Seeing Parse reach 100,000 apps is humbling.
Everything starts from zero. I remember the early days when we would measure the number of apps that used us on a daily basis, and then write that number big and bold on a white board.
This meant that for many days, we would look up from our desks and be faced with a big fat zero. Nothing motivates you more than zero.
That summer, we coded as fast and as hard as we could.
I recall when the number hit 2. Wow! 2 apps used us! People actually found our service useful. As the weeks and months went by, that number slowly went up. From single digits to double, then to triple and beyond.
Eventually, we stopped writing the number on the board and instead sent out an internal daily email with various important stats. Waking up to that email is still the most motivating part of my day.
So, my suggestion for when you’re starting any project: write your daily number down. Seeing the number in ink and not pixels is much more visceral. You’ll find yourself looking up once in a while, motivated to changing that number.