Many people have spoken to me at some point about their “amazing new app idea”. While I love to discuss the potential business viability of ideas, I often hear people really excited at the idea alone, with no real thought given to how it would actually become a business. Even worse, people will see other businesses succeeding (e.g. getting acquired, raising funding) with an idea similar to one they had, and immediately say something like this:
“OMG! That was MY idea! I had it AGES ago. I would have been rich!!!”
Everyone has ideas, but precious few can derive success from them. The reality is that success in the business world is derived primarily through great execution, not simple ideation.
Unless you execute on your idea, it is worthless.
To say that the idea alone would be sufficient for success completely dismisses the incredible amount of physical, emotional and personal sacrifice people have to make to build a quality product, serving a market that actually needs & wants it, while simultaneously fueling a business model that works.
Being “first” at implementing an idea does not guarantee success. If anything, probability dictates that as the first, you will fail. Followers will walk the path you already tread, learn from your mistakes, and sprint to success. It happens all the time. Think about it — Facebook was not the first social network, but it “won” due to its relentless, strategic execution. This short video by Better Elevation does a pretty good job of summarizing the principles I’m talking about.
So, if you have an idea, stop talking about it and do something. If you’re not sure how to get started, don’t worry — I’m going to publish a follow-up to this post where I outline some quick tips to getting your ideas off the ground. If you’re interested, subscribe to this blog using the “Subscribe via Email” section on the left, and you’ll be notified of my next posts.