Breakthroughs are funny. They take a long time to happen, and then happen all of a sudden.
The likeliest reason you will give up is that you convince yourself it can’t be done. It’s pretty hard to persevere when you have convinced yourself it’s pointless.
When we throw in the towel, we usually say, “It can’t be done.” We rarely say, “I can’t do it” or “It isn’t worth doing.”
When a sprinter sets a new world record in the 100-meter dash, the record will be broken again, and often sooner than later. Once the other sprinters see it can be done, then matching the record or even breaking it is no longer considered an impossible task.
When Apple came out with the iPhone, there were dozens of other companies who had the same idea, the same ability and the same technology. They could have made their version of the iPhone first, but other companies didn’t make smart phones until Apple showed them the way.
So here are two things to consider:
First, there is a certain comfort that comes in finding someone else who has done it first, whatever ‘it’ might have been. Knowing that it’s possible and studying how it was done can’t help but increase the chances you’ll tough it out, finish and ship your work.
Second, there is a lot of value to doing it first.