AOL acquired about.me 4 days after their public launch and just over a year from private launch. Timing, connections and a cool product made this possible.
But in the macro sense, timing most importantly is playing a big part in how we view our personal and professional profiles / online presence.
3 years ago, we had a few online profiles, but they were silos of information with very little cross pollination. We were just hearing that this information could be leaked out or used by 3rd party companies to voyeur into our purchasing decisions based on the content we provided (conversations, pictures, travel plans, Christmas lists, etc).
Now we are the ones rushing to aggregate these outposts together, and let others find us in every online community. With sites like about.me, a marketing company no longer needs to scour the web and aggregate all this data about consumers...we do it for them!
People tend to be first adopters in their personal or consumer lives first. Then, business hops in.
LinkedIn brought down the wall for business social networking. Yammer and Twitter are accelerating this.
We're hoping that we've got the timing, connections (and of course, product) right for a generation of college students and grads to take the online profile a step further with Beyond Credentials. Timing is everything. Only time will tell.