I love that phrase, “ahead of its time.” Describing something that’s just too good for society to really grasp it yet, so it languishes in obscurity.
I think all invention is timely in nature. Consider the transistor. One of the greatest inventions ever – and by the way, like all great inventions, you never think of it as such. All the inventions that truly revolutionize society do so by becoming so ubiquitous that you couldn’t even conceive of life without it, so it becomes as invisible to you as the air you breathe.
Anyway, back to the transistor. If you’d invented that in Roman times it would have been useless. But in the 1940s it changed the world. I guarantee you that you couldn’t even imagine a world without them, so pervasive are the effects of those little things.
All invention is reactionary, made to solve a problem that has only existed for five minutes due to a change in our lives brought about by the last invention. We build and improve and build and improve, but timing is everything. A year too late or too early changes the very nature of an idea.
So keep your eyes open! The problem you’re destined to solve with your new idea may not even exist yet – but it will, and that’s the time for you. If you try to force it when it isn’t ready, you’ll be relegated to the book of almost-was called “Ahead Of Its Time.”