Speed Kills…and ‘Too Fast To Succeed?

Speed kills for sure, but can you go ‘Too Fast to Succeed’?

I loved this post from Josh Williams now at $FB titled ‘play by your own rules‘.

But of all the lessons I’ve learned through this journey, this one sticks out like a splinter.

Play by your own rules.

Listen to your users more than the press. Don’t get sucked into the gravity hole between you and your competition. Ruthlessly run your own path, not someone else’s.

Speed may not kill start-ups, but it is a bitch.

In my world of investing, if you chase startups or stocks, you will pay up and you will bring undo stress. We live in a world of real-time information which has made people chase and panic in much quicker cycles. We share the ideas and drama as it unfolds all day ourselves on Stocktwits.

I am addicted to the real-time web and in 2008, you could have bought most of the ‘real-time’ web for $300 million.

Today, it’s priceless and worthless.

Seth Godin posted today wrote that ‘real-time news is neither‘. The gist:

In the last ten years we’ve redefined breaking news from “happened yesterday” to “happened less than fifteen seconds ago.” The next order of magnitude will be prohibitively expensive and (most of the time) not particularly useful. Better, I think, to hustle in the other direction and figure out how to benefit from well-understood truth instead of fast and fresh rumor.

That is some truthiness.

It makes sense that entreprenuers and investors want to go faster. There is a ton of what I call ‘social leverage’ in the world and the buzzword of today is acceleration.

It’s probably a good time though to really think about what succeed, speed and real-time really mean.


  1. falicon says:

    Love everything about this post…agree completely and continue to try and run my own path (but also remain aware, via GPS, of where everyone else is on the other paths throughout my journey) ;-)

  2. gbattle says:

    Competition is broadly defined across two axes, competing on price or competing on differentiation. Price competition leads to low cost producer wars or bells and whistles races. Differentiated competition leads to niche market customer discovery.

    Now, if we say that the price in the real time web is temporal, than the low cost producer in the real time web is the fastest provider. The free low latency game is a tough slog with diminishing returns. Be contrarian, deliver higher quality, slower, yet more targeted solutions. The better you separate signal from noise, the slower you’re allowed to go on the web. Whether it is sports, martial arts, jazz, trading or 24/7 news, everything slows down when you only pay attention to what’s important.

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