Accomplishing big things takes a long time, even in the modern world of software. I was reminded of that today when I read Mike Kruzeniski’s post Jony’s Patience. Here’s the crux of it:

I doubt that it took 20 years for Ive to come up with the idea for the Watch, or to find the right design for it. For the past two decades, Apple and Ive have been carefully building a company that’s capable of building the Watch. That’s 23 years of finding talent, hiring the right people, building the right teams, developing relationships, investing in skills and technologies, establishing manufacturing and distribution, and proving out the products and business models. Ive’s patience to grow with Apple over the last two decades allows him to design the greatest products in the world today.

In a world of accelerators and frameworks and cloud services, the reminders that you can build significant companies and products very quickly are all around us. It’s worth taking a step back to remember that the really big jobs take a long time. Soon we’re going to launch a big infrastructure project at work that has been about a year in the making. In December, I gave a talk on the years of foundational work that put us in a position to even start on this project. After we launch, we’ll have a number of new capabilities that will enable us to build some stuff that has been on the drawing board for years.

Quick wins are great, but there’s something uniquely satisfying about companies, teams, products, and infrastructure evolving together into new things that can only be created with years of effort.