Valuable Ideas are Worthless

- July 10, 2012 2 MIN READ


I don’t know how many times I hear people talking about their top secret “valuable idea”.

They get paranoid about sharing it, they worry about people discovering it, they want people to buy it off them and they think that it’s worth millions.

Let me categorically say that (IMHO) valuable ideas aren’t worth anything. The valuable part of any idea is its implementation.

Anyone can sit around and have a big idea. Few can make it happen.

Even a boring idea becomes valuable if it’s implemented well. The idea behind Pret A Manger is “yummy sandwiches ready to go”. Yawn.


The idea behind Innocent Drinks is “delicious healthy smoothies”. So what? Is that a revolutionary idea? Would you have fallen off your chair when you heard about these little bottles of juice?

Neither of these ideas are particularly ingenious. What’s remarkable and valuable about both of these ideas is that they are implemented with absolute excellence.

An even better example is the iPad.

Tablet PC’s have been around for years. Bill Gates was on about tablet PC’s a decade ago. The idea is clearly a brilliant idea but could Microsoft or anyone else execute it? Not even close.

The brilliance of Apple wasn’t to have the idea of a tablet PC but to implement a strategy that would get the whole world buzzing about them. What better example demonstrates that valuable ideas are worthless … Until they are implemented with excellence.

So why do people try so hard to protect the their idea?

  1. They have no idea how to implement it with excellence but they still want the money and the glory.
  2. They aren’t willing to implement it with excellence and they still want the money and the glory.

But that’s not how the world works and nor should it be. The people who get an idea into the world, who pitch it again and again and work tirelessly for years to get it right are the ones who deserve the money and the rewards. Not the person who thinks they deserve a medal just for having an idea.


What do you think?