Bill Gross: Timing is everything when it comes to a startup’s success.

Gross, a serial entrepreneur, says there’s a reason most startups fail: It’s not the right time for them to exist.

Gross analyzed 200 companies (he helped start 100 of them through his company Idealab) and found that the most successful were all started at a point when there was a genuine need for their product or services. In fact, he says in his talk, timing accounted for 42% of the difference between success and failure.

Other factors — like your team and your business model — matter a lot. But Gross advises entrepreneurs to think hard about whether it’s exactly the right moment to launch their business.

The best way to really assess timing is to really look at whether consumers are really ready for what you have to offer them,” he says. “And to be really, really honest about it, not be in denial about any results that you see.”

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