Inventors, Innovators, and the Value of an Idea

How much is an idea worth? In my life so far, I’ve met people that both over value ideas and under value ideas. I come up with ideas all the time. Confession, I buy a lot of domain names. There is this great feature when you buy a domain that allows you to automatically renew your domain name for another year. When I register a new domain name, that is my declaration — my stake in the ground. However, I don’t typically set these domains up to auto-renew because it gives me a great opportunity in one year to let the idea die gracefully. If I’m not extremely excited about it and it’s not coming to the forefront of my subconscious (I dream about work, ew) then I’ll probably let it die. If it does excite me and it’s gaining traction I’ll spend more time with the idea.

I’ve been reading and listening about how Sean Wes Learn Lettering Course Made $80k in Sales in the First 24 Hours and I’m amazed by his transparency. He gives a basic formula for replicating his exact execution. He refers to a sales tactic called backwards selling where you actually build a distribution list for a non-existent product. This creates a proof of concept (value to consumers) without too much investment in the execution. Once he realized there was such a demand, he could begin to execute on what he set out to make.

I’ve also been reading a great book by a mentor of mine, Guy Kawasaki, called Art of the Start 2.0. Guy talks about how an idea is actually only a multiplier of execution. His formula is:

  • Awful idea = -1
  • Weak idea = 1
  • So-so idea = 5
  • Good idea = 10
  • Great idea = 15
  • Brilliant idea = 20
  • No execution = $1
  • Weak execution = $1,000
  • So-so execution = $10,000
  • Good execution = $100,000
  • Great execution = $1,000,000
  • Brilliant execution = $10,000,000

I think that sounds about right. I think a lot of people want paid for their ideas without the burden or responsibility of actually having to execute — but value is brought to the idea through the execution. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have a good idea with great execution than a brilliant idea with no execution. Let that sink in for the start of 2016 — it’s time to get started.

via Luke Wroblewski on Twitter

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