphed from company to company; starting out with Hungry Machine and Digital Bookshelf, to Pick Your 5, the app that quickly made its way to the number on facebook. Insert Farmville. This new evolution in gaming had sheep and farms and villes (forgive me, I’ve never actually played it) and, wait for it, money. Yes indeed, this new breed of app had one thing the to-be-Living Social guys didn’t: paid customers. Just like that, lightbulbs went off and the fab four founding members began the path toward social enlightenment.
His main point in this speech is simply and darkly, never be happy with what you create. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should never be proud of your work- though he says that trait is part of his DNA as an entrepreneur. I’m merely recommending and pointing out that your idea is probably wrong. Call me cold, call my pessimistic, call me whatever you like; I’m just telling you the truth. Don’t get comfortable – keep working hard in life and on the web for if you’re constantly striving for the best, well, complacency won’t stand a chance.