“… ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier.” – a now common saying by Derek Sivers indicating that the major part of a working business model is not the idea itself, but its execution. Whether you agree with this or not, it surely can be stated that no one has ever built a working business by an idea alone. Startup ideas alone very rarely attract interest of any buyer. As many ideas unfortunately remain in a stage of vision and dreaming, let’s look at the main reasons for this.
The typical scenario
Chances are you have already been thinking about your billion-dollar-idea for years. It surely evolved during this time. Still, most of it is only guess work. You have been telling your friends about it, but almost no one else. Probably there is this fear that people are not going to like what you are suggesting, or even worse, like it so much that they “steal” your idea. Thus, even after all this time, you have not gathered any feedback from real prospective customers. You’re still stuck in stage 0.
Also, even though you are surely interested in technology, you probably have only little idea about the real technical challenges you are facing. In the beginning, it is not easy to understand the role of tech inside your prospective company. Many people are thinking that, well, after that great idea, now simply someone has to “program” it – not much to it. As such, they try to get away with the seemingly cheapest solution, often asking a student whether she might just implement their idea for some minority share in their yet to build company. This often goes on for years, and experience tells me that the success rate of this approach is neglectable.
Third, we can not deny it, executing any startup idea whatsoever requires a lot of boldness and hard work. The truth is, there are no easy wins. You would probably have to give up a lot of your current life and comfort to follow the idea. Most people simply are not ready for such a journey, yet, instead of simply dropping the subject once and for all, they hang on it for years half-heartedly – until someone else really executes it.
So how do we overcome these obstacles?
First and foremost, don’t hesitate to try things out. Early and often! You will soon find out that you initial assumptions were mostly wrong. Often, a kernel of the original startup idea will remain, but it will only roughly resemble what you initially had in mind. In this way, you will always be able to build a first working product in 3 months. If your startup ideas really are not that good, you will notice it without thinking about it for years – and if it is, even better.
Second, find a partner you trust. You will not get away with a cheap solution. Especially as a non-tech savvy person, you need someone experienced and smart in the core position of your IT. This is rarely someone focussing on development alone, but it should be someone who gives you her honest opinion about the product’s features and your vision. If possible, share risks and keep the partner aboard constantly.
And last of all, the most important point which only you alone can overcome: do it! Go follow your startup ideas or your dream, or otherwise throw it away and think about something else. Don’t waste your time considering to build a product, only to find out later that someone else has done it. Often, this goes along with a feeling of being cheated on, because one had the idea first. This is wrong. They did it, and you did not. But be assured that another 100 people also had this idea before, and also did not execute it – so you are not alone.
Conclusion – Startup ideas worth pursuing
Reasons for startup ideas not being developed are galore, but most often it’s the same pattern: Thinking instead of trying and acting, lack of knowledge and technical expertise, and cowardice.
At Venture Leap we have been through the process quite a few times and know what the obstacles are – let us help you – at least in the first two steps, but the last one, you have to do yourself.
At Venture Leap, we help SMEs leaders with their digital transformation strategy and execution. Get in touch or book a free session below if you want to know how digital product development and digital transformation go hand in hand.
Philipp Noack –
Co-Founder Venture Leap
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