You have a fantastic idea and your friends say, you’re ahead of your time. This isn’t just a cliche. It might be true. You might be ahead of the curve. CBS Sunday Morning recently aired an interview with Pharrell Williams. In July of 2013, his song, Happy, was released as part of the movie Despicable Me 2. At that time, the song did very little on the music charts. According to the interview, “[Happy] went nowhere at first. “When they took it to radio, they were like, ‘It’s just too different.'” Four months later, they released a video of the song and it seeped into our culture. Why? Timing.
“When they took it to radio, they were like, ‘It’s just too different.'”
Pharrell has a lot of history behind him. He’s worked on big hit songs, producing some of the best-known artists in the industry. Work on this level sharpens your instincts. What the general public hears has typically been in the works for a year or longer. In essence, Pharrell has made his living being a year or two ahead of his time. He listens differently, and hears “no” differently. People in the entertainment business understand that sometimes you simply have to wait for the trends to shift. Why wait? Because it can make the difference between a near miss and a culture-shaking hit.
So, the next time you hear, “no,” wait. The next time you hear, “you’re ahead of your time,” keep working on your instincts. Four months or four years later, you might have a hit on your hands.