Ever heard of the Gartner Hype Cycle? It’s pretty interesting…
Take a look:
Source: Gartner (2015)
Essentially, it’s a roadmap for the current status and speed of which the world’s technologies are being built, adapted, and forgotten. The speed, of course, is just an estimate to which the technology can be made and utilized by society. What’s most interesting to me is using this tool/estimate as a means to predict resources available in the future. It also teaches that there is no finite number of things available to build on this earth. We can always continue to innovate. We will not run out of problems. We will always need more solutions.
The good news is that people are always building and creating new things.
Begs the question of timing. How important is timing when you are building a business in relation to the status of a technology.
Is the first-mover advantage most effective? Last-mover?
Peter Thiel makes an interesting argument as to why being the last mover is actually most advantageous:
“First mover isn’t what’s important — it’s the last mover. Like Microsoft was the last operating system, and Google was the last search engine.”
The trick however, is to enter the market late enough so as to not be crushed by future competitors, but not so late that the market is already closed off to new entries. A balancing act that is easier to perceive in retrospect, but is something that startups must keep in mind when considering what market to enter, and when to enter.
In summary: valuable technology companies aren’t the ones claiming “first,” they are the ones claiming “last.”
When do you think would be the best time to build a technology? Where is the most money being made?