Ideas Are Easy... Execution Is Difficult

from the so-why-do-we-protect-the-ideas? dept

It's an ongoing theme around here, but ideas are everywhere. The real trick to making something great often has extremely little to do with the idea, and much more to do with the execution. That's where the real innovation occurs -- in taking an idea and trying to figure out how to make it useful. It's that process that's important, much more than the original idea. As nearly anyone who has brought a product from conception to market will tell you, what eventually succeeds in the market is almost always radically different than the original "idea." That's part of the reason why patents are so often harmful to innovation. The patent is for that core idea, which is rarely the key in making something successful. But by limiting who can innovate off of the idea (or just by making it much more expensive) you're limiting that process of innovation.

Some people disagree with this, but the failure of Cambrian House, once again seems to demonstrate the vast gap between ideas and execution. Cambrian House was a well-hyped company that tried to "crowdsource" new companies and products. I've paid attention to them for a while, since their business model had some similarities to what we do with the Techdirt Insight Community. However, as the founder of Cambrian House admitted in explaining the company's changing plans, it wasn't difficult to get people to come up with all sorts of interesting and exciting ideas -- but where the company failed was in getting anyone to actually execute on any of those ideas. Ideas are a starting point -- but it's high time that we stopped worshipping the idea, and started recognizing how much more important execution is in driving innovation.

Filed Under: execution, ideas, innovation
Companies: cambrian house


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  1. identicon
    Hank, 15 May 2008 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It's a bald faced fact.

    LOL, you kill me with your arguments.

    First, take pop shots at me all you like and call me a "sissy" for having a bike with an electric starter, but 99% of road bikes sold today have electric starters, and have been manufactured with electric starters for some time now. So, a remote starter for a motorcycle would be something that most riders today could use. Whether they would or not, I don't know as I haven't done a shred of market research.

    Second, the site you provide a link to is for "car" remote starters. This isn't such an easy, cut and dry, thing to create for a bike. There are multiple safe guards in place on motorcycles to keep from starting or killing your engine at the wrong time. As far as I know, there aren't yet remote starters for bikes.

    Third, why does an idea have to be super techy and have to do with algorithms to be a good idea? Did I attack you personally? No. Why the personal attack on me? Do you not have an intelligent argument to counteract mine?
    I used the example of the remote starter because it's a simple, clear, example. Honestly I don't have the slightest clue about your "sorts" so your point was lost in your tech speak. Good try thought, I'll give you an A for effort.

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