Momentum. The most important concept out there.
Please humor me as I go on a short rant about how important the concept of momentum is. Plowing through obstacles and maintaining momentum is critical when starting something new, and believe me: there will be obstacles. They will [seem] completely devastating, each and every one, but they will not break you unless you let them.
Momentum is everything if you are trying to affect real change. Chris Dixon, whom I follow sporadically, wrote an intriguing post entitled “The default state of a startup is failure” where he writes about how averse the world is to change. What really stuck with me from this post is the idea that the world is happy just the way it is, and would rather not have to deal with learning a new system or way of doing things. To the innovators, builders, and creators out there, this is something to be plowed through: Steve Jobs himself is famous for not Listening to his customers.
“It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” - Steve Jobs
When life gives you lemons, plow through them and continue forwards; making lemonade often takes too long and is distracting. If your momentum is lost, your cause is lost, and once you have some momentum that is working for you, protect it with everything you’ve got.
The way momentum manifests itself in a startup in the early days is through some form acceptance: eventually you will realize that people recognize your brand, your pitch, or your message. This is a critical indicator that things are beginning to move forwards, and this momentum must be protected and fostered at all costs. Inactivity or silence for more than a few days will cause two momentum destroying things to happen: a) people will forget or move on to the next shiny thing, or, b) the new people coming up through the ranks will not be exposed to you or your message.
So build up momentum, and don’t let anything tear it down. It is the most valuable asset out there if you are trying to affect real change.