You Can’t Own an Idea

jack dorsey executing an idea
Portrait of Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter. From thierry ehrmann’s Flickr photostream.

“Everyone has an idea. But it’s really about executing the idea and attracting other people to help you work on the idea.” ~ Jack Dorsey

You can’t own an idea. But you can own the execution of an idea.

I might have a new way for people to connect on another social platform. I can brainstorm about it and dream how it can be bigger than Twitter.

But if I don’t get people using it and discover how it sticks to gain traction, then it’s just a worthless idea. The work and investment to make it viable is the hard work.

The great thing is that there is not any shortage of ideas. Heck, there are so many ways for you to make money in your industry, a place you are familiar with. If you can see a way to do things more efficiently or create a better experience, then that execution can get packaged in a way that appeals. Restaurants do this all the time. You can find the food in many different places, but we choose locales because of the way they deliver the goods.

Think about how Google moves into markets. They are rarely the first mover and yet they are able to dominate their markets. This is true for search, email, advertising and their pipeline of beta products. They execute better than those who went before them.

Maybe your opportunity is not far off. My bet is that what makes money and gets people connecting with you is right in front of you. The hard part is committing to the innovation and hard work of better execution.

What could that be for you?