Know What Inning You’re In

As an entrepreneur, we think that the market needs our solution now and can’t understand why it is taking so long to get investors, win customers or attract employees. While this perspective can be exciting, it can also create misalignment of people, financial resources and expectations.
Have you ever looked down the strip in Las Vegas and seen your hotel and decided it was not too far to walk? The backdrop of the strip creates an optical illusion. As you walk, you realize how far away it is. Had you known, you would have prepared differently.

“We WILL be there with you every step of the way.” 

When an idea or product is unique, it is new to the market. This may be what makes it sell, but it is also what makes the market slow to comprehend and adopt your innovation. So, one of the perspectives we must develop is the ability to clearly judge how ready the market is for your solution. In baseball terms, we have to know what inning we are in. Understanding what inning you are in is critical to:

  • establishing the right pace for your company
  • setting expectations for your team and other constituents
  • aligning capital and other resources.

For example, knowing how long it will take for the market to accept your idea is critical to aligning the early employees of the company. Communicating that you are six months away from revenue in a market that really requires eighteen months sets bad expectations for your team, vendors, and especially, investors. Six months in, there will be disappointment from all sides.

This is also important when it comes to investment capital. The amount of capital you need for market viability, and the point in time that you raise it, are largely based on what inning you are in.

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