How many Nigerians know that the ATM had been originally introduced by Savannah Bank (now "extinct") in 1988. Do we all remember or know this? I doubt many ever know that that now ubiquitous machine was such a novelty in Nigeria at a point in time. Back then, Nigerians couldn't fathom how a box would carry all the cash they needed and supply them simply by using a card. The card carrying culture was as foreign to us as snow is to Nigerian climate. Today, ATMs litter every corner of major cities and are everywhere you have presence of banks. Did Savannah bank lose out on that opportunity? Yes they did because ATMs back then were so expensive yet they were unable to harness anything out of the opportunity they introduced into the Nigeria market because they were in:
1) a regulated industry for which in the absence of policy direction coming from the regulatory body, CBN, it wasn't necessary for such expensive infrastructure to be embarked upon. It was CBN's policy directives in the late-nineties that necessitated banks to start rolling out ATM all over Nigeria despite the expensive infrastructure.
2) a new market with an existing product. To successfully execute this type of strategy, financial muscle is needed. When you are unable muster the funds to push your new product/service on a large scale, the likely hood that bigger and better players will recognise that innovation and simply implement your idea and win while doing so.
In other words, you may have the best product/service in the whole world, but it is key to time the introduction. If the product or service is very innovative to the environment you are looking to introduce it to, chances are high that you will need to spend a lot of money to get people to know about this product or how to change their mindset about using such products or services.
Thus, like it is said, the most astute, prolific, successful and wealthiest entrepreneurs do not re-invent the wheel, the simply are able to discern and master timing of their products (or services) to the market. These are persons that Max Gladwell refers to as Outliers in his book with the same title. Therefore timing actually boils down to this = how prepared are you to recognise an opportunity when its time comes?
This said, there're some products that you do not have to acheive 100% completion before introducing to the market. These are particularly commonplace in the computer software & website or application development. Patches are usually despatched to fix errors or shortcomings in these fields.