By Betty Liu.
It’s 2017, and this is the year that you’ll launch that awesome, fantastic, amazing idea.
Your mom loves it. Your friends love it. It’s going to be the next billion-dollar company.
Here’s why it will won’t work.
The reality is that ideas are a dime a dozen. There are 300 million-plus people in this country, 600 million-plus professionals around the world, and more than seven billion people on this planet. The chances that you’ve come up with the singular idea that’s going to change the world are, well, one in a billion.
Most ideas don’t fail because they’re bad ideas. In fact, some very successful companies have grown out of bad ideas. Kevin Ryan, a legendary entrepreneur who’s built several successful companies, including BusinessInsider, Gilt Groupe, and DoubleClick, says that Google started off as a “terrible idea.”
“It was just a search engine. There already were seven,” he said in an episode of the Radiate podcast.
So how did Google turn a “terrible idea” into a company now worth over half a trillion dollars?
“Search engines at the time worked pretty well, but Google’s worked better. And so over time you switched over, and it became very successful,” Ryan said. Ten percent of the time, he continued, their search results were “fundamentally better. Ninety percent didn’t change, but 10 percent did. And that was enough.”
This is why entrepreneurs say that you should never be afraid to tell people your ideas. In fact, some advise you to tell the entire world your idea, in hopes that enough people will beat it down. Why? Well, if the idea still holds after all the abuse, then you know you’ve got yourself a winner.
Knowing that execution is far more important than a great concept means that an entrepreneur has to spend far more time on things like building the right team. Having a great deck for your idea is good—but having proof of your idea is even more impressive.
So remember this: Having a great idea is just 10 percent of your journey as an entrepreneur. Actually making it come to life—and doing it well—is what separates the Googles from the AltaVistas.
If you haven’t even gotten as far as your great idea, you might find this Radiate video helpful. In it, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mellody Hobson, and other visionaries share their brainstorming tips.