EPM Principles

How to be Lucky

What is luck?  My definition of Luck is the occurrence of an event that is generally unlikely.  Luck is not a miracle, it is not the occurrence of the impossible.  It is merely the happening of something with (much) less than 50% probability of occurrence.  From this probabilistic context, Luck can be influenced, encouraged, perhaps even manufactured.  

Case in point – it is unlikely that any individual startup will be successful.  Maybe 9 out of 10 fail in the first few years.  It is also unlikely that a startup will be acquired by a major company.  However the odds of being successful and being acquired by a market leading company can be greatly increased if you focus on building something which solves a problem and/or increases convenience for a target customer.  

This was the case for AuthenTec.  A startup which was very nearly part of the 90+% of companies that crash and burn.  A startup which found some degree of success but was very nearly killed by the resulting avalanche of customer requests.  However, what helped AuthenTec get lucky (and indeed they were very lucky), was a focus on solving a real problem and offering a real increase in convenience.  Solving real problems and increasing conveniences – two of the foundations for developing a successful product.  The leadership of AuthenTec continued to focus on these two aspects, despite numerous headwinds to change directions, and from that, they were able to prove that they could create a solution which might, just maybe, meet the demanding standards and requirements of Apple.  For that effort, AuthenTec was acquired by Apple, and their technology went on to become TouchID, a fundamental feature of Apple products for many years, and the tipping point for biometric technology to be adopted en-masse by other consumer electronics companies.  

Thus, if you want to ‘Get Lucky’, identify the requirements for that lucky scenario and then put in regular, diligent, and focused work towards achieving those requirements.

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