The fantasy of Overnight Success

The fantasy of Overnight Success

At Appstud, we meet entrepreneurs with great ideas. We always ask them “How long to tap the 50 million users » and they answer « A year and half maybe. We want to be cautious ». OK … We can tell you right away that you will not hit the top ranks in less than a year especially in our digital world where your idea is already being challenged elsewhere. So, let us tell you about overnight success.

We all know that Rome was built in a day. Yeah right! Just for the record, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to build something to be of any great value, it can’t get build in one day. Forget the stories about the guys that struck it rich by not having to do anything at all to get to the top of the market. It doesn’t happen unless you make a lot of effort. In fact, it’s even detrimental to the market, as people believe that anyone with an idea can hit the jackpot and become the next Spotify or Twitter. It doesn’t happen like that. The trouble is that in the digital world in which we live, the overnight success far outshines the hard slog it took to actually get to the top.

Did the top companies that are part of our daily lives made it to the top as they slept peacefully?


Admittedly, this company is now way up in the dizzy-heights of success. In July they announced that they had earned $0.19 per share in the second quarter of the year, with revenue standing at some $23.18 billion. By the third quarter this year earnings had reached $25.4 billion, which is an increase of 23 percent year-over-year, at $0.17 per share. Has it always been the case? To get to there, Amazon took years! They launched in 1994 and they took it slowly to develop over time. To boot, Amazon didn’t even turn a profit until 2001!

Angry Birds

This game has been downloaded over 50 million times and is played for more than 200 million minutes by users every day around the world. Angry Birds hatched in 2007 with the advent of the iPhone and the App Store offering a centralized market-place for all users to download from anywhere in the world. It was brought out in 2009, after two years of long-hard working and 50 other games versions that weren’t a success before they hit the jackpot. Since then the cross-eyed birds with the thick eyebrows have gone strong, becoming a popular brand offering toys, apparel, accessories and much more at the effigy of their icons.


Every day there are more than 6,000 tweets by second around the world and the first live tweet was sent from space, in 2010 by Astronaut Timothy Creamer. Before Twitter became popular, Biz Stone, the founder of Twitter had been working on mobile and social products for more then 8 years. He said: “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.

Daniel Ek, the co-founder of Spotify said that believing in overnight success in the world of music is “Very misleading and actually rather harmful to any hope for long term and sustainable growth in this industry.” Yet, the music industry asks and demands overnight success, otherwise it’s not worth investing in.

How to become an overnight success?

There’s only one possible answer. Giving the “illusion” that you are an overnight success. It adds to the aura of the story. People will sit back and think, “Now, why didn’t I have the idea?” Illusion is essential. The blood, sweat and tears? Nobody cares. They want success and they want it now.

Overnight success is only the tip of the iceberg. You can’t see the hard road to success that people have had to go through. Overnight success shouldn’t be called anything else than overnight exposure. It is when people start talking about the finalized product that the public thinks you made it all happen within 24 hours. Overnight success is working in the darkest recesses of some dingy garage somewhere without any public acclaim and then suddenly seeing that time punctuated by the unique opportunity that you are given to reveal what you have been working on.

Overnight success is a long hard road and don’t believe anyone that tells you otherwise.

You have an idea in mind, Appstud helps you develop it!

Product thinking • Design • Development • Acquisition • Product evolution

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