Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ideas vs Implementation

Ideas are a dime a dozen. I have a file with hundreds of ideas I will never have time to do.

I am often appoached by entrepreneurs with "confidential" and "secret" ideas that are going to revolutionize the world. They often want me to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (I don't). Especially now that I am at SYNNEX, legal agreements require an extra step.

It is not the ideas that will make a business successful, it is the implementation.

When EMJ was public, I was worried people would see our statements and public disclosures and copy what we were doing. Some tried. Over time I came to realize that implementation is hundreds of little things that tend to be almost impossible to copy. Also, businesses are not static. In the rapidly changing business world, in my case accelerated by being in technology, even implementation is a moving target.

Most entrepeneurs could be more successful by simply implementing now and faster rather than tryng to keep everything a secret. I have seen more failures caused by inaction than caused by having ideas stolen.

Paul Graham sums it up well here.

4 Comments:

At 8:37 AM, Blogger Gerhard Peters said...

Jim, I can relate to this, it has been my experience of being afraid that my ideas would be copied if I made them known. Another thing that goes with this (also my experience) is that a lot of young entrepreneurs are so in love with their products and services that they don't have any focus (or idea) on what it is that the consumer wants or needs. I see this constantly in new start ups and even in some businesses that have been in business for a long time.

 
At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Kevin said...

How true that is. So many ideas we've had we feel are great, yet when it gets down to it, they have to be put into action. "Fail Fast" We've done alot of that and the funny thing is, the failure always leads to something better, even though it may not seem so at the time. If the idea is good and your gut tells you so, test it quickly, check out the return and see how it can be accelerated, duplicated and expanded.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Rick said...

Well said.
So well said, in fact, I lifted it for my blog, Canadian Entrepreneur. http://canentrepreneur.blogspot.com

Writers such as I can say this stuff, but it is much more powerful to read it from actual practitioners, who live with the planning vs execution conundrum every day.

 
At 10:34 AM, Blogger Paul Speziale said...

Having people copy you isn't so bad is it? Its a form of flattery :)

You know when people copy you, they are just "following" you. You can be ahead of the pack by just constantly testing and implementing new ideas. They will be reacting to your moves...lacking imagination and skill themselves, they won't have what it takes to survive because you will always be two steps ahead of them.

Try using the SCAMPER method for developing new ideas
S=substitute
C=Combine
A=Adapt
M=modify,minify,magnify
P=Put to other uses
E=Eliminate
R=Rearrange,reverse,redefine

Follow those letters one by one, see if you can use those actions to update/improve/invent your product/service and stay ahead of the followers forever!

I agree with Gerhard. Its wise to look at the market FIRST and find a product or service for that market SECOND.

 

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