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Timing markets

Even with the right people and the right vision, a product can still fail in getting product-market fit and becoming widespread. Why? Market timing.

As a natural optimist, I have always underestimated the amount of time that markets take to evolve.

We can observe this in our day to day. In every market, you can find superior products that lag behind in adoption comparing them with the incumbents. Why is that? Why are people using an inferior product if a superior one is available? There are many reasons, but they come from the same root cause: rate of change. I’m referring to rate of change as how fast the market can adjust itself to its most optimal state. Rate of change is how fast people drop SMS for messaging apps, fuel cars for electric cars, upgrade from Windows XP to the newest version, or even drop in-person work for remote work.

Rate of change varies a lot depending on the demographic: geeks and teens are usually the fastest, while others move slower.

Once in a while, there are black swan events that change the tide. For example, COVID-19 will dramatically accelerate the adoption of remote work and the evolution of decentralized organizations.

Timing is also (mostly?) luck. But you can set the right conditions for luck to happen. And if there is one part of wealth creation that you want to get lucky with, it’s timing the market.