Way, way back in late 2016, when I first had the idea that voice was going to be significant, I had no idea that 39 months later, voice would just begin to be a Thing. To call this early is an understatement. But then, I have a tendency to be early. But this, well, this was E A R L Y!
Yep, years ago I remember pitching a VC with another startup. He told me that startups fall into two classes: (1) EARLY or (2) LATE and investors hate to be early and really hate to be late. So, timing is just called luck. And, you won’t know it’s well-timed until years later, and then they call it lucky timing. One VC even said that “being early is the same as being wrong.” What an A-hole. No. Being early just means you are early – being visionary and vision is critical to any successful enterprise. But first, let’s define what is considered early. I think it’s early if you don’t have a customer willing to buy what you are selling. Then, there is an argument for product/market fit.
Being early without a product is called R&D and R&D isn’t financeable, not since the mid 1990’s. Being really early is usually a disaster financially, because there is no market and no customers to buy what you are selling, so even having a product doesn’t matter.
In bricks and mortar, this is called the “rule of three”. When the first visionary fails because they were too early or ill-equipped to succeed and sells at a discount to the next fool. Then, they think by just adding a sign that says “Under new Management” will change anything. That’s like posting your business mission statement on a commercial website. No on gives a shit what your mission is. Investors may, but consumers, not so much. Then, Low & Behold, the lawyers for #3, scoop up the heavily discounted, now probably bankrupt #2 for such a low price, all they need to do is execute marginally to succeed.
In the technology sector, one must have balls of steel to be visionary and deep passion with an unfailing believe that you are right; not delusional like your Mother-in-law probably thinks you are. But one also must know that the delta between viability and sustainability is capital. Without a product, that’s hard to secure. And, no one can ever know how long being early will be. So, usually, the well capitalized entrepreneur wins. And, the early-bird visionary loses or won’t realize the fully potential. But then, there’s another idea…but it’s probably too early for that one too…and so the cycle goes.