Derek Sivers

Entrepreneur, programmer, avid student of life. I make useful things, and share what I learn.

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution

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.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/2404793397/

(This post originally appeared on my O'Reilly blog on August 16, 2005. I'm re-posting it here since their site is getting filled with ads.)