Why Now

Note to my future self…

For a while now I’ve been trying to look for a good framework to think about the framework how to answer the proverbial question for founders: “Why Now?”

“Why Now?” is such an important question because the answer to it constitutes part of your core competitive advantage.

I came across this article by Avichal Garg outlining five different ways to answer this question and these include:

  1. New Technology: products that are only possible now due to new tech.
  2. New Regulation: products that can only exist thanks to some new legislation.
  3. New Business Model: new way of capturing value (e.g. ads to support free content)
  4. New Distribution Channel: new user acquisition channel opens up
  5. New Shift in Consumer Behavior: taste/behavior changes for a substantial user base
  6. [Bonus] Neglected Market: opportunity created by a vacuum in the market or a perceived high barrier of entry (i.e. the problem feels too hard for founders ).

A great argument that Avichal makes and I agree with him is that a lot of startups argue that they are capitalizing on a shift in consumer behavior but that isn’t actually the case. This is super important to keep in mind for us as founders.

Takeaway

This framework is a fantastic starting point because it’s simple yet comprehensive. The next step moving forward is to use this framework to identify what would be our “why now?” for whatever idea we decide to pursue. That’s it!

Now back to work…