Ideas Are Not Enough

January 15, 2020

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Most people think that a good idea is all you need to succeed in the startup business.

The truth is: good ideas are not enough.

It's like this very talented young musician you heard once playing on a street in Dublin: you thought he would’ve made it right to the top within a few years.

But here he is, twenty years later, playing the very same song in the very same place.

So what happened? Why is he still there, while lots of less talented, shit-playing musicians have made it to the spotlight, earning billions?

Probably it's because talent is worth nothing if you don't apply it in the right way.

Ideas are just multipliers of execution

Lots of people are scared of sharing their ideas for innovative startups because they think somebody's going to steal them.

What they don't understand is, the idea is just a small part of the process and what is important is how you put it into practice.

That's it: even the best idea for an innovative startup business will not go anywhere without the proper execution.

Nobody is going to offer you a cheque just because they trust that your idea will work: it has no value in and of itself.

In other words, as theorized by Derek Sivers, ideas are just a multiplier of execution.

Think about it: let's say one has a very good idea, one of those capable of changing the way we live. What happens if she doesn't put it into practice?

You're right: nothing at all.

The other side of the coin

But good ideas are not easy to find. There are much more awful ideas than good ones out there - and what’s even worse, many of them seem pretty good at first sight.

What happens if somebody develops a project - let's say a startup - based on one of those not-so-good ideas?

Well, according to Derek Sivers, if you're lucky, it just won't work; if you're not, it might turn out into a real mess.

Following Siver's principle that ideas are just multipliers, if by chance a bad idea gets a perfect execution, its destructive potential comes out.

Think about it: from a scientist's point of view, atomic energy is a brilliant idea. But if you think about its execution during WW II, it was quite catastrophic.

In the infographic below, you can take a look at the application of this theory.

"That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.

I’m not interested until I see their execution." - Derek Sivers

See? So next time you think you have a good idea for a startup or a business, take a deep breath: it’s only the start of the climb.

Also read: A Recipe for Startup Studios

About the Author

Ferdinando de Blasio di Palizzi

I put together digital and social media skills with creative writing and storytelling ones, to deliver any message in the best way.

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