How much is your idea worth? It depends...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here. 

First of all, I should point out my career has involved working in a cutting edge industry where the work was fun and challenging; offered me the advantages of travel, expense accounts, bonuses and stock options - Great times, invaluable experience, and a body of work to be proud of. I don't do that anymore... I'm now involved, more and more, with people who have an idea and are passionate about bringing to life. It's a wonderful opportunity I have been afforded...

I was at a networking event recently, which brought entrepreneurs and seed investors together for mentoring and guidance. It was there, I met someone who could be considered a "poster child" for the modern entrepreneur - His new economy "Uber-esk" idea, a very slick website, and an air of confidence that you could not help but like... did I mention he was still in his third year of university? That same week, I also met a person who was being creative with expanding the business, another who was wrestling with how to manage through a current cash flow problem, and then ended the week having dinner with two close friends*. 

In our conversations, we discussed our business ideas, our visions for the future, the challenges, and what we were doing; with excitement in the possibilities. We were creating value and worth with our ideas; the revenue we expected to generate or the valuation of these ideas with our favorite seed investors. It was here, that I realized the worth of an idea was much more than just monetary. And how valuable ideas really are - 

  • Ideas feed your life goals - We all should have life goals, and as they say, "they should be BIG, so you can grow into them". Ideas are the birthplace for meeting those goals.
  • Ideas drive accomplishment - "I have an idea, why don't we do this..." (or some other iteration), sets activities in motion, and this is how accomplishment happens.
  • Ideas feed knowledge - more often than not, an idea will lead to something that you have not done before; simply said, "you will have to learn how to do it".
  • Ideas feed your well-being - Ideas, by their very nature develop creativity, accomplishment and success. All good feelings.
  • Ideas are self perpetuating - Ideas beget ideas, particularly if they are shared... "That's a great idea and that makes me think of this idea... we could probably try this... that gives me an idea..."
  • Ideas are the birthplace for solving problems - If you want to solve a problem, the largest list of ideas you can come up with will hold the answer.

Ideas are curious little things though... it's not what they are, but what you do with them, that defines their worth. Three options come to mind -

  • You bring your idea to life - this is simply where you dedicate your energy and emotion to your idea; then work very, very hard to make it a reality. It's fair to say the more complex the idea, the more of a roller coaster ride it will be - Don't forget to enjoy the ride.
  • Give your idea away to someone who will make it a reality - if you have decided not to make your idea a reality, let someone else do it. What is served by holding onto it?
  • Holding on to an idea and doing nothing - There is no advantage to holding onto an idea and doing nothing with it - It's even worse when you say you are going to make your idea a reality and never make the attempt. 

The worth and value of an idea is in its execution... the shame of an idea, is not attempting to execute on it at all.


* Dinner with Big D and The Duke was a good time and I wish them great success with their ideas.