Timing the market

I’m convinced that timing the market at the early-stage is damn near impossible for both founders and investors.

The times we’ve felt confident betting on the market it seems like we’ve gotten smoked and the times the market was our biggest question mark it feels like we’re in promising shape.

Two great examples of this within our portfolio are Ionic and Terminus.

When we backed Ionic in 2014, what there was of a market was pretty stale.  Leveraging web technologies in mobile app development had a sort of bad connotation given prior failures in the industry.  The incredible momentum behind Ionic today makes me a little embarrassed about how nervous I was about the market when we invested.

When we backed Terminus in 2015, in our actual investment committee deck the biggest risk factor was if Account Based Marketing would even become a thing.  Like ever.  Having since become arguably the hottest segment of MarTech, it’s sort of laughable to think about the momentum behind ABM now vs. when we invested.

What is consistent about both of these examples is that the founders really didn’t try to time the market.  They took the market into their own hands to drive success.

Alongside their product, Ionic built and engaged a truly global community of developers to work with them.  Jointly propelling the product forward.

Alongside their product, Terminus engaged all stakeholders of the nascent ABM space (including potential competitors) to jointly lift up the market to something larger than any one company could have done by themselves via their FlipMyFunnel conferences.

If you’re thinking of starting a company, don’t try to time the market.  Just go.

If you’re an early-stage founder, don’t try to time the market.  Either conserve cash and hope to be alive when the market suddenly turns your way, or better yet, try to creatively bring the market to you.

If you’re an early -stage investor, don’t try to time the market.  You’re not as smart as you think you are.

get in touch: Arthur Ventures; patrick@arthurventures.com

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