Execution Matters, But So Do Ideas

You’ve probably heard a variation of this quote a thousand times:

Ideas don’t matter. Ideas are a dime-a-dozen. Execution matters.

This statement, like Schroedinger’s Cat being both dead and alive, is both true and not accurate. Execution matters, but ideas matter too.

Of course, you might think this is self-evident. Maybe the only reason why innovators use that quote is that they are trying to convince you that if you don’t execute on the ideas you generate, then they won’t matter, which is correct. But then again, you can generate targeted IP, which leads to patent applications, patents, and reasonably valuable portfolios (I did this for one of my clients and grew their portfolio to a $1B valuation).

Ideas matter. Execution matters if you want to create massive value and not wait for the possible lottery win of a robust patent portfolio.

You know the saying, “If you can’t do, teach?”.My version is “if you can’t do, patent.”

When do you want to see massive value from your ideas? Everyone says, “yesterday.” However, we have yet to invent a time machine. Give us some time.

Most senior management is not so patient. These folks will not wait for years to extract value from your efforts. This reasoning is why I’ve developed a process that blends design thinking, customer experience, foresight science, business modeling, and customer testing to create new, rapidly implementable businesses. But even this is not “execution.”

Everyone asks, “What’s the ROI in innovation?” because they see innovation as a pure cost center, not a profit center. It’s because typical innovation groups focus on looking a little too far out, and playing with the latest toys, instead of focusing on building businesses.

I’ve been there and done that. I know you are looking for massive, near-immediate value from the ideas you generate and attempt to execute.

I used to be on the other side. I used to rail against senior management, which was so focused on the bottom line that I figured any innovation efforts that looked any further into the future than the next quarter were doomed to failure. I used to facilitate sessions and generate concepts that were fantastic ideas but could never be businesses.

After 20 years in this business, it finally hit me. I’m not doing this for the idea. I’m not even doing this for the customer. I’m doing this for my client’s shareholders. I thought generating inventive concepts and increasing employee engagement were the main goals. They aren’t.

The only goals are to generate new concepts that lead to massive value. Any steps which can take you closer to those are the ones I’ve integrated into the process. You will no longer have endless ideation sessions where ideas get generated without immediate value. No longer will you create concepts for the sake of developing concepts. This process guarantees the development of concepts and businesses that can create massive value.

Once they are through the process, you’ll have a solid business model, a step-by-step execution plan, and a tested non-functional MVP. I’ll have led you 90% of the way there.

You’ll have the recipe. All you need to do is execute from there.