11.19.2006

Some reflections on the start-up
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Much ink has been spilled over the subject of start-up chemistry, (or alchemy). Luck, timing, wisdom, persistence. Of all these virtues, persistence is probably the most important.

It is usually encapsulated in the observation of Thomas A. Edison that "Invention is 2% inspiration, 98% perspiration." But that is facile. A little more obscure, one could quote the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" which was released in 1976 before many, or most were born. A cult film, you can get it through netflix or blockbuster.

NARRATOR:
The Tale of Sir Launcelot.
FATHER:
One day, lad, all this will be yours!
PRINCE HERBERT:
What, the curtains?
FATHER:
No. Not the curtains, lad. All that you can see, stretched out over the hills and valleys of this land! This'll be your kingdom, lad.
HERBERT:
But Mother--
FATHER:
Father, lad. Father.
HERBERT:
B-- b-- but Father, I don't want any of that.
FATHER:
Listen, lad. I built this kingdom up from nothing. When I started here, all there was was swamp. Other kings said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show 'em. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So, I built a third one. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp, but the fourth one... stayed up! And that's what you're gonna get, lad: the strongest castle in these islands.
HERBERT:
But I don't want any of that. I'd rather--

That's the spirit that leads eventually to success. You fail in myriad ways, large and small, and then succeed sometimes. And that's how it works.



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