It’s quite interesting how differently people can measure success. I believe many people would say that making loads of money must be a sign of success. Others might think making a famous game must be a sign of success.
I personally think that success should be measured like belt ranks in martial arts. If somebody has a black belt, it doesn’t mean that he is a better fighter than somebody with a green belt. Having a black belt means this guy has finished certain steps and trained so long that he now carries a black belt. Black belt cannot be compared with another guy. It’s only compared to person’s own past.
When I produced very simple puzzle game Highpiled in 21 hours, I was really pleased with it. For me that was a success. Somebody might think that’s not a big deal, and somebody else might think that’s a great thing. For me other’s opinions on whether it’s a success or not really doesn’t matter: for me it’s success and period. Seeing the game featured in PCZone strengthened this feeling.
It’s okay to compare your results with others – that’s one part of the fun. It’s good to check out how well others are doing and get inspired by them. That’s perfectly fine. Comparison to others is good when it inspires you and makes you reach your own goals. But even then, you should measure success from your point-of-view alone.
It’s like in martial arts. If you see a black belt guy doing a nice kick, take that as an inspiration and make your goal to do a similar (or better) kick. Whether the black belt guy can do the kick or not shouldn’t say anything about your success. Only by comparing what you do today with what you’ve done past you can tell about success. When you’ve expanded your own limits and reached your own goals – you can say you are successful.