For A Successful Startup, Timing Is Everything
Published: May 2, 2019
Timing is everything. When Jack Ma started Alibaba, he waited. He watched the market, did his research, analyzed data, and waited for just the right time. And all of that waiting paid off.
Many startups will focus on investors, business models, ideas, teams, etc. But where most startups that fail have ignored is timing. According to serial entrepreneur, Bill Gross, timing is the crucial element for any startup.
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Bill Gross is the founder of Idealab and has been involved in over 100 startups. Some have been successful and others failed. He began to examine the common elements of each startup to find the reasonings for the failures and what made the successes what they were. He analyzed not only Idealabs companies but also companies outside of his organization. What he found may be a bit alarming. 42% of everything had to do with timing.
Timing even ranks higher than investors and having the capital to make the idea work. This may be surprising, but according to his model, timing is the clinching factor in start-up success.
Say for example a business has an amazing idea, process, or product. The business model is flawless, a strong team is in place, and the funding is on target. If consumers are not ready for it, no matter how great it may be, the chances of success are slim. It will take an extreme amount of effort to get them ready to adopt the new product. Taking the exact same scenario and waiting too long, the market could be saturated with competition making it more difficult to get in front of the target audience.
Looking at the converse let’s say the business has a mediocre idea, barely enough funding to keep the lights on, an inexperienced team, and an “iffy” business model. Yet, this business hits the market at just the right time when consumers are ready, then the potential for sales, especially early sales, increases dramatically.
Unfortunately, there is no “silver-bullet” formula for when the right timing will occur. Doing market research and analyzing data is the best bet to decide when the right time may be. However, ignoring the timing factor and focusing on the other elements will not help in any way.
Timing is essential. Get the timing right, and things will start falling into place quicker than expected.
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