You watch other people come up with new ideas and wonder just how do they do it. Is it their idea? Or is it their implementation? What makes one idea more successful than another?
You may wonder what the real answer is but have more pressing things that rob you of your time. Your car needs to be taken to the panel beaters. Your roof is leaking and you have to call a roof repairer. Your child needs to be taken to the doctor. Your dog is sick and you must get to the vet urgently.
If you’ve done some online searches, you may find that some people argue for the importance of a winning idea. Others believe strongly that execution is so important that it determines everything. Perhaps there is a middle ground: a strong idea and effective implementation result in a winning combination.
If you have come up with an idea, turned it into a product or service and launched it on the market, then you will know that learning by doing is often best. It means trial and error but it does show you what works and what doesn’t.
Veteran Canadian singer Neal Young has developed a new music player called the Pono. He’s been searching for a listening device that provides superior sound to anything presently available on the market. He’s been able to raise more than $6,000,000 from crowd funding to develop PonoPlayer with a promise that it will allow the listener to hear “what we hear”. He has a number of high profile musicians who are Pono supporters including Tom Petty, Pearl Jam and Crosby Stills & Nash.
Whether this music listening device will be a success or not will depend on whether people want it or not. But Neal’s idea seems to have been born out of his passion for quality music. From this passion he has gone to great lengths to produce quality music himself and has now turned to getting deeply involved in the production of a music player.
The winner in the contest between idea and execution may well be passion. When you think about the things that move you, that motivate you, that inspire you… isn’t this the fertile ground that provides a rich soil in which ideas begin to grow? Would you come up with an idea that doesn’t excite you?
Your areas of interest, your fascinations, your passion is at very least a starting point for your best ideas. But passion, of course, comes with no guarantee. You might fall in love with an idea that consumes you. You might give it everything you’ve got but it still doesn’t find a hungry market.
This is why it’s important to evaluate your idea at an early stage to test other people’s interest. A small test market or trial will help you decide whether you should go ahead.
Videogame archaeologists recently found a cachet of Atari games that were buried in the New Mexico dessert 30 years ago. Atari made millions of copies of the ET (the Extra Terrestrial) game but it sold poorly and helped contribute to the demise of the company. It was described as one of the worst games ever created. Many of the Atari 2600 game cartridges were found still in their original packing.
It just goes to show that no matter how much an idea may stir the imagination if it is not what people want and is poorly made no one will want it no matter how much passion, originality and execution you can muster.