They’re not. They just feel the same. If you’re early — on your innovation, timing, plan — you’re going to feel vulnerable, afraid, a little worried about facing investors and pundits. But you’re not wrong to be there. You just have to make smart decisions about what to do until everyone else catches up.
Being early gives you insider knowledge. If you arrive at the wedding reception early, you’re the one who knows where the bar is, right? If you arrive at the market early, you get to set the bar. Use insight, metrics and creativity to determine what to measure and how to use the data. Define success in this space, and others will follow you there.
Being early gives you a unique vantage point. If you arrive at the party early, you see who’s arriving with whom and can decide for yourself where to mingle. If you arrive at the market early, you can identify the players coming after you, and decide for yourself who your competition might be, and who your potential partners could be, as well.
Being early isn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. It just means you’re in a place, and using your intuition backed up by data, you can decide for yourself whether it’s the right place at the right time, or if there’s somewhere better to be.
Early can be better; late rarely is.