This is a guest blog by Giuseppe Marzio, PhD, Founder at Chiaro | Strategic Storytelling.
In the world of marketing and innovation, timing is everything.
As Marc Andreessen, the legendary co-founder of a16z, once said, “There are no bad ideas in tech – only bad timing.” This statement holds true for the life sciences sector and any industry where innovation is critical to success.
Having a good idea is not enough. You must convince your audience that your idea is relevant and timely.
This element of timing was described by Aristotle more than 2000 years ago. He called it Kairos, the ancient Greek word for the right, critical, opportune moment, the “timeliness” of your words or actions.
‘The favor will be great if the recipient is in pressing need, or if the times and the circumstances are important or difficult,’ Aristotle.
Like an archer preparing to fire an arrow, timing is crucial. If you shoot too early or too late, you’ll miss the target. But if you get the timing right, you cannot miss.
When positioning a new technology or company, it’s crucial to look outside and consider what’s happening in the world. What has changed? What should your audience be aware of?
By grounding your pitch in a changing world, you’re bringing urgency into the ring. When the world is changing, no one wants to be left behind.
Why was the world more ready for Facebook than for MySpace a few years earlier?
Why did we greet Google with open arms when AltaVista had already brought us the same technology?
And in the life sciences sector, why did nearly every vaccine company that considered working on mRNA in the 2000s decide to invest its resources elsewhere, whereas BioNTech catapulted into the limelight as a global pioneer in the COVID-19 race to vaccine discovery and emerged as one of the pandemic’s greatest success stories?
Crises are exemplary drivers of innovation because they make it easy for your audience to visualize the impact of the technology. But not every story has to be connected to pandemics, social uprisings, or global issues. You can find just as much urgency in the smaller stuff: a new position paper by the FDA or a key opinion leader calling for solutions just like yours.
Sequoia Capital knows that the most effective way to pitch an idea is to start by answering, “Why now?” What’s the discontinuous shift, breakthrough, or innovation that opens the window to create a substantial new company? Your company?
“Time is on my side, yes it is.”
The Rolling Stones