Fellow designer blogger KK has uncovered a great representation on the value of ideas in relation to a success of a business. Derek Sivers, in his post for O’Reilly, conceptualises an idea vs. execution formula, which I have reproduced here. Sivers writes:
mage by: Jane
It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.)
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
AWFUL IDEA = -1
WEAK IDEA = 1
SO-SO IDEA = 5
GOOD IDEA = 10
GREAT IDEA = 15
BRILLIANT IDEA = 20
NO EXECUTION = $1
WEAK EXECUTION = $1000
SO-SO- EXECUTION = $10,000
GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000
BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000
To make a business, you need to multiply the two.
The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.
The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.
That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.
I’m not interested until I see their execution.
I have always believed that this is the big difference between a designer and non-designer, or an artist and a non-artist. Perhaps even an amateur versus a professional, you see it all comes down to execution.
People always point out a piece of modern art to me and say “well even I could do this”. I would then politely point out, “no you can’t, you don’t have the means or the know how to do it”.
The same with products. “God why can’t everyone be like Apple?” and my answer is “well we can’t because we either don’t have the means or the know how to do it”. Most of the time it is really the lack of the “means” or the unwillingness to put in the “means”.
Being in the design business for quite a few years now, I am surprised how many people (designers and non-designers alike) are so afraid to share their ideas. The point here is that ideas are dime a dozen, and like T-shirts, most of the people in world have them. What you do with them is the key.
The rest is all talk and talk is cheap.
For designers don’t let yourself fall into this same trap as great ideas are the name of our game. Look at it this way, having lots of ideas are like planting saplings. It is the bouncing, sharing and interaction of these ideas that turn them into strong trees.
So what have you shared today?