Why execution is more important than idea

On April 29, 2013

A common pitfall while starting your startup is to wait for the right idea. An idea that's so fresh and exciting, it'll change the way things are done.

And you keep arguing with yourself that you can't start unless you have this perfect idea. No wonder you never get anything done.

If you keep looking for ideas everywhere, you'll only end up wasting your time. Time that could've been spent on executing a decent idea, and creating something measurable.

It's easy to fall in this trap of searching for the perfect idea, because you see many stories of first time entrepreneurs creating a popular application, and making millions of it.

And you think, why should you work hard when you can easily make millions just by creating a single application. You see the glory of the one-app millionaire, but fail to see the background that made that one app a success.

And thanks to these one-sided stories, you continue your search for that single great idea.

But why is it easy to spend a hundred hours thinking about ideas, instead of spending just ten on the idea, and the remaining ninety on executing it?

I think I can answer this, because I've spent lot of time reflecting on my ideas, and know that waiting for the perfect idea is a waste of time. I've spent so much time thinking about different app and game ideas, that I didn't even implement a single one.

More often, we end up spending our time in search of the right idea instead of actually working with just the good one. And that's not because we are lazy or procrastinators, but because we think spending time working on an inferior idea is a waste of time.

And when you don't have that great idea, everything else does seem inferior in comparison. Inferior to an idea that you didn't even had yet. It's ridiculous, but equally true.

It's the thought of that great idea, which you don't have, that stops you from starting on a good one, which you already have. And that's why you end up just consuming ideas, and producing nothing.

Ideas are nothing unless you execute them, and so it's wise to spend more time executing a good idea, than waiting for the great ones. And many times, while executing those good ideas, you'll suddenly come up with the great ones.

The best ideas rarely come if you just wait for them. A better option is always to start with a decent idea, and keep polishing your product till it becomes almost perfect. That's what I did with my first product, a simple calculator app, which I'm really proud of.

And I suggest you do the same and start working on your next app even if the idea seems just okay. And as you keep executing it and move towards completing it, you'll get more and more better ideas.

Sometimes, people spend days, months, and even years waiting for a great idea. And when they do create something out of it, they realize that no one else finds it so great.

Isn't it better to create something until you get that perfect idea? And when you do get it, you always have the choice to work on it or continue working on your earlier ideas. At least you won't end up wasting your time producing nothing.

New ideas only come, when you actually create something using the old ones. It's by using your own products that you realize what's missing and what can be improved. You learn from your mistakes, and avoid them in your future products.

True knowledge only comes when you turn your ideas into a real product. Because executing an idea, gives you something measurable. You know what can be done, and what can't be. This knowledge automatically comes when you keep creating products one after another.

Ideas do matter. And great products are nothing but the execution of great ideas.

But, as solo programmers or entrepreneurs we can't afford the luxury of waiting for it. There is a better way to spend that time, and that's creating something using the idea you have now, something which you can be proud of.

If you know someone who spends more time thinking about ideas, and less time working on them, do share this post with them.

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