There is a great TED Talk you should watch that went live yesterday. In the talk Bill Gross who is the founder of IdeaLab and has founded a lot of startups talks about some research he has done about why startups succeed and others fail.

“He has 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.”

And that factor is timing. It is his proposition that the one thing that contributed most to a business’s success was timing. The startups that came out at the right time succeeded and the ones that were early or late didn’t do as well.

Two other factors that he felt contributed to why startups succeed were the characteristics of the founding team and the degree of differentiation of the idea.

Unfortunately, as a recipe for success, that leaves a little bit lacking. You really should ask the question, then: “How do I get my timing right and how do I know this is a good time for my business?”

I think I have an answer for the question of timing. While I haven’t done the quality of the research that Bill has, I’ve been doing similar research for 15 years, trying to figure out why startups succeed. But more on that tomorrow.

Watch the talk, it’s only about six minutes long, and return tomorrow for my take on how you can get your timing right.