See, the phases of the traditional business cycle are also relevant to a business starting out.
Only for a business, or a project, they go in a different order: Upturn, Downturn, Trough, Upturn, Peak.
With a little bit of work, a new start-up can have a bit of an upturn.
A glimmer of: “Hey, look at us go!”
And then the work sets in.
You realize you are running a marathon, and not a sprint.
The difference between businesses that are going to make it, and ones that are not, is how they respond in this particular phase.
Austin Kleon has the best graphic of this idea.
The essayist and investor Paul Graham, a peer and rival of Peter Thiel’s, has charted the trajectory of a start-up, with all its ups and downs. After the initial bump of media attention, the rush of excitement from the unexpected success, Graham says that the founders enter a phase where the novelty begins to wear off, and they quickly descend from their early euphoria into what he calls the “trough of sorrow.” A start-up launches with its investments, gets a few press hits, and then smacks right into reality. Many companies never make it out of this ditch. “The problem with the Silicon Valley,” as Jim Barksdale, the former CEO and president of Netscape, once put it, “is that we tend to confuse a clear view with a short distance.”
-Ryan Holiday, Conspiracy