Friday, January 18, 2013

Too Early, Too Late

If you want to make big money in business, especially in the tech business, you can forget brilliant ideas, great business plans, a fantastic team, great backing. That's all incidental. It all comes down to being in the right place at the right time with the right idea.

In Silicon Valley this is a business strategy, where startups target weaknesses in 'the majors' and try to get snapped up very early in their development.

Venture capital investment is positively long term as it looks for three to ten year returns (depending on the fund term).

If your business plan involves more than six months of development time you're doing something wrong:
  1. You've over-specified your product
  2. You're not leveraging existing technology well enough
  3. You need a better technology team
  4. You're a perfectionist
  5. You're indicisive and allow scope creep
Or any combination of the above.

The problem for anyone starting a business is that you have no visibility on timing. 'You never see the future as it rushes past you..' is a saying that I fequently use. If you're not too early, you're too late and neither situation is ideal. As entrepreneurs from Bill Gates to Mark Cuban will testify, you chose your moment. 

I write all of this because we are approaching one of these sisemic moments in the video industry. We are seeing breifs that ask for everything in the cloud, and others that require tape duplication services. Most briefs involve both. Clients realise that they need to plan for a totally digital, cloud based future, but that conectivity and process dictates that the time isn't quite right for them yet.

And there is a whole ecosystem of organisations from Deluxe, NuLion, Technicolor, Brightcove and Aframe through to our own TV Everywhere  companies that are vying for the rich pickings that will arise from this. But it's still too early in 2013, isn't it? Or is it too late ?