How many times should you try before rationally quitting? Intuitively, you would think there is a number that most people will attempt before the survival instincts kick in. What is that number? Apparently, it is much higher than one would think.
The startup world is full of seemingly instant successes. People hack together a website, and the next day thousands of users roll in. That might happen for 1% of people. What does that mean for you? Most likely you will not be that 1%. Then the question is, how many times you should try before it becomes pointless.
How about 5,126 times – the number of times James Dyson built failed prototypes of his vacuum cleaner? How about 10,000 tries to build a light bulb. These numbers might somewhat make sense if you believe you are destined to build that vacuum cleaner. But if you are not sure, imagine how you would feel if you are on attempt number 5,014 and still no end in sight.
How Many Times?
- 3 times Steven Spielberg was rejected by University of Southern California Film School [biography at Yahoo Movies].
- 25 times Tim Ferris’s book The 4 Hour Work Week was rejected by publishers.
- 162 times the author of this infographic made searches for this data .
- 300 times founder of Pandora.com approached investors before he got funding.
- 400 times Richard Branson launched companies before he finally founded one that is out of this world [Virgin Galactic] pun-intended.
- 1009 times Colonel Sanders who just started KFC was turned down when he tried selling his fried chicken recipe.
- 1500 times Sylvester Stallone was rejected when he tried selling his script and himself as what would become the film “Rocky” [account by Tony Robbins, Stallone's personal friend].
- 5126 times James Dyson created failed prototypes of his vacuum cleaner before succeeding.
- 10000 times Thomas Edison created failed prototypes of his electric bulb before succeeding.