Without execution, an idea is worth max $20

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I like this post by Derek Sivers.

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions. Explanation:

AWFUL IDEA = -1
WEAK IDEA = 1
SO-SO IDEA = 5
GOOD IDEA = 10
GREAT IDEA = 15
BRILLIANT IDEA = 20

NO EXECUTION = $1
WEAK EXECUTION = $1000
SO-SO EXECUTION = $10,000
GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000
BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000

To make a business, you need to multiply the two.

The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.
The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.

That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.

I’m not interested until I see their execution.

I like this because it reminds me to get going and DO something already.  Those ideas keeping me up at night bouncing around in my skull aren’t going to be worth anything or result in anything except loss of sleep if I don’t actualize them.  Also, you don’t have to sit around waiting for the perfect brilliant idea!  Got one that’s even just “so-so” or “good”?  Execute well and it’s still good enough to do well enough financially to fund the next idea’s execution, and that’s what it’s all about, right?
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3 Responses to “Without execution, an idea is worth max $20”

  1. Giving the game away | Cindy on the iPad Says:

    […] A Geek and his Dad put the value of an idea without execution at $20. The ideas keeping you up at night, bouncing around in your skull aren’t going to be worth anything or result in anything except loss of sleep if you don’t actualize them. […]

  2. Getting things done… « Geek And Dad's Blog Says:

    […] idea is that no idea is going to make money if you don’t ship it! (see:  Without execution, an idea is worth max $20 ).  So the goal is to ship products, the sooner the […]

  3. Dad Says:

    A quote from Robert X. Cringely’s 1995 interview with Steve Jobs that reflects on the same topic:

    You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I
    left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of
    thinking that a really great idea is 90 percent of the work. And
    if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,”
    then of course they can go off and make it happen. And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of
    craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. […]

    Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain
    and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get
    what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a
    new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a
    little differently.

    And it’s that process that is the magic.

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