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Postcard 31: Hit Rate
How much of your work is a hit?
This idea of a hit rate is something I've been contemplating all week. Even for the people who are great at their craft, their hit rate is lower than you would think.
For example, the Grammy award-winning rapper Logic told us in a recent call for Write of Passage that one in one thousand of his songs becomes a hit. He said,
"I think up and record a thousand songs before we have one that I know will be a hit."
Logic has had number 1 and certified platinum albums; without a doubt, he is a legend, and yet even his hit rate is .1%.
Here is another example, from Pieter a Dutch developer who grew Nomadlist and levelsio and a few other bootstrapped ideas into $4 million+ a year SaaS businesses.
Pieter says his hit rate for building out SaaS ideas is sub 5%. Pieter was featured on Wired.com back in 2014 as the guy trying to build 12 startups in 12 months. He is also famous for running nomadlist up to a million dollar a year run rate off of one PHP file, proving that most of us are overthinking and over-engineering on top of not building enough.
Pieter also tells us that learning from failure is less important than you might think and what actually matters is the iterations. Trying a lot.
In contemplating my own hit rate this week I tweeted
"Out of the ten things my brother and I built only one has grown. So many failures, I wrote a whole article on it. But there is no use crying over failures when one winner can pay for a thousand losers."
Even the one "success" we've had hasn't been a runaway hit, but we also are far from done with trying things.
So what is your hit rate?
A few other ideas from this week:
I love this little article from Seth this week because it reinforces that many big ideas are about risk and luck. Seth says
"When big ideas show up, almost no one sees what’s possible. All they notice is that change is risky and new stuff might not work."
I enjoyed this article, which is a retrospective of why we waste our own time procrastinating.
A great article by Adam Keys on the importance of not pinging people without context. Especially important now that we are remote. While his advice is for managers, I think this probably applies to a lot of the people we interact with. Adam says
"Never message someone on your team, “let’s talk when you get a minute”. That’s void of information and scary as heck!"
This Weeks Memes
It's funny because most recruiters expect you to play this game even when they are trying to poach you.
A reminder of how quickly the fates change these days.
Thanks for reading and as always, my inbox is open; feel free to reply to this email if I can help in any way.
Have a great weekend,