There is a saying in German which finds its roots in cooking: “Es wird nichts so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird.” — Nothing gets eaten as hot as it has been cooked.
Commonly used as an expression to signify that we often tend to expect things to be worse than they really are, it equally applies to the world we operate in. One where many of us chase the latest and greatest, always trying to be ahead of the curve, capitalizing on the weakest of signals before they become mainstream.
Alas, that is not how things typically work. As discussed in our post on Explorers, Pioneers and Settlers, it regularly doesn’t pay to be the first (or even early) but rather to have the good fortitude to wait until we are getting closer to the point where we are truly ready to cross the chasm and therefore build for scale.
Reality is one which is build on perseverance and being at the right place at the right time. It is as easy to be too early than it is to be too late. (*)
Next time you hear someone breathlessly usher the latest trend dribble – NFTs anyone? – consider that there are nearly never any overnight successes. That stuff takes time. That there is a chasm between early adopters and early majority. That it takes 10,000 hours of practice or 10,000 failed light bulbs to be successful.
It takes time.
(*) Of course, there is always someone making money while the water is still boiling (to stay in the metaphor). But it is incredibly hard to get this right and often sheer luck if you do… Maybe not the most sustainable nor repeatable position…