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The single biggest reason why start-ups succeed | Bill Gross

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Bill Gross has founded a lot of start-ups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people's, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others — and surprised even him. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gross_the_single_biggest_reason_why_startups_succeed Follow TED news on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/tednews Like TED on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TED Subscribe to our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector
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Text Comments (1327)
Roger Martin (15 hours ago)
Wow - thanks - I'll never forget about time and trends - the following trend maybe well worth looking at - https://markethive.com/rogers10x/page/rogers10x Time will soon tell us more...
Peter Christian (3 days ago)
Agree totally. What he says is what my experiences have been with clients and my own company. Pay attention to this and you will do well.
mysti (6 days ago)
I can relate to you Bill, i really believe that timing is very important cz there is huge competition, ideas are born in every corner of the world but executing on time is all that matters
John Law (7 days ago)
the leader should take care of all those criterias
John Law (7 days ago)
startup burn money culture is the worst
Dean Ketsalee (10 days ago)
This guy invented adwords that Sergey and Larry page had to settle the lawsuit and made billions from it.
chris murphy (10 days ago)
i know this is 4 years ago but isnt it around 80-90% fail..
David (11 days ago)
3:40 My research indicates that this is a better system: 10% luck 20% skill 15% concentrated power of will 5% pleasure 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name!
Luis Pereza (1 day ago)
David i got that reference :)
oliver jo (12 days ago)
time window
Xyles7 (13 days ago)
I mean just from thinking about these 5 factors... They influence each other and I don't think that they are rankable.
Terry Ennison (13 days ago)
This website helps you name businesses https://www.squadhelp.com/r/caesar
Will Kalas (14 days ago)
Don’t 70% of startups fail?
Zeba Kazi (16 days ago)
There is an amazing speech by a Harvard University lecturer Whitney Johnson where she has talked about the future of work and the expanding workforce with peopleHum. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5_uoxUyVA4
ThunderousGlare (16 days ago)
summary: there should be some event/trend/phenomena happening that would push your idea.
mBabe (18 days ago)
1:45 So he thinks he's better than Iron Mike. What a snob!
Chandler (18 days ago)
Wouldn't too much funding at the wrong time disrupt that factor?
hussein saab (19 days ago)
What’s wrong with mike Tyson? He’s a very intelligent human being.
Kelin Norris (14 days ago)
hussein saab I thought that was shady too.
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Tzvetan Petkov (22 days ago)
The whole concept should be put differently. It's the Idea and than it's turning it into Business. That's it! Based on that we can contemplate the contributing factors. Timing comes first! Than the execution/team, than it's the business model and funding.
Xuân Nguyễn (23 days ago)
Vẫn là câu thiên thời địa lợi nhân hoà
Shalin Porwal (26 days ago)
The company culture has a foot in productivity rates, employee satisfaction and other key factors of business development. Learn how to upscale your business with the help of company culture on our blog here: https://www.peoplehum.com/blog/hr/systemized-company-culture-and-business-upscaling/#bl
Nikola Markovic (27 days ago)
I don't understand percentages, 42+32+28+24+14=140% ??
skaterfugater (28 days ago)
no wonder i went bancrupt in 1973 with my idea for a chatroulette. in a daily newspaper
Ficky Kurniawan (28 days ago)
Hmmm "Timing" ? I called it Luck
Nikola Markovic (27 days ago)
Me too! :)
Lars la Cour Poulsen (29 days ago)
But he only measured the 5 he came up with from the beginning and is concluding about 🤷🏻‍♂️
Tikus Keriting (30 days ago)
Great Startups In the nutshell: "Create idea from current problem in the world"
Firm Learning (1 month ago)
Interesting perspective on start-ups! After working for McKinsey for 6 years, I decided to start a YouTube channel to share my experiences in business. Would love you to check it out if you would like to learn from what I experienced!
