Quite often I have come across situations where I am asked about NDAs. Or in any case situations in which a person or a work team a group of people a group of founders gives a lot of importance to their idea as if the very fact of having had an idea maybe something that is already worth I don’t know a million euros for example.
This is typically because we are led to follow the speed with which we think, that is when we have a good idea and maybe even try to see it applied in a product in a startup and we are also thinking about how to convey it and sell which ones can be customers, which ones it is the value proposition, and when we have a good idea we tend to see it in our mind already realized and therefore especially if we are convinced that it is a good idea from a commercial point of view we go to attribute a value usually greater than what it really has.
While on the one hand I have had the experience of people who gave enormous value to their idea of the other party several times by working and having relationships with startup advisor accelerators, experienced investors. I’ve always heard that ideas have no value, what matters is execution. The way an idea is realized. And in fact the market is full of people who have had great ideas but failed to market them and people who may have had mediocre, trivial or just plain ideas and who have managed to market a lot and make them famous.
So just as it is true when we have an excellent idea we see its profitability and therefore we attribute a value to it, it is equally true that an idea without the right execution and therefore its relative marketing has no real value.
If there has not been a validation work, if you have not experimented with real customers, in practice if you have not yet found your market fit. That intersection between product idea and market, our idea remains just an idea. And therefore by its nature worthless.
Also thanks to the internet we now know that in the world there is always someone who has had the same idea or who is thinking of developing something similar if not identical to what we thought.
Also because innovation is an incremental process, and everyone is looking towards the same horizon. There are no great innovations that do not start from a common basis.
Creativity Creating new ideas is a process of emulation. In which, taking a cue from what has been and what it is, we try to imagine what will be. For this there is always someone else who has had the same idea, for this an idea has no value.
Nonetheless, we continue to sign NDAs with our clients, to reassure them, to tell them that they can trust us, because we don’t care about stealing ideas, we like being paid to develop them.
The idea is, however, the process from which the development of a new product, the creation of a new market, the satisfaction of a new need can start. And therefore the constitutional potential of a gain.
So good execution of an idea is the only real way to create value from an idea.
But a good idea, on which some kind of validation work has actually been done, for which there is a proven existence of a market, of people who are interested in depriving themselves of a specific amount of money to obtain the benefits that this idea can bring them, then it already acquires a different value. Also because it is no longer just a personal opinion and therefore an idea but data, numbers.
Quite often, all too often Startups and their founders lose years behind market-less ideas. In this case, attachment has an idea, excessive passion and excessive self-confidence leads to attribute an even negative value to the idea.
For this reason, when we talk about the value of an idea in many areas related to the world of startups, we are talking about validating the idea in the shortest possible time. Validation is about learning, and what you learn is not always good. You must have the ability to understand the results of a validation. Nevertheless, perseverance in the face of failure is also an important ingredient in the realization of a valuable idea. It is in all this the component of luck, in being at the right time in the right place, in doing the right thing at the right time. It takes on a meaning and a significant value.
In any case, validating quickly, making mistakes and failing, even before having developed a product, and doing it as many times as possible and in the shortest possible time is certainly an excellent strategy for executing an idea. The only problem is an advantage if you will and that is that at the end of this iterative process, there may be very little left of the initial idea. But if you have found a real market with customers interested in paying.