“It’s not about where we are today, but where we will be tomorrow. History tells us that while you can get there too early, it’s far worse if you arrive there way too late!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Let’s talk about timing.
As they say, timing is everything, particularly when it comes to the issue of getting involved in any particular trend. In the era of acceleration, it becomes even more critical. You’d better make sure you are ready with any trend of importance and relevance because the future might happen before you know it.
I spend a lot of time on stage talking about the issue of timing on stage, particularly in the context of the “Gartner Hypecycle.” It’s been a key go-to on my client innovation guidance for well over 15 years. You’d do well to understand it, particularly given the hype right now around such issues as cryptocurrency.
The other thing about timing? The future is staggered and uneven – it doesn’t happen everywhere all at once. It’s phased by location, sector, and other discrete perspectives. Think about self-driving vehicles – we’ll see them happen in some ways faster, and in other ways, slower. Once, when I was in New Orleans, I saw some crowded streets, and it was the perfect opportunity to talk about the issue of timing.
Here’s the thing: any new technology, trend or idea goes along a curve – it appears, then hits the time of excessive hype and expectations. That is followed by the inevitable collapse of enthusiasm as people realize that it takes a lot of time and effort to implement the future and determine the opportunity that comes from it. But inevitably, both the expectations, ideas,s, and capabilities mature, and the trend becomes a key component for innovation and so much more.
The timing issue? As Kevin Kelly, the founder of Wired noted, “the future happens slowly, and then, all at once.” Any particular trend can bubble along for a time, seemingly inconsequential and of little impact. And then, all of a sudden, it can ‘go supernova’, explode in importance and significance – and suddenly, be everywhere!
That’s why my mantra to “think big, start small, scale fast” gives a key shoutout to timing. “Start small” implies that you should be on board with any particular trend, despite the potential immaturity it might have because you want to make sure that you understand it, have experience with it, know how to work with it – and are ready to go when it “goes supernova!”
Timing the future – it matters!