IDEAS ARE SHIT, EXECUTION IS THE GAME
We often stumble upon things that put our imagination and curiosity to work. They come in all shapes and sizes. These are the results of nothing but propositions, recommendations and suggestions. And generally they occur when we run into a problem that we think is solvable or have alternatives. These are nothing but ideas. People say you have to have the best idea, the most revolutionary one to make it in the startup ecosystem. But that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. Ideas are nothing but a hypothesis that you think will solve the problem in hand.
Once you bear the idea, you induce the first stepping stone; the journey is still hard. It’s important that you educate yourself on the viability of the idea. You have to weigh the pros and the cons. You need to brainstorm the idea with relevant people. You need to realise the difference between practical and impractical ideas and that is only possible, if you are able to filter out the information from data in hand. You need to clear out the noise surrounding you and that is possible only if you research about it. This research is the most crucial part of execution.
After getting the idea and researching about it, comes validating the idea. The good news is that we are living in the social media era, which makes it possible to validate the idea at practically zero cost. Companies use to have focus groups and used to spend big bucks just to get the overview of what the market thinks. Today, with platforms like Kickstarter, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you can deliver your idea validated from ten times the audience and in half the time. That’s the second significant part of execution.
People will respond to your idea in the most bizarre way, so be ready for it. The key here is to filter out the people you pitch your idea to. It’s important that you present your idea to the masses that can relate to your idea and can understand what you are trying to say. It’s important that you speak to your potential customers before you decide to begin acting on the estimate. This is to avert the biggest and the most amateurish mistake that startups do. They build the product that has no market. So, make sure you have people to pay for your avails. Even if your audience rejects your idea, don’t get disheartened. On the contrary, analyze the causes behind their responses. It will save you a great deal of money and hence, time. So, talking to the relevant people and ensuring that your idea will have customers is the third essential step in the execution phase.
You will encounter cases when you might hesitate in disclosing your idea when somebody asks. It is quite normal and natural. That is textbook human nature, which represents defensive instincts. But you need to understand that until and unless it is not a breathtaking, mind-blowing, sensational, eye-opening and prodigious algorithm that will change the world; you can share your idea. I assure you that today the value of ideas is negligible in comparison to the degree of implementation. Discussing about your idea with as many “relevant” people as you can will only broaden the horizons and help you see the bigger picture. Therefore, don’t be hesitant in disclosing your idea. You might end up networking with people that share the same exuberance and that would be a great addition for you. All in all, your execution game will level up.
There are a number of examples that changed the world and made it what it is today, which is nothing short of magic. From PayPal to Uber, we have seen how ideas can change the world, provided they are harnessed by the power of extraordinary execution. You cannot play by the book and expect noteworthy results. You have to be an anomaly in your field to make it in this fierce competition.
The next aspect in the execution game which is of paramount importance is timing. 85% ideas promise a better future. They are feasible in a whole different universe. So you need to identify, if the marketplace is ready or not. You need to figure out the timing of the launch, and how the immediate world will react to it. A study was conducted on Fortune 500 CEO’s and it showed that only 14% of them were able to execute their ideas properly. This is staggering indeed, but nevertheless it is the truth. This is only because the majority of the remaining 86% did not account the timing of their execution, even if they had the most foolproof plan. William Hunt "Bill" Gross is an American investor, fund manager, and philanthropist. He is not only a pioneer in the business world, but also gave one of the most watched TED talk on “The single biggest reasons why startups succeed” wherein he emphasised on the importance of timing.
Ideas indeed, can change the world. It all comes down to execution. Nothing triumphs the hard work and the hours one puts in executing the very idea. “Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats”, says a contemporary American author of detective novels Sue Grafton. Not only had she, the man that revolutionized the way we communicate, Steve Jobs also believed that ideas are shit. He puts it beautifully and very much bluntly that, “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions!”