Timing as key for succes


“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” (Samuel Beckett)

The role of success in the entrepreneurial life is simple: Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone is looking for the recipe for success. Everyone has heard at least a dozen times about “being in the right place at the right time” to make the winning move – and even more:

“The two most important requirements for major success in life are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” (Ray Kroc)

“I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time. But many others were also in the same place. The difference was that I took the action.” (Bill Gates)

“Once in a life, fortune knocks at every man’s door, but in a good many cases, the man is in a nearby tavern and does not hear a knock.” (Mark Twain)

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” (Abraham Lincoln)

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” (Oprah Winfrey)

And nevertheless there are ongoing discussions about key success factors for a new venture, despite all the wisdom in the world. As every entrepreneur knows (let me rephrase Mike Tyson here),  everyone has a road map to success “until they get punched in the face.” By developing a business under lean startup principles, entrepreneurs are trying to stand up as quickly as possible after getting punched in the face by the reality of testing out hypotheses for a new venture with potential customers.

We use the build-measure-learn principles, trying to make iterations as fast as possible. Trying to answer the question whether the business solution really solves the customer problem. Testing whether there is a market for it. We try to learn not only fast but at the lowest cost, in order to create a product that customers really need. And still, most start-ups fail, most of the new ventures are not successful and most innovative ideas struggle to be implemented.

In his TED Talk, Bill Gross exposes the single biggest reason why start-ups succeed and this is not the team in the first place, like you may think, or execution, or even funding – it is timing.

And while you should avoid cutting corners when building the foundations of a house only because you want to move in quickly, bearing in mind the necessity for careful planning (“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable,” Dwight D. Eisenhower) – do act. Do act smart. Take each chance in your life like this is the only chance that you will ever get. Do everything to make it work, fail fast, learn from your mistakes and move on to your next venture. Don’t suffer for long – you don’t have time for it – move on, act even smarter and you will be successful.

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