The Importance of Markets and Timing

Earlier today I was talking about markets and timing with an entrepreneur. Some startups with amazing teams fail while other startups with “normal” teams achieve incredible results. What gives? Markets and timing play a critical role.

Here are a few thoughts on the importance of markets and timing:

  • Being too early to a market is a failure (how many times have you heard someone say “I had that same idea 10 years ago…”)
  • Being too late to a market is a failure (“we got crushed by the competition” said no entrepreneur ever, but happens all the time)
  • The best timing is slightly early so that when the market takes off, the startup already has customers, employees, and a foundation to build on
  • Two popular ways to think about markets: resegmenting a large, existing market with something better, faster, and cheaper or going after a small, fast-growing new market with a solution
  • Occasionally the size of a market can be expanded with a new solution (like Uber did for the taxi market) but often the market size is relatively static, so choose well

Timing a market with the right product is difficult, very difficult. Entrepreneurs would do well spending more time thinking about markets and timing as they play an outsized role in success.

What else? What are some more thoughts on the importance of markets and timing?

2 thoughts on “The Importance of Markets and Timing

  1. I couldn’t agree more. The market choice is the equivalent of the wave you choose to surf on, with your team, product and efforts either swimming against its power and direction or with it. A large powerful wave moving in your favour can have such an outsized effect on results that a lot of the rest won’t matter, whilst the best teams, products and even funding will suffer hugely going against a wave’s direction.

    Market choice is very often overlooked and underestimated today I believe.

    Odera

    On Jan 10, 2017 03:02, “David Cummings on Startups” wrote:

    David Cummings posted: “Earlier today I was talking about markets and timing with an entrepreneur. Some startups with amazing teams fail while other startups with “normal” teams achieve incredible results. What gives? Markets and timing play a critical role. Here are a few thou”

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