Ideas are worthless

2 minute read

In the last few weeks or so, I spent quite much time reading forums, blogs, posts and whatnot about entrepreneurship mainly because, at some point in the future, I am interested in pursuing such a path.

During this time, my main focus was on reading as much as possible about startups, success stories, fail stories, tips and tricks from other business owners and many others, while going to various local relevant meetups.

I saw a lot of posts of people asking: “How can I make sure that nobody steals my idea?”. The perfect answer to this came when I participated at a local meetup whose purpose was to answer the question “What is the worth of my idea?” and the answer was very simple: you can’t and shouldn’t do anything to prevent others to steal your idea and the actual value of it is 0. Completely worthless. And I am going to tell you why.

Anybody can come with an idea, no matter how unique it seems at first. If you don’t believe me, you can try the following experiment: choose a term and write on a piece of paper any business idea that comes through your mind which is related to the chosen term and is half decent (so that realistically there is a slight chance people will pay for it). After that, search each idea on Google to see how many of these ideas are already implemented. Chances are that you will find a lot of them to be already implemented by other businesses and this doesn’t mean you stole their idea. It just proves that an idea by itself has no worth. It’s just a bunch of words on a piece of paper.

The only thing that matters when wanting to start a business is the execution, because that’s when people are willing to pay money for it, as long as it brings value to them. It can be a revolutionary idea but if the implementation is bad and hard to use by the customers, nobody will actually pay anything for it.

So, if you have an idea but you are afraid to discuss it with people out of fear of being stolen, keep in mind that there are big chances someone already came with that idea before you. And if indeed you discuss it with somebody and they decide to implement it, it’s a good sign! It means that the idea is worth pursuing and all you have to do is to implement it better than the others (that’s the sign of a healthy competititve market: competitiveness).

So, if you have an idea, ask for feedback from people and start working on it as soon as possible. Ideas are worthless by themselves and only the execution matters.

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