Your Idea is Irrelevant

Years ago I wanted to be an "idea guy." I think I am pretty good at applying knowledge across various domains, drawing inferences, and seeing relationships that others don't. And there is some value in that. But the value in ideas is only worth the value of the solution to specific problem you are trying to solve. Creative ideas are good when you are applying them to your business, but when you are trying to make a million dollars on them, they are damn near worthless.

Today I found out about AirTroductions, a site where:

Whether you're looking for a date in Los Angeles, a business networking partner in Tokyo, or just someone to share a cab from Kennedy to Midtown, look no further. You've found AirTroductions´┐Ż.

Why is this funny? Because when The Business Experiment first began in July, the idea I posted for the group to pursue was almost identical to Airtroductions.

It's very aggravating to me, because over the last few months I've received numeours emails through TBE from people that have ideas but won't turn them over to us unless we meet certain conditions. My response is usually "I don't care, a thousand other people problemably have your idea too." What is changing, for business, is that not only are ideas a dime a dozen, but knowledge is plentiful and free. So whatever it is that you want to do, you can problemably figure out how to get it done unless it is requires some extremely complex or esoteric knowledge.

I was recently interviewed for… well I'm not sure if I can say, but I'll be quoted several times in a news story that will be out soon. It's about the direction business is going, and I said something to the effect of "the information economy is dying, and we are moving into the execution economy." Which isn't totally correct. Information will still be relevant. It's knowledge that will be marginalized.

It's all changing so fast. New knowledge is created in many fields faster than anyone can keep up. The next wave of high profile successful startups will be the ones that can best execute. Sure, execution has alwasy mattered, but it's becoming just about the only thing that matters. You can't hide behind a patent, proprietary information, specialized knowledge, or any of the barriers to entry that used to protect you. Bad businesses will die quicker, good businesses will face fiercer competition, and throwing more money at the problem won't mean you will win.

I'm not saying everyone has good ideas. Some people have really poor ideas. But I am saying if you have a good idea, you aren't alone. Get on it and get it done. Otherwise, someone else will.