Submitted by Duane Gran on Wed, 2005-09-14 13:20.
Many entrepreneurs invest time contemplating great ideas, be it for building a better mouse trap or solving pernicious Information Technology issues, but the investment is often squandered. Put simply, ideas are a dime a dozen, while execution of ideas is a rarity. I draw inspiration from an excellent article in Business Pundit:
If you want to be an entrepreneur, stop believing that ideas matter. That isn't what entrepreneurship is about. Entrepreneurs aren't idea people, everybody and their brother has ideas. Entrepreneurs are people that exploit ideas by matching them to market needs, executing them despite scarce resources and designing a business model that makes the idea profitable.
But naturally ideas do matter, so it is worthwhile to make sure any business plan is reasonable. Take a quick glance around the Business Plan Archive, a repository of dot-com "plans", to see examples where execution couldn't possibly matter because of flimsy and overly optimistic plans.
Good ideas are everywhere around us, or waiting to be found. As an IT professional, how many times a week do you hear of someone expressing frustration with technology? How much of this frustration translates into lost revenue? If you can build a product or service to fill such a void, the importance of the "idea" will rapidly deteriorate as the value of your execution rises. The more you embrace this philosophy, the more relevant Gavin Bowman's (fellow codesniper) recent advice concerning idea secrecy becomes.
A quote I've carried with me for years summarizes it best, from an article in Forbes magazine in 1998. The interviewee, when asked about his source of success put it simply: "I'm a finisher in a society of starters."
Which are you?