Bill Gross has founded multiple startups and incubated many others.
He is a very talented and experienced entrepreneur and investor.
In his famous talk about the reasons why startups succeed, he is trying to convince us that the single biggest reason why startups succeed is timing.
The idea, team, business plan, and funds are also important, but timing is the crucial and critical factor.
If you are trying to execute an idea too early or too late, your chances of succeeding are much lower.
A few days ago, I woke up at 5 am with that clear understanding of why, in my opinion, Bill’s thesis is inaccurate.
So, I have decided to write this post and to try to explain myself.
We all have seen many products that came too early and couldn’t succeed because of the following:
- lack of supporting technologies (for example, it was hard to build a space shuttle in 1900)
- no need for such products (for example, a medical app in the Klingon language)
- people’s lack of readiness for a big change (for example, a space shuttle in 1900)
Ten years ago, people even in the US were not ready for the idea of smart homes.
There were no smart mobile devices the Internet was not so good or fast, there was not much security, and of course, people were not ready to connect their home lighting system to the Internet and control it via Internet Explorer 6.
However, now, everything has changed.
We all carry smart and mobile devices, and everything is connected and mostly wireless.
Everybody is talking about IoT and connectivity.
Therefore, the idea of controlling my home multimedia or heating system via a mobile app while I am even not at home is entirely fine and acceptable.
It may be a little bit expensive and not everything may be connected yet, but people and technologies are mostly ready for that next step.
I can give you another example.
The Microsoft tablet that came out in 2002 failed. No one cared because it was too early.
There were not enough WiFi points, no apps, and not enough content on the Internet, and people just didn’t know what to do with that thing.
It was bad timing.