Timing is Everything

entrepreneurship product

Mon Apr 20 01:30:59 -0700 2009

Joe Krauss says that being early is the same as being wrong. Be a step ahead, not a mile ahead.

One historic example is client-side Java applets. In 1995, Sun correctly predicted the future of software distribution: apps are served to the client just-in-time, avoiding all sorts of problems around software installation, upgrades, and cross-platform compatibility. But they were too early. As a result, their solution was not quite right. The world wasn’t ready, the technology infrastructure wasn’t there, and so their implementation wasn’t good enough to solve the needs of users. It was the right idea, at the wrong time. A few years later, web apps appeared: the right solution, at the right time.

Taking the long view on the direction of technology is wise, because it points us in the right direction. But there’s only one way to get there: one step at a time.