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Goth Pop TV (1 month ago)
0:05 video hasn’t even started and I know the answer: *determined owners that work 16 hours a day to make it happen*
Carolette Wright (1 month ago)
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." Too Funny. I explained it differently on my channel, but this definitely give a clear visual - it get's straight to the "punch". LOL.
Daniel Beck (1 month ago)
Just not be too accurate on business plan. And if customer ask you something outside your range - try to find out if you would have more customers if the asked thing would be inside your range. I started with small electronic gadgets for end consumers and succeed with way different stuff, have my own working bench and instead of the „old“ idea of selling electronics a new one came up for creating stuff for specialized customers. I went away from my business plan. Nobody knows what market needs. And if someone think he knows it first, he will either rich very fast or having a big fail. But the percentage of failing is higher. Ps: I‘m german, not be too rude of my gammar skills :D
Nickelodeon Tyer (1 month ago)
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Andre "the book man" Page (1 month ago)
If Andrew Yang was President entrepreneurialism would boom 💥 across the country!
Md. Rabiul Alam Hridoy (1 month ago)
Timing... Ha!!!🤔
Sifiso Nkabinde (1 month ago)
Am I the only one who clicked on this thinking it said Bill Gates?
sfszkf ssfi (1 month ago)
so, whats the point?
Yong San Chia (1 month ago)
the only question you have to repeatedly ask yourself is 'will enough people want it?'. it directly questions your informed intuition, and it will tell you if it's a bad or good idea. timing and all the other crap is just making simple stuff complicated. and investors like complicated stuff. they like graphs and 'research' and etc. they don't want to put their money on the line on something that feels 'simple'. because it makes them scared and failure will result in more regret due to them 'not asking for more evidence'. so if you want to build a startup, ask yourself this question all the time. the 'timing' and all the other crap are for dumb investors.
528Hertz Clinic (1 month ago)
Really nice video
K K Sram (1 month ago)
Just timimg itself doesnt make you success. The execution by good teamwork at the initial stages should be tremendous to make it appear that the timing is perfect. What he talking about is the already successful companies, and ignoring the initial effort data., i think. When Youtube introduced its by its uniqueness it spread so fast.
Peter Christian (1 month ago)
Powerful insights that startups should pay attention to.
Jaron White (1 month ago)
Okay that's great but we need solutions here, Bill
Stop Some Guy without a moustache (1 month ago)
Thought it was Bill Gates but it was Bill Gross😂😂
Irv Official (1 month ago)
What a great talk.
shiva rama krishna pabba (1 month ago)
I was click baited by my misread eyes to think that this is a Bill Gates ted talk. But turns out this is just Gross.
ninjedi (1 month ago)
i too love hearing bullshit
Mekorita (1 month ago)
timing aka suply and demand is no 1 who would have guessed Kappa
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Man Ape (1 month ago)
4:09 Top 5 factors in success across more than 200 companies Timing 42%, Team Execution 32%, Idea "Truth" Outlier 28%, Business Model 24%, Funding 14% Right thing, right people, right place, right time.
Fabricio Alves (1 month ago)
Admiro de mais pessoas inteligentes, de sucesso, visionários como vc, parabéns e muito obrigado por nos passar tanto conhecimento !
Dirk-Ulrich Heise (1 month ago)
Starts with "make the world a better place" = Healing the world = TIKKUN OLAN. Next, "human potential" = HumanPotential Movement, Esalem (?) institute cult madness. Nah, I'll pass. thanks, that cost only 5 seconds.
Alex S. Gabor (2 months ago)
Thanks #TED and #BillGross for the #Infinitology of #Startups #SaveYourPennies for #SnapChange
Abhinav Marwal (2 months ago)
very well said sir...
Vitor Hugo (2 months ago)
If you think about it, in the speaker's conceptual scheme, "Timing" and "Idea" are intrinsically interconnected (not that he has presented them as such). An idea is only relevant (or "outlier" in a given market) if it is conceived in its proper timing.
