Reality Check: You’re not going to win the lottery

Shane Labs February 6, 2014 4

Did you hear about the latest amazingly successful app? Flappy Bird. A super simple game where you tag the screen to make a bird fly. It’s more addictive than heroine (not like I would know), and it’s spreading like wildfire.

And it makes $50k a day from advertising.

Flappy Bird

Flappy Bird: The latest successful app

$50,000 per day!

Yup, $50k/day. That’s insane! Been downloaded over 50 million times, and has more reviews than the app store can handle. The creator (Dong Nguyen) is a 29 year old from Vietman, and he admits he got lucky. He spent 2-3 days making it in his spare time after he got home from his full time job (yes, he’s a sidestrapper, just like us!). Somehow it caught on and he’s been overwhelmed with the success.

So what are the odds of this happening to you and me?

So what are the odds of this happening to you and me? Slim to none. I like to compare it to winning the lottery. Don’t count it. Seriously – accept this: You and I will not have a huge overnight success like this.

You and I will not have a huge overnight success like this.

My strategy is not to get rich quick with a lucky strike. My strategy is persistence and patience. I’ve been programming since I was 15 years old (I’m 30 now), and it’s been a great ride. I have had some success, and many failures, and I’m going to keep on sidestrapping day by day until I am successful enough to make it my full time gig.

So, Mr Nguyen – congratulations! I’m sincerely stoked for you from the bottom of my heart. It’s fun to hear about your success and dream that it will happen to us. But I know it won’t. So tomorrow I will wake up and work on my side projects, slowly and steadily.

I’m a tortoise, not a hare.


  1. rick February 7, 2014 at 8:14 am - Reply

    Wow Shane, you sure are bitter about his success. Just because it hasn’t happened to you, you insist that rest of us must accept that it will never happen.

    Think about your emotions before you post.

    • Shane Labs February 7, 2014 at 8:25 am - Reply

      Hey Rick – I was worried that people might misinterpret my emotions. I seriously am *really* happy for him. I’m not bitter at all, in fact, I’m impressed! I’m just saying that most of us should not expect that to happen to us and to be realistic.

  2. dootzky February 7, 2014 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    I actually fully agree with this article. Very true and grounding, smart, and fair.

    The guy just had luck, and it’s great for him! But that’s ***NOT*** a way to plan for business, work, or anything serious. It’s pretty much unrepeatable (because if it was, everybody would repeat it, easily, right).

    Bottom line – work hard, do things right, be patient, try different things, make different attempts at entrepreneurship, and maybe you’ll hit it big one day. But even “good” is good enough. 🙂

    • Shane Labs February 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      Yes, yes, yes! Exactly! Thanks Dootzky (and nice name!)

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