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The key to business success is timing

The key to business success is timing

Insights & Perspectives
A screenshot of the Apple Vision Pro technology used at the 2024 Masters golf tournament

By Chris Runde

This month, I’m modeling James Clear’s popular 3-2-1 blogging method with three intriguing pieces from others; two of my ideas; and one question relating to this month’s topic: Timing.

3 Intriguing Pieces from Others

  1. Bill Gross is the founder of IdeaLab and a serial entrepreneur. His TED Talk analyzing the various factors for startup success is based on extensive research. When I first saw this in 2016, it resonated with me and has been one of my favorite talks because the conclusion is both obvious and a bit unsettling. Watch it yourself to hear the research approach and findings.

  2. Lufthansa Innovation Hub TNMT recently published an outstanding set of research on the state of the Advanced Air Mobility (#AAM) market. Somehow, they collected relatively sensitive data across the #eVTOL vendors on cash flow and burn rates, which are direct indicators of financial stability in the near term. Their analysis suggests the industry is ready for consolidation. This is a high-stakes game if you consider Deloitte projects the AAM market surging to $115B by 2035. Timing and positioning will play a key role in determining the big winners.

  3. Only two years ago, the world was on fire about the #metaverse. We were enthralled with the vision that #VirtualReality (#VR) and #AugmentedReality (#AR) were poised to change how we live, work, and play. I recently revisited Gartner's Metaverse study from 2022 that outlined the elements driving its growth and timing. The study says the metaverse is a long-term play, and probably in the Trough of Disillusionment, on its infamous Gartner hype cycle.

Graph showing the Gartner Hype Cycle

2 Ideas from Me

  1. How do you time the market? Most say it’s impossible. But perhaps you can sway the odds in your favor by getting close to the sweet spot between hype and adoption. I tested an overlay of the Gartner hype cycle (above) and the Innovation Adoption Curve popularized by Everett Rogers in his book Diffusion of Innovations, first published in 1962. 

    Graph showing the adoption of innovation over time

    What if you could hit the Timing Sweet Spot between hype and adoption noted below and optimize the probability of timing your success? This approach allows the early adopters to ride the wave hype while you accelerate your investment as the Slope of Enlightenment starts with the Early Majority and hit the market before the late Majority can react.

    Graph showing the sweet spot between hype cycle and adoption curve

  2. Yet how do you account for luck? That’s pretty tough; but there are ways to increase your odds. As Louis Pasteur famously said, “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” You can create habits and environments that increase your chances of success. This concept of Structured Serendipity can apply to professional careers as well as organizations that want to enhance innovation and business results.

(Bonus idea: A famous proverb says "Man plans; and God laughs." In the end, despite our human preferences and actions, our lives are guided by the grace and will that are not our own.)

1 Question

Think about a time in your life when timing and fate were on your side. What contributed to your success; and how would you recreate it?

Chris Runde is our global Director, Corporate Strategy + Innovation. This is an edited version of his monthly LinkedIn newsletter, Future Builders.

Contact Chris via email or connect with him on LinkedIn and sign up for the newsletter.

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