Your big startup idea – busting the common myths!

It’s a very common misconception in entrepreneurship that all it takes is a great idea to build a billion-dollar successful company. Some entrepreneurs or “wantrepreneurs” even go as far ahead to value their idea to be as great to be worth millions of dollars in itself. However, every startup or company is built on the foundation of great idea(s) evolved over time and the idea plays a crucial part but it’s not the sole criteria for success of the startup. Here are some common myths related with the “big startup ideas” and our proposed reality check:

Myth #1: “All I need is a novel idea to create my successful startup.”

Reality check: No! Idea without execution is nothing! It’s as simple as that. To be successful, it requires impeccable and timely execution with a great team willing to modify/pivot from the original idea as needed. As Scott Belsky, CEO of Behance puts it simply:


“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen”


Myth #2: “I got an original idea.”

Reality check: Chill out! Almost all the ideas are never original and somebody in this big world for sure would have thought about it. Besides it’s not even a shame to not come up with an original idea. You would be pleased to hear that big majority of successful startups are based on the ideas which were not unique. Most of the best startups are based on a pivot/modification to an existing business model rather than an unique idea. Paul Rand, one of the foremost American graphic designers of the 20th century, said it best:


“Don’t try to be original, just try to be good.”


Myth #3: “Somebody might steal my idea if I share.”

Reality check: Don’t worry, as mentioned in above point, almost no idea is original. The world is big enough to believe with near certainty that somebody must have thought about your idea already. Anyway, even if your idea is unique, it’s worth nothing without your ability to execute and deliver. Also, before you execute you might want to validate your idea by sharing it to others and getting the feedback e.g. about the business potential, customer segmentation, market perception, market size and so on. There might be possible modifications or tweaks needed based on the market feedback before you go full-steam with the execution. Kyle Bragger, co-founder of Forrst, puts it:


“Get your idea out in the wild, iterate your ass off, and hopefully build something spectacular.”


Myth #4: “I own a million-dollar idea!”

Reality check: Come on now, who are you kidding? Million-dollar ideas don’t exist! But billion-dollar companies do as a result of world-class execution! As mentioned before, it’s the execution which counts and valued, not the idea itself. According to Thomas Edison, Co-founder of General Electric:


“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.”


 

I came across the article by Derek Sivers at http://sivers.org/multiply and I totally agree with his analogy that “Ideas are just a multiplier of execution.”  Below image shows the multiplier values of ideas and execution values:

Idea Valuation

According to Sivers, the most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20 and the most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.

Next time when you hear that my idea is worth X, you know what to ask! 🙂