Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

A Good Idea is Like A Beautiful Day. Everybody Owns It.

My answer to this question on Quora about ideas vs. execution  “ideas don’t matter, only execution matters”? – has been getting a lot of views. So I decided to repost it here.

Zihuatenejo MexicoThe answer to this is that millions of people – and I mean that, literally, millions of people – right now, as I write this, as you read this, believe they have great business ideas. And hundreds have already taken this question to Quora, how do I get money for my idea?

I’ve written this several times on Quora in answers to several questions very simple to this one. But here it goes again:

A good idea is like a beautiful day. Everybody owns it. You use it or you don’t. Other people may make better use of it than you do.

Go ahead, quote me. Make my day.

It’s not exactly that the idea doesn’t matter. It’s that you don’t own your ideas. You don’t know how many other people have the same idea at the same time. You don’t know how many fatal flaws there are in your ideas, fatal flaws that you wouldn’t know until you started executing. Until you do some work for the idea, you don’t own it, and you can’t sell it, so it doesn’t matter.

Execution, on the other hand, is what gives an idea value. Businesses have value, and execution turns an idea into a business. The hard part is that execution also takes work, money, and doesn’t mean success. Quite often, after the work and the money are spent, execution has merely shown that the idea wasn’t really an opportunity. It was just an idea.