ALF (2 months ago)
90%+ of all startups fail lmao
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maniradiography (2 months ago)
Very powerful video, but cant timing be solved by consistency? Keep doing what you believe in even in the greatest challenges until it's time comes?
Goh Kee Khai (2 months ago)
It's All about Gritness...The grit to keep on going, going and going....
Tushar Bhala (2 months ago)
You only know the timing is right in hindsight. Variables for 'its the right time', are too many to know at the time to launch.
The Evolutionist (2 months ago)
Timing is so non-essential, it's actually 100% random, it depends WETHER you have the idea, because if you do get the idea then that's probably because there was an obvious fix for some problem at hand and dozens of people probably had it. Without execution, timing is just random nothing.
pete gerow (2 months ago)
Ok, I really believe that I am being watched from now on......because I was having a cup of tea on my work desk and was thinking about two startup ideas and never on searched anything related on the web, things like how to do it or anything else, and then boom youtube algorithm suggests this video which I am really grateful for now because I learned a lot.
frankmillions 0 (2 months ago)
this guy just telling bunch of people about his failures and getting paid. what a life
Solaiman (2 months ago)
The first time 200 trees has been planted, the second time is now. : Chinese proverbs
new vids (2 months ago)
The best thing is no music
Carter Price (2 months ago)
Timing...aka people in the real world actually value what you are offering.
Odilkhon Khojaev (2 months ago)
Thanks great advices. #Respect
Karan Sarin (2 months ago)
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Agence Ajiad Voyage et Tourisme (2 months ago)
nice video
Shivadhar Soma (2 months ago)
While I agree to his point, nobody knows when is the best time. The 6th aspect that is missing here is the Entrepreneur's PASSION. Passion leads to perseverance and that is what is needed to hold on for longer time. Else, even if you time it well, you could lose if there is no team, funding or business model. We have had many companies who came into limelight, but disappeared overnight. That's the reason why super successful startup CEOs give credit to luck (which is nothing but being there at the right time).
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Cuachicqueh (3 months ago)
Came here expecting BS...left with actual advice.
Draxper (3 months ago)
This entire speech completely applies to youtuber's content success as well
Ultraman Leo (3 months ago)
he has filtered the things you need to focus first in building a business. this is great. thanks
CSTV Global (3 months ago)
This is a great informative video. He's completely right, timing is the biggest factor when starting up a business. This was a breath of fresh air for me.
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Mark Kram (3 months ago)
0:13
Victoria Films (3 months ago)
Basically what you re saying is that the key factor is when there is a demand waw what a brillant talk. Cant believe how useless are the people that talk about business. Where are those that don't talk?
Ritze007 (3 months ago)
It would have been interesting if he had put objective, rather than subjective factors to compare the companies. Otherwise, he will always be biased by successes. For timing, it could be to figure out when and how many time a similar idea has been started already for example.
Prince Banini (3 months ago)
me finding this video was perfect timing. just what i need at the right time.
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Enclo Creations (3 months ago)
This is why I’m going to make a watch company.
Vertigo (2 months ago)
What type of watch? Swiss made?
Netta Kanoho (3 months ago)
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Dalitso Botha (3 months ago)
Awesome, Thanks.
Siva S (4 months ago)
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Siva S (4 months ago)
@2 year journey https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQLB8lqe-nhQqaI-ygEqQhA
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Janiqua Nettles (4 months ago)
Thank you so much Bill Gross for sharing this wonderful data about about the success points for a powerful startup. Timing is everything! Blessings and gratitude! ✨🙏
AppsCo Team (4 months ago)
Amazing speech!
Andy Potanin (4 months ago)
You could classify nearly everything, good and bad, that happens in life as "timing".
Andy Potanin (4 months ago)
Ideas are cheap - execution is king.
Andy Potanin (4 months ago)
I think something often overlooked is team cohesion and ability to stay on the same page for years while pivoting, improvising, evolving and executing. Obviously everybody needs to be paid well, but beyond that there needs to be something else to help keep and grow the right mix of top-notch professionals in startup. That being said, great analysis!
