Determination is the new “New!”

A few weeks ago I read a piece startup advice in Jason Calacanis’ email newsletter:

“Plan for a big launch”

It got me thinking…

In the late 90’s everyone talked about creative ways to pull off a big launch.  These days nobody talks about “launches” anymore.  Sometime between 1998 and today the world stopped caring about launches – there is so much “new”, so people tune it out.

I’m now seeing the opposite trend: people express surprise when an entrepreneur sticks with her startup, when she shows the determination to keep talking to customers, keep building, and keep hustling a year after “launch”.  Previously reluctant developers join a startup after seeing the founders stick with it.  Users finally invite their friends to an app once they realize it isn’t going to shut down two weeks after they sign up.

Want to turn heads?  Get people excited about you?  Stand out from every other “new” fighting for attention?

My advice is to skip the big launch and resign yourself to a year of hard work instead.  Show the world you’re different, that you’re not shutting down a month after accelerator demo day.  Prove that you’re worth their time and their money with your willpower.

Show the world your determination – it’s a lot rarer than “new”.


  1. Cesc May 16, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Thanks for the post Kevin.

    I’m struggling with this right now.

    On one side, lean principles make me want to test quickly and figure out soon if something is working or not.

    On the other, I feel people need to trust you before saying yes to your offer, even if they see the value right from the start.

    • kevindewalt May 16, 2013 at 6:46 am #


      You’re not alone, this happened to me and everyone else. LS has made all of us really anxious for quick insight, but I’ve found that it just takes a long time. People don’t really engage with us until they see that we’re serious.

      And they didn’t really take me seriously until I started releasing a solution, crude as it was. We have to prove we’re worth it.

      • Cesc May 16, 2013 at 9:51 am #

        Agree. After some research, you have to trust your gut and take the next step 🙂

        I think that part of the problem is that we assume that we have only one bullet with that idea.

        The idea will probably evolve, so the starting point is probably less important than we believe.

        Here’s a good video I recently found about this:

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