Mark Andreesen, co-founder of the Venture Capital firm Andreesen Horowitz, once said in his signature provocative style that, “there are no bad ideas, only early ones.” He made his point with the poster child of the dot-bomb era, Pets.com. This startup took $300M of investor capital from IPO to liquidation in less than a year. A decade later, however, Chewy.com raised a similar amount, and, with a similar business model, doubled its revenue each year for six years running, culminating in a $3.3B acquisition by retailer, PetSmart.
Time wouldn’t have saved Pets.com – there wasn’t enough of it – but timing might have.
Over the past two decades of internet time a vast library – of both successes and failures – has been added to the history books. These decades have also seen exponential growth in available computing power and algorithm sophistication. With the right simulation, big data, and machine learning we are now much more prepared to make the right call.
One of the new tools at our disposal is the analytic engine developed by Growth Science called MESE™. Inovo, in partnership with Growth Science, has developed the Predictive Testing of Opportunities (PTO) service that is based on the MESE engine to give innovative companies and people better insight into the Horizon 3 opportunities they are considering. The case stories you will read here provide examples about how this AI-based, analytic tool has been used to predict both successes and failures from the well-known to the obscure. Hopefully you will see examples you can relate to some of the opportunities you have been involved with and get a better understanding of how this new service can help.
It will take time to know for sure the outcomes of the opportunities we decide on today. Horizon 3 growth opportunities play out over years. But the use of computational assistance got its start long enough ago that we can now assess its accuracy (much better than humans) and judge its potential (significant). Computers have not yet replaced the role of strategic thinkers. Maybe someday they will. But making decisions on strategic opportunities without the use of modern analytics is just asking to become obsolete.