INSTANT MBA: Define Success Before You Set Out To Achieve It

Anil Dash

Photo: merlinmann

Today’s lesson comes from Anil Dash, cofounder and partner at Activate, and director of Expert Labs:“Assuming you succeed, what do you want that success to look like? If you make a great app that gets tons of users, but it’s covered in ugly ads instead of the cleanly designed experience you initially created, will you be happy?

If you make a huge amount of money but it’s because you’re selling tons of personal data on your users or clogging up the web with absolutely crappy content, will that be a fair trade to you? Is the continuum of choices in these matters something you’re willing to compromise on in exchange for making sure your kid goes to college? What if it’s just to buy yourself a fancy car?

Success comes from you knowing who you are and what your values are, and from being able to recognise success because you’d already defined it for yourself in the first place. Diving into an endeavour without those fundamentals is a pretty sure recipe for making sure you never accomplish the thing that it turns out you wanted.”

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