Ideas and Execution

Did you ever have some success starting a business? Then you may identify with this problem.

Often an acquaintance or a friend offers me an “idea”.

Them: “Hey, I have this great idea for a website. I’m so generous, I’ll give you the idea and I only want 50% of the millions you’ll make with it.” This happened three times last week alone.

Me (a little too snarkily): “I get to spend 18 months of my life bringing your off-the-cuff idea to life, refining it, reworking it, marketing it, selling it. An idea which may already have been turned into a successful website so often the market is crowded. Or is actually an unworkable idea. Or has no wide market appeal. And in return I give you 50% of the profits? Or is it 50% of the turnover that you desire? Have you done market research? A feasibility study? You _have_ googled to see if it is already available, right?”

Them: “Um, no, I just thought about it while waiting at the doctor’s yesterday. But I’m sure it will be very successful. Jeez, you didn’t have to be so negative.”

The reality: I’m not short of ideas. I have lots of ideas for software products and web applications. I have half-a-dozen small software prototypes on my computer. Ideas are nothing without a lot of dedicated hard work executing them. And even then, they may not work. I heard that at a certain software payments processor, the majority of all their clients never sell a single copy of their software.