A very interesting study of the idea of “grit”. It attempts to quantify personal characteristics than lead to success via perseverance.

I often wonder if I have it. I am willing to take risks which depend on my intelligence — I quit my job to start a startup. But I really fear that I’ve gotten soft.

I get bored easily; this is the opposite of grit. So perhaps those who have “grit” are the ones who have found a way to feel rewarded even when the work is boring.

What I also like about the idea is that the myth of the lone genius, who with a quick stroke can take over the world, is highly overrated. Those of us in Silicon Valley are quite invested in that myth. We see a lot of successful companies who seem to have succeeded on this principle.

Rather than toiling on an idea for years until it takes a life of its own, we see companies like Twitter which seem like small ideas that catch fire. And we see other companies who do amazing work but go nowhere.

I am quite skeptical that the overnight success stories are as they seem.

In many ways, sure, it’s better to be lucky than good. But I have also come to believe that a great idea has very limited value. It’s execution that counts.

I haven’t kept my startup idea very secret among those who know me. Even if someone “steals” it, I consider the likelihood that they will actually execute on it to be fairly small. So I do a cost/benefit: the feedback I get is probably more valuable than the cost (risk) of someone beating us to market.

Which is a way of saying, there are a small number of people with the “grit” to actually run with an idea. I hope I am one of them.