A Lesson from Weebly

Photo Credit: Penn State IST Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BEMhEW-sGs6

Photo Credit:  Chris Fanini, Penn State IST Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BEMhEW-sGs6

I saw this picture on the Penn State IST (my alma mater!) Instagram account. They’re right in the middle of IST Startup Week, and have some great speakers. The picture didn’t mean much to me…until I read the caption:

So, what’s going on here? This is a capture from an #ISTstartup Week presentation by IST #grad Chris Fanini, Co-founder and CTO of @weebly on the company’s ride to success. It shows the total number of registered Weebly users at the time (6913) and the total number of users logged in to the service (3.) As Fanini put it, “There were three of us working on Weebly, so you can just imagine who those ‘logged in’ users were.” At 6 months in, he said, most days they had zero signups. “At 11 months in, we had maybe 50 signups a day.” Success? It takes a while. Be persistent. Be passionate. And don’t give up.

Wow. Imagine how discouraged the Weebly founders must have felt when they were the only 3 actively logged into their application. I just love that they have the picture to prove it, too! What a good reminder of how far they have come. As I’m currently struggling with putting a ton of effort into my startup and hardly seeing any glimmers of hope (usually it’s more like…complete darkness for a few days or weeks, THEN I’ll get a glimmer), this post felt like it came at the perfect time for me. It reminded me that I’m not the only one who has felt this way, and to keep on keepin’ on.

By the way, it would be an absolute dream if someday I could be a speaker at IST Startup Week. Maybe I could open with an anecdote about this very post – how an Instagram post during IST Startup Week years ago encouraged me to keep going.

So, what do you think ?