I often go on about how "slow and steady wins the race" but I stumbled over something tonight that I think serves as an excellent example of this. It's something that we as Indie Hackers and bootstrappers should take to heart (in my opinion).
I went back in time tonight to the very beginnings of a couple of my favourite youtubers. It doesn't matter who they are, but they are tech reviewers.
if you tune in today you see subscriber counts in the tens of millions, amazingly produced videos, one on one interviews with superstars and legendary business people, videos about their latest Tesla or Porsche purchases etc. Lets face it, it can be kinda sickening lol
I went back to watch their first videos and it immediately hit me that these guys have stuck at this for over 10 years to get to where they are. They slogged it out, starting with shitty webcam videos in their bedrooms. Shit audio, shit lighting, shit backdrops, shit products... and as you go through their feed in chronological order you can see that they were putting out this "shit" for a LONG time before all of a sudden there is a better camera being used, better audio is present, they have lighting now.
Then maybe its ANOTHER few years and they now are out of their bedroom and in a small studio space. They're doing interviews at CES.
A few years later and they have a better studio space and multiple cameras...
You get the picture.
I married up their timeline to mine. When they started I was bumming about trying to be a musician. All that while they were putting out "shit" videos every week from their bedroom. A few years later when they have a noticeable change in quality, where am I? Oh that's the year I started that job...
Fast forward another few years, these guys are now getting their YouTube silver play button (100,000 subs). Where am I? Oh that's the year I left that job and went to work at that place.
Another few years, these guys are now in the multiple millions of subscribers and are clearly enjoying all the trappings of their success. Where am I? Oh that's the year I got made redundant and decided to start SongBox.
For me, the moral of the story here is that these guys and many more like them slugged it out for YEARS with nothing but very modest (at best) success. But they just kept going. Video after video, week after week, month after month and year after year. Not seeing any real rewards for years, and then it comes.
I think it's a lesson for those of us who jump from project to project when it doesn't pan out after a few months. I'm guilty of it myself.