“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It’s all about timing.” - Stacey Charter
After an arduous process of fine tuning your idea and collecting the necessary capital, you may be thinking about taking your novel idea into the world. Before you embark on this journey, there is something you need to consider: Is it the right time?
Facebook, Google, Virgin Records, Apple had impeccable timing in launching their businesses to the world. Many successful businesses were able to achieve their goals by simply waiting and understanding the market conditions that they would face if they were to launch. For example, YouTube, the global video-sharing website launched in 2005 was not the first of its kind, but launching it at a time where the number of internet users and internet connectivity was improving had an influence in their global success.
“When the codec problem was solved by Adobe Flash and when broadband penetration crossed 50 percent in America, YouTube was perfectly timed. Great idea, but unbelievable timing.” -Bill Gross
The importance of the concept of timing is further elaborated through George Moore’s Technology Adoption Model. Here Moore looks at a unique point of market entry for businesses, especially those in the technology market, which is called the Chasm. He explains that a business is able to succeed if it enters the market after the product has been introduced to the Early Adopters and market insiders, but before the product hits mainstream markets and pose barriers for the business to enter.
“You know, sometimes, when they say you’re ahead of your time, it’s just a polite way of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.” - George McGovern
TED speaker Bill Gross carried out research to find what makes certain companies successful and why other companies fail. In this research, he looked at variables such as Ideas, Team, Business Model, Funding and Timing. Through this research carried out across 200 companies, it was revealed that the most influencing factor for success was Timing. He states that in order to perfectly time your product you need to be willing to evaluate the market you plan on catering, and to understand if this market truly needs the product you want to offer.
John Oechsle looks at five questions that any entrepreneur needs to ask from themselves before starting any business activity, to ensure that they are entering the market at the “right” time. They are;
- How is the current market and local economy?
- What is the current competition like in your industry?
- Do statistical market trends seem favorable for the start of your business and its future growth?
- Do you understand the timing involved in customer outreach?
- Is this the right time for you?
Therefore, entrepreneurs must include the timing factor into their business planning process, as entrepreneurial success is not solely based on the idea and the product.