The Idea Value Proposition

The Idea Value Proposition 2min read

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ideas are easy, cheap even. It is the execution that is hard and because it is hard it is worth millions. If the execution wasn't hard everyone would be doing it. And if everyone was doing it, then it would be worthless and quickly become a race to the bottom.

It is important to realise that an idea is not a product or a business[1]. A product, is an idea that is -- or multiple ideas that are -- executed well.  But ideas still hold value. Ideas are a multiplier of the execution, that together produce value. Thus, a good idea produces more value than a bad idea when multiplied by the same execution[2].

The Proposition

// The Value Proposition
Product Value = Idea x Execution

// Bad Idea Multiplier
Product Value = 1 x 100,000 = 100,000 of Value

// Good Idea Multiplier
Product Value = 10 x 100,000 = 1,000,000 of Value

// Awful Idea Multiplier
Product Value = -1 x 100,000 = -100,000 of Value

The better an idea the more it will multiple the execution and the value of the product.

Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration. – Thomas Edison

If you have an original, totally awesome idea it will not take long before someone else copies it. After all it is an awesome idea. Success therefore doesn't come from the idea but the execution. How the idea is implemented, branded, marketed, positioned and finally sold.

With the multiplier in mind, you don't need an original idea for success. Google wasn't the first search engine, Facebook wasn't the first social platform and the iPod wasn't the first music player[1:1]. What differentiated them and made them "successful" was the execution of the idea.

What makes a bad idea? It's hard to say. A bad idea can disguise itself as a good idea executed poorly. All the time you are thinking "I just need to persist and execute better". You end up burning energy pushing and a bad idea uphill. It is important therefor to validate ideas (a topic for another post) before execution.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. People who implement them are priceless. – Mary Kay Ash

So don't burn energy protecting and worrying someone will steal your idea, they will. Put your focus into idea generation and valuation. But mostly idea execution. Because, "great ideas are useless without someone full of passion to implement them." -- Amy Rees Anderson[3]

Photo cover credit: Larry Myhre

  1. Ideas Are Cheap, Execution is Worth Millions -- Sathyvelu Kunashegaran ↩︎ ↩︎
  2. Ideas are just a multiplier of execution -- Derek Sivers ↩︎
  3. Ideas are a Dime a Dozen ↩︎

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