Timing is a double-edged sword. If used correctly, it will result in great success. Just as Leo Tolstoy, a great writer, once said, “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
Now, timing is more important than ever, thanks to the ever-growing needs of humans. The solution to one problem may prove irrelevant the next day. During my years working at Midtrans, engaging with small to big startups, I’ve learned that the core recipe for a successful startup is knowing the “why”, “what” and “when.”
Preparation is the foundation of all businesses, including startups. It seems simple, recognizing the problems that people have and providing the right solutions at the right time. If you’re confident with the usability of your product, then what you need to do next is finding the perfect timing to market it. The tricky part? The right solution may not be received well by the public if you miscalculate the timing.
Let’s look at a very intriguing case of Gojek as a startup during its first years. They launched its online ride-sharing service app that eventually grew into a digital ecosystem to fulfill the demand. Moreover, Gojek has also provided other services, like the e-money GoPay.
What would have happened if Gojek in its early years had launched GoPay in 2011? Trust me, nobody would bat an eye. Ten years back, people would be very confused as to how to use it and why they should use it. Therefore, the right step to build a successful startup is first seeing the market needs, then evolve from there as new demands start to appear.
However, we all know that it’s easier said than done, right? From my experience, there are three crucial steps on how to master timing as a startup:
- Explore the market — know the why, you may or may not know the friction/problem you want to solve yet, either way, you can start from the small step, browsing, you can use Google or another platform to gather or strengthen your belief/ideas . There is plenty of information open for the public that you can utilize for your market research.
- Market the product — know what to launch, if no one ever launched it, just launch a product that solves the problem/friction, if a similar product has been launched, ensure you solve the core problem/friction, but better. People will always try something new, ensure you ride the wave, and steal their heart. Don’t launch an overkill product, as it will make the user confused.
- Evaluate the products — know the when, it’s great to be confident with your product, but let’s not be overconfident. Evaluate whether your product has fulfilled the consumers’ basic needs or not. Improve what’s lacking, and evolve what’s good as the time goes by.
As you do these steps, you’ll know you’ve mastered the timing when your startup has high user growth and high engagement. It means that the consumers are more than willing to leave reviews and recommend your widely used products to their friends.
If you feel like you’ve failed in timing, don’t hang your head low just yet. Every moment serves the best timing for different things.
A few years before, the public didn’t understand the function and benefits of Midtrans products, but it’s fine because we believe that it was the best timing to educate the public about payment gateway, and here we are, serving hundreds of thousands of merchants to accept online transactions. So, always listen to the market, believe in your product, and keep moving forward. Eventually, you will be able to master timing in business as well.