I’ve recently been pondering the myth of “the Big Idea” — the belief that if you come up with an earth-shattering idea, you can rule the world. It’s the idea of a better mousetrap, an idea for a widget, the idea for a better startup. Unfortunately, it’s just that, a myth.
I used to have a coworker who collected ideas, swearing that he had all these great ideas, and that he should be a millionaire for having come up with those ideas (but never actually having done anything about those ideas). If that were true, there would be a lot more millionaries in the world, because — if you spend enough time in the technology and startup world — you soon find out that not only do lots of other people have your idea, lots of other people are executing on that idea.
You run into this a lot with very early, first time entrepreneurs, who — when asked what they are working on — tell you that you have to sign an NDA before they can talk to you about it. They use the same line of the venture capital investors and angels, as well. Consistently, the successful entrepreneurs I talk to tell me it’s not the idea, it’s the execution.
Sure, you have to have a great idea, but the difference between the successful and not-so-successful entrepreneurs are those that are able to turn those ideas into reality. It’s a common myth of entrepreneurs — think up of an idea, sell that idea to Proctor and Gamble/Microsoft/Google/whoever, and have it made. So, my advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: great, you have an idea — now go make it happen!