There is a large market for business books. The shelves of your now closed local bookstore, and the virtual shelves of your thriving online bookstore are filled with these books. Invariably they all promise to tell you how to do something — create a successful business, hire the right people, get a great job, and in this case, design a beautiful piece of software that customers fall in love with.
The single most important factor in success that almost none of these books write about is — luck.
After all, why write about luck? How many pages could you fill? It’s like writing a strategy book about roulette. It’s pointless. (And yes, I know they exist.)
It’s not just that nobody writes about luck, it’s that nobody acknowledges how big a role luck plays in the success of various endeavors. Would you be discouraged if you found out that despite doing your best work, despite being better than everyone else, that luck plays such a pivotal role that without it you would still fail? What percentage of success depending on luck would be discouraging for you? What if 25% of success was luck? What if it was 50%? What if it was 75% or more? Would you be discouraged? Would you give up?
For now, there’s no way to quantify what percentage of success is based on luck, and what percentage is based on execution. Personally, we suspect that luck is upwards of 75% responsible for most success.
However, we also believe that you don’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket. And we believe that designing a beautiful, intuitive, and standout piece of software buys you lots of tickets to the lottery. You still need to get lucky, but when it comes to the things you can meaningfully impact, you’ll be doing your best. And while we can’t guarantee business success, we can guarantee that at the end of the day you’ll be incredibly proud of the genuine and creative software you’ve been a part of creating.