The habit of learning is essential for your success. And – as have been the case for centuries – one of the main methods of learning is reading. Many great people in history are avid readers. The question is: how can we read more effectively? Unfortunately, there is a common misconception here. The misconception is this: To read effectively, you must read fast.
I like to read the stories of great people, and recently I read the story of Andrew Carnegie. It’s an inspiring story; I learned a lot from it. Here I’d like to share an important lesson I learned from it with you. The lesson comes from the contrast between Andrew Carnegie and his father, Will Carnegie. Will Carnegie was a handloom weaver. That’s a job he had had for years, and life was good. But then the situation changed. The 19th century Industrial Revolution was reaching its peak, and machines replaced a lot of manual labor. As a result, there was less and less demand for his craft as people could get cheap, mass-produced products instead.
If you were a startup founder, what would you identify as your most important factor for success? To find the answer, Bill Gross did an extensive study that covered hundreds of startups in multiple industries. He examined five factors as possible answer: ideas, teams, business model, funding, and timing. He then shared his findings in a TED talk. As it turns out, the most important factor is timing. It’s not the ideas, teams, or business model. It’s the timing. If you start your startup at the right time, there is a good chance that you will succeed. But if you don’t, the odds are against you.