What if the secret ingredient to startup success isn’t just what or how, but when? This week on the Innovation Storytellers Show, we’re joined by Paul Orlando, a seasoned entrepreneur and the brain behind four international startup accelerators. Paul is not only a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California but also the author of the thought-provoking book “Why Now: How Good Timing Makes Great Products.”

In our discussion, Paul dives into the often-neglected aspect of timing in business ventures. With a background that spans continents and industries, he shares unique insights on how timing influences the success or failure of products and innovations. From technological shifts and regulatory changes to societal crises, understanding the timing landscape is crucial for any business leader.

Paul doesn’t just stop at theory; he offers practical frameworks and methodologies developed from years of leading innovation labs and accelerators. These tools help entrepreneurs analyze their market position, assess potential risks, and decide if the moment is ripe for their ventures—or if patience might prove more prudent.

Highlighting a compelling case study of YouTube’s launch and acquisition by Google, Paul illustrates the strategic mastery of timing. But perhaps even more intriguingly, he revisits the timeless strategy of being the “picks and shovels” provider in a gold rush, drawing lessons from historical figures like Levi Strauss, whose adaptability turned a practical product into a global fashion staple.

Whether you’re at the helm of a startup, involved in product development, or leading a corporate innovation lab, this episode is a treasure trove of strategies to ensure your initiatives hit the market at just the right time.

Tune in to uncover how you can harness the power of timing to drive your projects to success. What timing drivers have you identified in your industry, and how have they shaped your business decisions? Join the conversation and share your experiences with us!

Name: Paul Orlando
Title: Founder
Company: Startups Unplugged
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Paul Orlando has built four startup accelerators around the world (in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Rome, and remote). He is a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California and runs the on-campus startup incubator program. He is a former startup co-founder and is proud of a win at the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon. His interest is in understanding the “why now” question, or the way timing impacts product success. He now has a book out on that topic, called Why Now: How Good Timing Makes Great Products.