“Ideas” do not change the world

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By Arnab Ray

Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” – Sue Grafton

We often hear that an idea can change the world. It’s true, it can. However, an idea alone does not mean anything. It’s the execution that really counts. Over the years, we have helped several startups and entrepreneurs right from the ideation phase to implementation. One thing, which we can confidently say, is without the power of execution, your ideas are as good as nothing. Our firm belief and our advice to all entrepreneurs is:

Execution is more important than Planning. Planning is more important than Ideas.

Logically, you cannot execute properly if you haven’t planned well and you cannot plan if you don’t have an idea. Although the entrepreneurial process begins with an idea, and is definitely considered the most important step but we must understand it’s just one of the steps in the overall process.

Every seminar we deliver every workshop we take or everyone we engage with has many ideas. Some of them even claim it to be a billion dollar idea before even figuring out on how to implement it. Everyone has ideas. So please don’t flatter yourself if you have an idea. It probably is the next big thing but we will never come to know unless you take the pain to execute it. Ideas do not sell, its execution does. We often find entrepreneurs have an ego about their idea alone. Well, idea alone means nothing, and having a ego at that phase is detrimental to the overall prospect of the venture.

You might be taking a bath and like Archimedes you have an Eureka moment. Excellent, so what? Do you want the world to bow down to you for coming up with that idea. Well that doesn’t really happen in the real world. If you are lazy implementing it, at the max someone else will make the effort and implement it. You have to be happy with the consolation of your idea being a success while the real fruits (read money) is enjoyed by the one who implemented it. An entrepreneur is not only an idea generator, he or she has to be the executor of the idea.

So how do you really change the world? Well, to start with when you think of an idea start developing it, understand its feasibility, imagine the way forward. Try and put the pieces of the puzzle together on how all of these will come together and make it a profitable, sustainable and value adding venture. Once you have got all the pieces, start your blue print. Work out your plan, get some research done up, look closely at your numbers, understand the strategy which would be the best fit.

If you think you are a maverick genius who doesn’t need planning and you will be able to flip your business into a profitable one just like that, I must say you are a Harry Potter with his cute wand trying “flipendo” all around. Things just do not happen, especially in today’s age where competition is fierce, the business environment is challenging, an average life span of products or services are shrinking day by day. So invest in planning, enhance your idea and put in a well-documented business plan.

Is business plan the final frontier? No it isn’t. With the business plan you do have a structure and a roadmap. But a business plan without the drive to implement it is just like those innumerable study schedule we made during board exams but never really implemented them.

A well drafted business plan paves the way to implementation. If you have a business plan just for the heck of it , and implementation runs on your whims, it’s of no use. Your business plan must be prepared keeping in mind what needs to be done in order to execute your idea.

Execution brings in its own set of challenges and learning. Every learning affects your business plan. You enhance your business plan as you go along and sometimes even tweak your idea to make its sharper. It’s the feedback process between execution, to planning, to idea, that makes your venture more refined and competitive. Flexibility and adaptability is the key skills of any entrepreneur. Well, we don’t really have a choice. If we don’t adapt we will be extinct like dinosaurs before we can even spell it.

In a nut shell each of these phases is extremely important for entrepreneurs. A successful venture needs a combination of all. So if you have an idea, stop fooling around with it, start doing something about it.

Stay ahead!

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    5 thoughts on ““Ideas” do not change the world”

    1. Mr Ray, I am a 60 years old Cardiologist. Three decades ago, before I had undergone specialization training (i.e. I was a GP then), I figured out that the profession of medicine was not being run the way ‘it ought to be’. To my mind, even way back then, sufficient medical technology & science WAS available to ensure that nobody ever fell sick. But I saw a sea of preventable sickness all around me. I was in the Indian Army (AMC) then, a young Captain. I started discussing it with family, friends & colleagues with great excitement but I noticed that it did not enthuse anyone and I did not know why. Mostly people took it lightly, at times with politeness and at times when they knew they could get away with it, they laughed it off. They were alarmed when I began to let it be known that I could pull off this magic even as a GP; so why waste my energies in specializing & super-specializing. It was then that the ‘family & friends’ circle got activated and turned the heat on me to go for specialization, as there was no ‘survival without it’, they said. With my propensity for academic brilliance, it was not difficult for me and in due course of time, I specialized into Internal Medicine and then went on into the rarefied field of super-specialization in Cardiology. But the bug of ‘Preventive Healthcare’ continued to buzz in the background. One day, some 20 years ago, I started the same old oft repeated rant (to which most had become familiar by now), in front of a friend, while enjoying a drink in the bar. He is a very wise, practical man. He told me an eye-opener: He said “people listen to you depending upon five Ws- Who, Where, hoW, When and What. In hindi, he said five K’s (Kaun, Kahan,Kaise, Kab aur Kya). He pointed out that What or Kya means the quality of the content of what you are saying, and that it came the last, always & everytime. In one stroke, I was silenced for ever, as I knew that I was a nobody and the next three Ws or Ks were equally dismal. Of the fifth W or K, that is What or the content; I was confident of, am even more so today. For brevity I shall cap it with “today sufficient medical technology and science exists that nobody should ever fall sick and be admitted in a hospital. As an anecdotal evidence, myself or any member of my inner family circle has never got admitted in a hospital (my efforts must have payed a part, at least so I’d like to believe!). BTW, the same applies to most of the doctors, I began to gradually realize down the line!!!!! The only difference is that I am vocal about it and my colleagues are more clever. Now here is the idea: A health-insurance company be set up, which runs on the usual principles of actuarial sciences, as such; with one tweak: best of medical science & technology be deployed in a cost-effective manner to ensure that almost nobody ever falls sick and nobody ever (or almost never) gets admitted in any hospital. Accordingly, the USP of this health insurance company shall be minimum claim payouts and therein lies the cutting edge to beat the competition. Do you see some juice in it to carry it forward? I took premature retirement from the Army as a Lt Col 20 years ago, struggled in the private sector in India for more than 10 years and then shifted base to Saudi Arabia, where I am working at present under their Ministry of Health. Am keen to devote the rest of my life to implement my idea and am trying to garner support for the same from all possible quarters.

    2. Sir, I am from TeamFelix. I recently discovered this blog. Being a religious follower of your YouTube channel, I found these articles equally helpful. To change someone’s life is great, your are changing many. You’re doing great job Sir.


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