Ideas are Just a Multiplier of Execution

A good friend of mine met up with Derek Sivers in Singapore earlier this year and instantly turned around and said to me, “Chris you need to meet Derek, he’s completely on your wavelength and you’ll get on well.”

In 1998 Derek founded CDBaby.com with $500 and sold the business in 2008 for $22 Million, but that’s not why I like him. Derek is a musician, entrepreneur, thinker, and lover of life. His ideas are revolutionary in their simplicity and honesty.

In the past I’ve discussed the value of ideas and compared them to grains of sand on the beach. Just recently I mentioned this very important point that many will have an idea but only a few will put it to work intelligently. In the same vein of thought I’ve also mentioned a number of reasons why you should NOT sign an NDA. Derek recently published an article which absolutely nails this topic, and as such I felt compelled to share it with you. Any investor attempting to value a start-up company should remember that ideas are just a multiplier of execution.

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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.

Explanation:

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.

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Like I said. Simple, elegant and absolutely true.

Thank you Derek. You can read more of Derek’s thoughts here.

Have a great weekend all

– Chris

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success…” – Swami Vivekananda