Me – I vote lucky. Hands down.
MapQuest was sold for $1.2B to AOL when AOL was the big dog. (For those of you under 30, AOL was Facebook before Google was Facebook. Follow that?) Some of you know that I was one of the 3 founders of MapQuest. Obviously this makes me one of the smartest guys in town, right?
Or am I one of the luckiest guys in town?
You see the MapQuest journey is nothing like what you read about today. I will save those details for another time, another post or maybe a pretty cool book.
I will say we were smarter than every other “map company” at the time. They were stuck in the 80’s and bound by their current revenue streams and high-cost distribution systems (See Clayton Christensen book The Innovator’s Dilemma.) . We were classic disruptors who had absolutely nothing to lose. We also started with a business model that had others pay for the development of our newly created technology via what we call “enabling contracts”.
Though we had no existing business constraints, tech development funds from other business arrangements, smart and passionate geo-geeks and naively-no fear, I still think we were lucky to be at the right place at exactly the right time.
As you think about your journey, try and remember that luck will play some role in your eventual success. See what that thought does for your psyche.