There are certain aspects that determine the success of a business, product, or campaign. Timing happens to be one of the most, if not the most, important aspects in the world of business and entrepreneurship.
Effects of Poor Timing
Poor timing can result in a number of setbacks and obstacles for you and your company or product. The market temperature, if you will, all depends on timing and if you happen to enter it when it’s cold and still, not much is going to happen for your idea, product, business, or campaign. You have to be able to research the market that you are going to be active in and know the signs of when it will be slow and fast and enter when it’s the right moment for you. If you just release or begin to build whenever you want and timing happens to be terrible, chances are you won’t have many customers, you won’t have any funds, and you won’t have much motivation. On the other hand, if you know the market, know the consumer, and know the industry then your timing is going to be excellent. And with good timing comes opportunity. Now opportunities can be great or horrible, you won’t know, but when you have excellent timing, you will at least have opportunities to try. This is because opportunity strikes at the right time and in the right place. You never hear people say “It was terrible timing but there were tons of opportunities.” That almost doesn’t even make sense. Good timing can make your world, but poor timing can destroy it.
Effects of Good Timing
Alright, so we know poor timing is terrible and good timing is fantastic, but you’re probably wondering where exactly does good timing get you? Simply put, good timing gets you a large customer base with need of which you can fulfill. It also usually entails optimal funding, opportunities as we mentioned earlier, recognition, and revenue. There is an abundant supply of examples of companies that have or had great timing; you’ll probably recognize most of them too as they are very successful because of their timing. *Note* Good timing does not guarantee a company or product eternal or even lasting success, there are many fads that had great timing but that’s all they ever were. So let’s introduce a very recognizable company that had amazing timing and is prevalent throughout the world today. McDonald’s may be the ultimate example of impeccable timing and lasting success. Now I know they may not have the best rep in terms of food or various other aspects, but you cannot deny they make a killing every year and are probably the most recognizable company in the world. They even made a movie recently about the man who really set McDonald’s into motion. So what do I mean when I say they had impeccable timing. Well, the company was founded in 1955, the U.S. was experiencing and economic boom coupled with rapid expansion and consumerism. People sought out ways to make their lives easier and faster. McDonalds’ fast food too advantage of exactly that and exploded. They entered in a great economy and already had a consumer base hungry for their innovated way of serving. So, they began at a time when the market flourished, the customers were consuming, and the opportunity for innovation was abundant.
Popular apps also demonstrate the effects of perfect timing. There have been many extremely successful apps and games that gained their popularity because of when they were released rather than their creativity or quality. A perfect example of this is the game Flappy Bird that came out a several years back. The game, in all its simplicity, involved tapping to get a small pixelated bird past Super Mario-esque plumbing pipes. The graphics weren’t great and the game play was just a variance of an endless runner, yet miraculously the game became an instant success. After several months, due to the massive revenue and popularity gained, the developer decided to remove it. So what caused this simple tap game to acquire the raving popularity that it achieved? There are a few answers to that question and the first is that it was developed and released at a perfect time in the market. At the time it was made smart phones were truly beginning to reach greatness and ability. More and more people were also buying them too and the basic phones were becoming less and less common to buy. This meant that most people owned a smart phone that could handle more fast paced games; not to mention that this majority of people were also predominately teenagers and young adults who quite frankly are addicted to time wasting games. The developer likely knew his audience and knew the market was in a prime state for a pointless yet addicting game like his own. This simple combination of consumers who crave products like this and phones that can handle it well created the perfect timing that is oh so important.
Timing Isn’t EVERYTHING
You’re probably thinking surely not every company could time perfectly when to be created, and you would be absolutely correct in that assumption. Not every business or product did amazingly right when it was produced. Some took decades upon centuries to gain the recognition they have today. Timing is a great deal, but hypocritically it isn’t everything. Most certainly it is possible to work hard to get a product or business popular and successful. Many companies, products, and ideas have come about not necessarily because of great timing but because of determination and hard work. For example, shopping carts were widely rejected when they first came about. People thought they were odd and unnecessary. So in order for his invention to be accepted, the creator actually hired fake shoppers to walk around grocery stores pushing his new product around as a way to demonstrate their usefulness as well as to trick other consumers that “everyone” was using them. It sounds outrageous really, but if you walk into just about any store in the world, you will see people using them. He may not have had great timing, but the inventor of the shopping cart persisted and eventually tricked people into widely accepting this common shopping tool.
From looking into the history of many companies or products we can see how important a roll timing plays in level of success. Yes, timing isn’t all there is to popularity, but it sure plays a large part. Overall, the important message to gain from this article is to study and understand your surroundings. If you’re thinking of starting a business, understand the market and economy in its current state, understand your audience and their desires at the time, and make sure you are ready to take on the feat of running a company or producing a product. Sure it’s nice to be ahead of the game, but being ahead of your time isn’t always a good thing.
Author: Ben Delamater