Now is the best time in history to start your own business. But depending on what kind of company you’re building, you have to figure out if your idea is poised to capture a trend – or doomed to miss one and face a much tougher road to success.
To learn about the impact of properly timing a trend – or of missing one – we asked 8 successful young entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) for their experiences. And we also got their advice on how to perfectly time your business:
1. Missed Opportunities Open New Doors
It was 2011 when we started building a platform for social media. By then, Buddy Media had already raised over $90 million, Wildfire announced that they had over 10,000 customers, and companies like Vitrue and Involver were the industry titans. Some potential investors told us we were late to the party. However, in hindsight, and especially in light of all of the recent acquisitions of the aforementioned, I believe we had a core advantage to really plug into the “second wave” of social, which has the potential to be even more disruptive than the first. We were able to speak to people who were already using a social media platform and figure out what needs still weren’t being met. By staying small and nimble, we were able to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of social media.– Abby Ross, Blueye Creative
2. Revisit Past Failures
There’s no lack of ideas that were “before their time.” Many business models that failed in the early 2000s are now incredibly successful because now, the timing is right, the technology is here, and it’s easier than ever before to achieve scale. As an example, my company SitePoint tried selling eBooks back in 2000 and no one bought into it. It was a complete and utter disaster and forced us to print and ship physical books – which sold like hot cakes. The reason is simple, people were still getting used to the idea of shopping online, and paying for digital goods was still a foreign concept to many. Fast forward a few years, with the iTunes revolution, Kindle and iPad, and all of a sudden, eBook sales are trending sharply upward every year.– Matt Mickiewicz,Flippa and 99designs
3. Some Ideas Transcend Timing & Trends
Timing is everything – if your idea is reliant on time. If you want to create a flash valuation or raise a certain amount of money quickly, then it’s of utmost importance. And it’s important for tech in general. But I believe that there are other ideas – rooted in timeless truths – that are not restricted to a certain epoch or Zeitgeist. If your idea is rooted in one of these things, then timing is far less important. If you’re a social entrepreneur fighting for human dignity in a particular area, for example, then it’s less critical whether you start today or tomorrow. My personal view is that I want to be involved with an organization that I believe will be important a thousand years from now. If I find an idea worthy of that standard, then I know it’s rooted in something essential.– Luke Burgis, ActivPrayer