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    6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2015 9:10 PM by Milleisen

    What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?

    Milleisen Scout

      When people think about really successful businesses, I think the common belief is that the people behind it had a great idea that nobody else had ever thought of, and the rest fell into place.  I tend to think that's a myth.  There are millions of ideas floating around out there, so I think it's more about the talent, motivation, resources, and maybe even a little bit of luck.

       

      A great example of my theory is Facebook.  Social networks already existed, so it wasn't a new idea.  It was the person behind it that made facebook the giant that it is today.  The smartest thing that Mark Zuckerberg did was to let facebook evolve based on what users wanted to see, rather than making it into what he thought it should be.

       

      History is littered with examples of businesses that started out with one idea, then evolved into something completely different because the founders didn't stay married to their one "great" idea, but instead let feedback from real users be their guide.

       

      If you ask me, once a person realizes that they don't need to have that proverbial "light bulb" go on in their head to start a business, the closer they will be to finding success. 

        • Re: What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?
          LUCKIEST Guide

          So true Milleisen.

          There is only ONE key to business success. YOU.

          Many elements like money, customers, (my favorite, a business plan) location

          are very important.

          However all of them are dependent upon one element YOU.

          So before you commit yourself, take a good look at YOURSELF.

           

          Good luck, LUCKIEST

            • Re: What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?
              Milleisen Scout

              Luckiest - I know writing a business plan is a standard thing people throw out there, but I'm not sure that writing a business plan matters in many types of ventures.  All the really important stuff can be covered with a "to do" list, and tends to pop up organically.  Unless a startup is financed by a bank or investor, a business plan is not really all that essential.  As a former banker, I can honestly say that I never approved a loan because the person submitted a business plan.  On the contrary, if someone submitted a business plan, they were almost universally a novice entrepreneur.

               

              There are some really smart business minds out there (Tim Ferriss of "the 4-hour workweek" fame) and Paul Graham (Y-combinator) who advocate treating your business like an experiment or a cool project.  They basically say if you identify a problem or something that really annoys you, the solution to your problem could potentially be a business.  In other words, start trying to solve a problem and see where it takes you instead of writing executive summaries and financial projections.

               

              I'm not saying that business plans are bad.  I usually can find more effective ways to vet an idea than writing a business plan.

            • Re: What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?
              Henry Scout

              Your idea is formed by being open in others feedback. So, the more feedback you gather the more ideas will form in your mind. Therefore, you and others feedback are important.

                • Re: What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?
                  Moderator Cath Guide

                  I agree with you, Henry.  Your feedback, added to feedback from others often generates a spark and that spark develops into an idea and possibly a great plan!

                   

                  This is why I think this community is such an energizing one.  We all have ideas and/or suggestions to add to those of others.  And this is why we should not hold back but share our thoughts and experiences.  Who knows someone's comment may become YOUR next great idea!

                   

                  Cath

                  • Re: What's more important, the idea, or the person behind the idea?
                    Milleisen Scout

                    Agreed, Henry.  Being able to listen and understand what customers are asking for is really important.  I think many small business owners get stuck on executing their "big idea" instead of being open the idea that your customers will tell you exactly what they want.  This is a simple example, but I think it drives home my point:

                     

                    I own a pizza truck.  At first, I wanted to see 10 different varieties of really exotic pizza.  After a few weeks of throwing away lots of left over pizza, I realized that people really just want good plain and pepperoni pizza.  So I had a choice: I could keep trying to force onto customer what I wanted the concept, or accept that my business would be successful simply by accepting what THEY wanted.