Marine Blue (4 months ago)
wonderful explanation thank you.
venomTang (4 months ago)
Timing feels like another way of saying luck
frilink (4 months ago)
Timing = Luck
Ryan Han (4 months ago)
This can be extremely biased and inaccurate. He used a tiny data set of 20 companies and labelled each one by himself after knowing whether the companies succeeded or not. So basically I can find another 20 companies, labelled them myself and achieve completely different results. In addition, the statistical analysis he uses is crude. I believe more than one interaction effect (eg. idea + timing) should be added. Overall the result he got from all this is just total bullshit and should never be trusted in any way.
Bala Ganeshan v (4 months ago)
One of the most important thing said about start up.
SalesPros (4 months ago)
He may sound right to certain degree of retrospective, however the PETZL analytics perspective would have proven not on favor.; scientifically. Because on his view a reference from his own personal experiences, that is only related to specific market; tech companies. Worse yet he could not predict or forecast most of these mentioned businesses -Uber, AirBnB- in his graph meet failure. *So were their start-up at the right time?* Most business in Tech industry were not a success based on timing as if they founders were sitting at a bus stop of opportunity. AirBnB 4:24 was not because a recessionary gap. We also need to see Supply and Demand, as it happened to Singaporean Companies Booking _(1996)_ and Agoda _(1998)_ focused on Hotels only, because Hostels were not profitable, they were too traditional and saturated, someone said "let's change the trends". Why AirBnB was passed on? Investors saw it coming... it was a risky Business to try to mess with Real Estate Industry. UBER 2:52 a USA transportation company with the " *Ride Sharing* " idea was not new, this concept was already used in Panama City C.A and in the Bronx, New York among gypsy Cabs. In respective, the automobile was the result of the steam engine from the Concept *Create The Necessity* and definitely not a success story from Timing, We see it in the Home appliance industry they produced then take to market. Ok let's suppose timing is the main factor, but Funding is the motivating factor without funding Timing is not important, ' *_the bus is coming, i don't have enough change_* '. Then Skilled team, we see many great project fails (see TechCrunch) due to the scarce of capability in the Tech Industry universities are not producing qualified and skilled tech (data mining) students fast enough. Thinking that Timing is more important than the others, think again, such idea may place your mind at a standby mode, imagining Clint Eastwood telling you * "ask yourself , Do i feeling Lucky.. Punk" * over and over. *Belif and Risk* are more important, investors take risk based on faith all the times, even is is not the right time.. yet, and with the right management and Sale proposition the chances of success are greater!
Nguyễn Thanh Huỳnh (4 months ago)
This TED talk description does not do him justice as an authority in this topic. FYI, Bill Gross is the ONLY person in history to have started/ incubated 7+ Unicorns (Companies that exceed 1 Billion dollar valuation). Elon Musk barely has 3. I know him from Tony Robbins' Business Mastery. So much respect to him.
Pranav Verma (4 months ago)
It's not about the right timing nor the right place but the right process, perfect time for god sake will never come you have to manipulate and modify your business according to the ecosystem and environmental
Naj Qazi (4 months ago)
Listen to Tony Robbins podcast on this guy. This guy is unbelievable. Check it out: https://www.tonyrobbins.com/podcasts/unicorn-founder-bill-gross/
Jones SARFO (4 months ago)
This video is significantly important and a must watch for everyone considering startup. Each factor he mentioned has its significant important after thinking through it. I always thought idea will be a high important among all when considering startup, since without idea one cannot even dare think of startup. I guess idea will mean nothing if not executed right. Indeed, timing is the most important because it will help you determine when the market or technology changes, and the right time to acquire the most customers with specific prices. For team, you can not realize your vision without the team. Hiring the right team is extremely important for any startup, because it is the team that plays a key role in understanding and executing the vision. Then follow with idea, business model and funding which I strongly agree with.