Vintages – why now?

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Entrepreneurship / Trends / Uncategorized / Venture Capital

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A recent article in the Harvard Business Review had a thoughtful observation and why certain start-ups are wildly successful.  If you take a longview on the past 20-30 years you see certain ‘vintages’ of categories representing cohorts of world-beating outliers of companies.  If you happen launch a computer company in 1983-1986, a internet company in 1995-998, a social network in 2003-2006 , an app in in 2006-2007, you had a disproportionate chance of becoming a giant.  The thesis is that in each of periods, a fundamental market shift or technologies enabled incredible opportunity, and as a result, birthed outlier vintages.

“Why now?” 

This is one of the most simple yet profound questions you can ask about a product.

What is changing or has changed that will power your start-up into the exceptional?  

Your answer can technological, cultural, legal, economic, or even behavioral, but it better be precise and ideally a confluence of change.

Is this insight your relative secret known to few or are the masses already chasing it?

Of the many talents of exceptional founders, the ability to spot such change and act upon that opportunity is one of the most important, and rare, gifts.

The Author

Early stage investor at Index Ventures

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