From my perspective helping startups get going and find success, perseverance and dedication are common themes among those that come close to or achieve that success. Long hours, like what Wes Schroll and his team have put into Fetch Rewards, generally come with the territory (especially early on) if you plan to out-do your competition.
But perseverance and long hours are usually only part of the equation for startups that leads to a successful exit or IPO. Encouragement is an important but underestimated factor. Encouragement from professors, advisors, friends, investors, or even other entrepreneurs, especially when you're 19 (like Wes was when Fetch Rewards was started) is a significant factor to take the leap of faith that those long hours you know are coming will be fruitful, or as fruitful as possible.
Going alone without encouragement tends to create an isolationist environment where success can be difficult to find (and sometimes define) and the entrepreneur may simply give up. The Fetch story is not unique to the startup world, but it is a great reminder what perseverance and encouragement can do.
"I was super fortunate that I was encouraged to pursue this," Schroll said.