In 2003, I started a business called WorkoutSolution.com. I recruited a handful of fitness coaches including former Mr Universe Andre Maille to become a coach on the website. And the idea was to connect clients with world class coaches through video. There were technical difficulties like the videos being choppy in those days and connecting payment to my site was a nightmare but the bigger problem was that no one was ready to buy.
At 19 years old, I had spent every dollar I had on this. Every time I told people about the idea they said it was great but when it came down to swiping their credit card they didn’t want to do it. Everyone was scared to purchase online in those days. The timing wasn’t right and I had to shut it down and consider it a learning experience. 14 years later and the idea is just gaining traction.
I say this to you because I was at a technology conference a few weeks ago where hundreds of startup companies all showcased their products and services. The technologies I came across were cool, useful and bound to provide a ton of value. But when talking to a lot of the founders I found out that they had never sold it to anyone yet. Most didn’t even have one customer using their product or service at the time of the conference.
Then I came upon serial entrepreneur Bill Gross who gathered data from hundreds of companies to see what factors made start ups fail and others succeed. He looked at the idea, the business model, the team, the funding and the timing. He concluded that timing was the most important factor of them all.
Before putting any work into a business idea, first find out if people will pay for it.
Timing is everything.
Also published on Medium.