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When Starting A Business, Timing is Everything! A Real-Life Example…

Updated: May 4

Timing is a potent, albeit unassuming, character in the entrepreneurial drama. Bill Gross, founder of Idealab, analyzed hundreds of companies and found that timing accounted for 42% of the difference between success and failure. My personal journey attests to this surprising statistic.

Six years ago, I ventured into the territory of online peer-to-peer rental marketplaces. It was an ambitious vision - buoyed by previous successful endeavors in brick-and-mortar rental and tech businesses. The aim was to foster a sustainable, communal ethos of reusing and recycling. I sought to create a marketplace where people could rent out their seldomly used items, thereby offsetting their cost and benefiting the environment.

Yet, pioneering such a vision was an uphill battle. The technology was exorbitantly costly, no insurance company was ready to back us, and most people I spoke to, frankly, thought I had lost it. The concept of renting a canoe or chainsaw from a neighbor was alien and perceived as unnecessary. Our initial progress was painfully slow. We had to literally populate the rental listings ourselves using other people's phones.

However, fast forward six years to today, and the narrative has dramatically shifted. We recently launched the “Rent Anything Store," and the response has been incredible. We've had almost 50 organic sign-ups within a week, without any direct advertising. The concept is catching on globally, with interest from Regional Partners across cities in the US, Canada, Dubai, and Costa Rica. The sight of rental items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace or Craig’s List is no longer rare.

This welcome acceptance is primarily due to major shifts in the cultural and economic landscape, proving how timing can make or break a new business. Consumers today are more eco-conscious, favoring sustainability over material possession. The sharing economy has exploded, predicted to reach $335 billion by 2025 (PwC), and people are open to the idea of borrowing and lending assets.

The Rent Anything Store’s improved circumstances are a testament to this change in timing. Even the emergence of competitors has become an asset, amplifying the message of peer-to-peer rentals.

The moral of this transformative journey is clear: an innovative idea, no matter how brilliant, needs the right time to bloom. As the saying goes, "Timing, indeed, is everything."


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