Paul Graham, writing about “The Right Kind of Stubborn”:

The reason the persistent and the obstinate seem similar is that they’re both hard to stop. But they’re hard to stop in different senses. The persistent are like boats whose engines can’t be throttled back. The obstinate are like boats whose rudders can’t be turned.

That feels like a useful analogy.

When I’m at “startup” events in the Seattle region, I tend to — unfairly, I imagine — reduce the stories I’m told to two axes: “commitment to a goal” and “commitment to an implementation”. The entrepreneurs I admire most tend to be highly committed to a clearly articulable goal but only lightly committed to its implementation: for them, implementations are simply hypotheses to test as the business is built.