Ask yourself, why this particular startup, now?

Lessons in Entrepreneurship - Reagan Pollack

Ask yourself, why this particular startup, now?

In today’s highly competitive, and frankly oversaturated world, simply launching something new isn’t enough to secure your spot in the top of someone’s mind. As an entrepreneur, we need to get past our ability to launch a new product or service, and before we even begin, ask a simple question – why now?

Every successful company has launched at a time when there were a series of forces that helped increase their odds of success, namely, a growing market, technological trends that enabled that new startup to now flourish, or moreover, a unique insight that helped to deeply differentiate the offering among existing choices.
For example, if your new concept enables users to connect in realtime using mobile phones to accomplish task X, the fact that mobile phones are both ubiquitous, relatively cheap, and have increasingly faster connectivity capabilities, might be the right mix of external forces that will help provide tailwinds to move your concept at lightning speed.
Say you launched your software twenty years ago, when connectivity speeds were much slower, and mobile phones were not as sophisticated as they are today, and consumers were not educated enough to attempt to digitally accomplish task X, would your idea still have the underlying elements needed for growth as they do today?
Or maybe, your new product is a non-tech example, say a new Vegan-inspired fast food chain. How might the fact that Veganism is on the rise, compounding at a rate of 15% per year (let’s assume this were true), help to catapult your new food concept to the forefront of a diner’s choice of go-to options?
We need more than a good idea. We need external forces, like a wave, to help raise our new brand and offering to the top.
By asking “why now?” we help ourselves frame the market conditions, technological improvements, and consumer trends that are present today (or will be tomorrow), to scale our startup as fast as possible.
Sometimes we launch too early, sometimes we launch too late, and if we time it properly, we launch at just the right point. Every startup requires a different mix of macro/micro forces coupled with a growing movement, to help galvanize our position as a market leader of a niche. All of this makes the effort needed to launch and grow something worthwhile, just that much easier.
Ask, why now?

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