I just saw yet another post for help where the person didn't want to say what their idea is. You've probably all heard that ideas are worthless but I'm going to try and lay out why execution is everything.
I've built a business that has over a million in sales annually but covid has flattened our growth from 300% yoy to 0%. So we need to switch things up. I've got a fantastically talented team, so I worked through every lost sales over 3 years and why, formed a hypothesis about the problem. Thought about it for a while had an idea that seemed to tick the boxes and the team liked it so we started that direction. Then one day the lightening rod hit. I had a great idea how for what we needed to build, it wasn't the mostly generic thing I first came up with, it was new and it was going to be great.
I told the team they thought the idea sucked. I drew pictures and workflows and explained all the rational and I managed to move some people to on the fence. So I just said fuck it and built the prototype myself. The suddenly everybody was like oh this is actually great.
I have a team of people who have been living this problem for 4 years, who are passionate about what they do and super talented, yet they couldn't see all the detail in my head about how to actually make the idea work, so they didn't get it.
This happens with things big and small. Another one from last week was after my direction, the designer made a design that was a little ambiguous the coder interpreted it wrong and for various reasons the team was convinced that the way it had been done was actually better because it allowed the user more freedom. So much so that it caused quite a dust up. Anyway to keep everyone happy we went with new user testing, they were amazed at how much new users struggled and quit the product with their way and all the alternative the users just glided through.
It is so hard to get people to fully believe and buy into your vision for a product, it takes constant work to keep course correcting and to figure out what battles are close enough it's not worth fighting. Vision isn't a once off, it's a constant.
Also the thing is that no matter how novel your idea is you'll probably find that there are competitors. With our first product we didn't do deep competition research, when people saw our product they had never seen anything like it and we thought it was totally new. Turned out that 2 competitors had had the idea 5 years before us. Also turned out that some people liked our execution more, so it wasn't a big deal.
Even with this latest product when we went looking we found competition. Luckily not as well set up as us and their products kind of suck but they had the same core idea.
I've been in the startup game for a while and it seems like even with wholly new things, if there is a set of circumstances in the world that give you the spark of something original and great, that has never existed in the course of humanity, then it probably happened to a few other people and some of those people probably have access to lots of cash.
Execution is so key, Google wasn't the first search engine, Facebook wasn't the first social media platform. You don't need to be the first or the richest but you need to realise that you're in a race from the outset and execute to make something that some people love.
If I can take everything of value you have to offer a company from one post, then you had nothing of value.