I’ve just come out of a meeting where a comment made by one of my colleagues. She exclaimed “when is my breakthrough going to happen.” This comment reminded me that timing is everything. And that no matter how great the idea or innovation is, if it’s not the right time for it, then it won’t take off.
Bill Gross, in his Tedtalk titled “The single reason why start-ups succeed” says that one of the KEY reasons Airbnb succeeded is the timing. Airbnb was launched at the height of the recession in the USA, when people where looking for ways to make extra money. Therefor renting out a room or home to a stranger gave them the opportunity to do just that. At the end of the presentation he goes on to summarise his talk by saying:
“Execution definitely matters a lot. The idea matters a lot, but timing might matter even more.”
So, you may be an SME sitting in an accelerator or at home wondering how come other people are getting the break throughs. You are doing everything right. You have a great product, great team but that breakthrough is just not happening. Bill Gross suggests that you need to be critical about your product or idea and ask yourself if this is the right time for it. And for you who believes that your product / idea meets a need, and that timing is not a factor, then my advice is: Stay focused; continue the good work; network; interrogate your business model and when the time is right, the breakthrough will happen.
Nokwazi Mzobe,August 2018