I guess nobody should ever write their first song, or put paint to canvass for the first time, because someone else already has.
What often overlooked is that they have, but you (I, we, whoever is trying to get in) have not.
What Ira Glass has said is actually kind of sad. Sad from the point of view that no one told him the most basic part of any learning process, that it takes time and practice to make any effort worth looking at. That used to be taught at school. Parents used to tell that to their kids, all the time. We have lost the power of apprenticeship, or in other words, the power of knowing the learning process of learning.
if It comes down to a TL;DR I'm sure people told him; he didn't listen, then it took him "longer".