One of our fellow Heretics asked me a little while ago: “What happens when after 2 years you are still getting your first users in? On one hand — shit takes time, persistence pays, experience has been gathered, you have survived, most still don’t know about your startup so it might as well be 2 days old for others. On the other hand startup events, coverage, grants are far more limited and the first impression for an investor is slowness and weak numbers.”
Yup. Good question. For me it boils down to the question: When are you beating a dead horse?
Here’s the thing: I don’t know. You hear stories about people who slug away on their thing and it never takes off. And you have stories like the streaming music service Pandora which famously took forever to take off but eventually pulled off an IPO.
My best advice is (and we talked about this before): Stop doing something when it doesn’t fulfill you anymore. When the fire in you stopped burning. When you dread the work. You know it when you get there (if you just allow yourself to listen to your gut). As long as you have passion for something — who cares what your friends say? As long as you’re having fun and it makes you happy you’re on the right side of the tracks. And on the other hand I know people who hate, literally hate, what they are doing but don’t stop as it’s moderately successful and they feel obligated to keep going.
Just go with your gut. It’s a pretty darn good indicator.
P.S. We’re now at 74 (!) Heretics who’re paying it forward in our little Network. You guys rock! Truly! Now — make use of this wonderful resource. And let me know if something awesome comes out of it!