Sometimes you can look at a company that is succeeding and think that they just got lucky. They just happened to be working on something, the wave came and they rode it.
Often that is what growth and success looks like from the outside. However, if you connect the dots and look at the history the truth is often different.
I was reminded of this in Vlad Magdalin's Indie Hacker podcast. A quick outside look and it would be easy to assume that that Webflow got lucky. He was just building the right thing at the right time. However, dive a bit deeper and you see that he was at it for years, doing whatever it took just to get through, survive and be there for that wave.
Similar could be thought of for Ministry of Testing. In hindsight and from a distance it seems obvious that a community for software testing (and the associated conferences that we ended up doing) was needed, however when I started it people did not think that. At the time I got strange and doubting looks. They couldn't see how or why a new look at software testing was needed. They couldn't understand what was driving me.
It took about 3 years to start making decent money and what I felt was some kind of decent impact. We rode the wave of a new generation of conferences. We led the way in being open, honest and ethical. It doesn't mean it was easy. And there definitely wasn't a wave to ride when I started.
And sure, the wave isn't as big as that of Webflow, but it's still a wave.
On a smaller scale I could also compare it to where I am now, focusing on helping the indie hacker community. I've spent years building up my business and learning what makes communities work. I laid some seeds by creating what I believe is a good business and also doing one of the early interviews of Indie Hackers. All of that effort is allowing me to ride the current wave at Indie Hackers. People knew me in the testing world, but most people in the indie hacking world had no idea who I am. Most people still don't know who I am 😊 but I am happy with the little wave and impact that I'm experiencing now.
Sometimes these waves are outside of our direct control, other times you can put the work in to make them happen. Often it is a mix of the two.
And here is an image to try to make me look like I know what I'm talking about. 🤪