Reason to Not Not Do a Startup: The Idea


Good post on why ideas are really the commodity.  Execution is all that matters, it is long, hard and not as sexy but that is where the meat of a startups success is.

 viacaterpillarcowboy: via thegongshow:

Sometimes I ask people I know in my life who I believe would be good entrepreneurs, “have you thought about doing a startup?” I common response to this question is, “Yes, but I don’t feel like I have a good idea.”

I typically let the conversation end right there, because I would never push someone to do a startup that is hesitant.  A good entrepreneur has an undeniable drive, a hunger to bust through brick walls and make their startup successful. It’s not possible to try to convince someone with logic to adopt that often-irrational entrepreneurial frame of mind.

But, if I were to continue the conversation, I don’t think a lack of a good idea is a reason to not do a startup. Want a good idea? Here’s 30 great ones that Paul Graham wants to fund. Why would Paul Graham just give away 30 great ideas for free? Because the value of a business is not in the idea. In an early stage company, the value is in the people involved.

It’s the same reason that anytime I have a startup idea, I immediately write a blog post about it here.  I know that ideas are cheap, and additionally, ideas get better as people contribute feedback to them, shape them, and make them their own. I’d love to see a great team make any of the nagging startup ideas banging around in the back of my head a reality.

Entrepreneurs almost never take a startup from idea to full execution in a straight line.  The idea is a just a starting point from which people weave and bob around as they try to figure out where the money is in a new market they are creating, or existing market they are co-opting.

The converse is true here too.  If you’re really passionate about doing a startup because you think you have a great idea, you are actually starting with very little. In fact, the passion you have is very likely far more valuable than the idea itself. So, I would never discourage someone in that position, but my advice at that stage is typically: go get the 2 or 3 smartest people you know and run with the idea. Because people are so important, it’s really difficult to give the idea a fair shot if you do it alone.