1. Ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is everything.
2. We do not live in a pitch economy, almost no one is buying ideas, they’re buying companies, they’re buying something active that is generating capital.
3. We’re all Missourians today, that’s right, we all live in the SHOW ME state. We want to see evidence of your success, of the implementation of your idea, we don’t just want to hear you talk about it.
4. Ideas are in the air. Many people are working on similar breakthroughs at the same time. While you believe your idea is unique, there’s a good chance someone else is aware of it and is trying to achieve the same goal and is working while you sleep.
5. Talk is cheap. That’s why it’s so hard to get someone of power to converse, never mind go to a meal. A professional can tell in just a few sentences whether you’re real. Furthermore, if you create something real these same professionals will be breathing down your neck.
6. Success is hard work and very few want to do the heavy lifting. Because it’s boring, because it’s challenging, because no one is paying attention, because it might not pay off in the long run anyway.
7. Too many people want others to do the work. They revel in their seats as they pontificate about the great things that can be achieved with their ideas. Why don’t they just make the effort themselves? Because they don’t have the desire. That’s the secret of life, we all follow our desires, our passions, and a mediocre idea with incredible follow-through by someone who cares about it trumps a great idea with lame execution every day of the week.
8. In the tech economy everyone believes it’s about the idea. But so many of the successful companies were not innovators so much as combiners of previous technologies with a bit of vision and great execution. Google didn’t invent search and Facebook didn’t invent social networking and Apple didn’t invent the portable music player. In each case someone else had the initial idea. But Google took someone else’s idea and employed algorithms to deliver the search results you always wanted but had previously been unable to find. Facebook regulated the marketplace, they created a social home that worked on all media, and found a way to eat Google’s lunch by figuring out advertising on mobile. That’s right, Facebook survives on advertising, they didn’t invent that model, they just refined it. And Apple bought SoundJam to build iTunes and threw FireWire into the pot to create the iPod. So don’t keep thinking about coming up with something out of thin air, but utilizing the already extant
blocks to build something new and desirable, in some cases just a better mousetrap. Yes, there is a first mover advantage, but only if the first mover has a great product that he keeps improving, staying ahead of the pack.
9. It’s easier to tell someone what to do than to do it yourself.
10. If you want something done right, do it yourself, because rarely does anybody care about it as much as you do.
11. What looks like a bad idea to some is a winner in the hands of another.
12. Opportunities are abundant, but most people are afraid to do the work.
13. If someone is telling you what you could do, you’re probably best off ignoring them, because you know better what you should do, and will put in the effort to make it a success.
14. What separates winners from losers is whether they’re willing to get their hands dirty. Behind every overnight success is a ton of unseen work.
15. It’s easy to judge, it’s much harder to do. But don’t think your efforts are sans judgments, because someone always has to buy to make you successful, whether it be an intermediary or the public. So if your product/service/music has no traction, there’s judgment right there, it’s not commercial. Too many people blame someone else for their failures when they should really be blaming themselves.
16. Don’t waste people’s time with unimportant details, what is important to you may not be important to them. An expert knows what has potential. Your pet project is irrelevant to them if they can’t make money with it. Respect others’ time and knowledge.
17. Many people don’t follow through because they don’t want to, not because they’re incompetent. While you’re busy lamenting you didn’t get a return phone call or e-mail, frequently that person is not tanning at the beach but expending effort on what will help him out and make him happy. Want to motivate someone? Think about delivering what they want.