Darrell Hudson

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Ideas matter, great execution of a bad idea = failure http://bit.ly/fVR8LV

Nathaniel Whittemore wrote an excellent post demolishing the Silicon Valley mantra that “execution” is all that matters. Ideas do matter… a lot. Great execution of bad ideas still result in failure. Pivots and execution are the buzz words in Silicon Valley. But, if a startup pivots from one bad idea to another dubious idea…they just prolonged the failure. Bill Warner, founder of Avid Technologies, said recently “Some of you guys are so smart you turn what should have been a one year failure into a five year death march.”

Silicon Valley jumped on the “ideas are worthless” meme for several reasons. First, everyone has ideas…lots of them. Good ideas are available everywhere. Startups have great ideas, big successful companies have more good ideas than they can handle, and people who read Techcrunch and Techmeme have hundreds of good ideas. But ideas alone are worthless. Investors get pitched ten ideas a week, hundreds per year. Unless there is a skilled team to execute them…they truly are worthless.

The reality is that startups need a great idea, a great team, great timing, a market that can grow significantly, and a lot of luck. You need all of these elements to succeed…especially luck. The notion that execution and the ability to pivot is the single most important contributor to success is nonsense. Ideas matter, and so do all the other elements.



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