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
    mjr1007, 17 May 2008 @ 7:48am

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

    An Ac rhetoric was:
    Ahhhhhhhhh. now i get it. the answer is to put mjr in charge of figuring out what is and what is not progress, and then he decides what gets protected.

    brilliant. you should have just said so.

    mjr1007:
    Very nice, two rhetorical devices in one reply. Personal attack and straw man, very nice indeed. Nice rhetoric, but lousy reasoning.

    What I did say was to let people knowledgeable in the field decide which patent they would use when working on their products. You know let the implementors, your hero's, decide what is garbage, like your comments, and what is actually useful.

    Many good engineers believe that following journals and patents is part of their job, so they can keep up with current technology. I know it's all that techie stuff, yuk.

    So tell me Mr. AC, exactly how do you have progress in science without actually doing that techie stuff?

    This is just so sad. If the best you've got is to use such obvious rhetoric to try to win you point then it should be clear to anyone reading this that your point of view is not worth the electrons needed to render it. I actually like lively informed debate, this on the other hand is just so much nonsense. If that is the best you've got then it is better to be thought a fool then to open your mouth (keep posting) and assure everyone.

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