Innovation: How Much Is an Idea Worth?

How much is an idea worth? Absolutely nothing!

Until we take action on it, an idea has no value at all.

Have you ever seen people making money with a new product or service that you once thought about creating yourself? Most of us have.

But with us the idea languished. With the people who made money off of it, the idea turned into action.

In a world begging for innovation, we do not have an under-supply of good ideas. We have a shortage of execution.

That's why saying, "I have a million dollar idea" is merely deluding ourselves. However inventive our idea may be, it's not worth one red cent until we harness it to a plan to action, then execute the plan.

We can always offer a myriad of reasons for postponing action, some of them valid, others less so. But they all add up to the same thing: inaction.

A mediocre idea in the hands of someone who takes action on it is far preferred to a brilliant idea that lies forever idle.

In recent decades we've seen the emergence of so-called "think tanks." They produce tons of great ideas. But they implement none of them. Most of their effort thus eventually sits on a bookshelf, gathering dust.

Because think tanks hold such prestige, it's easy to conclude that we are doing something prestigious by coming up with brilliant ideas. What makes think tanks significant, however, is that once in a while someone else takes one of their ideas and runs with it. Otherwise think tanks would be fairly worthless.

Perhaps in this great "wiki" age of ours, we need an online repository where people can go and post items to this effect: "Here is a great idea I have, but I'm not going to do anything with it. If it excites you, feel free to take it run with it."

You know, thinking about it, that's a great idea! But I'm not going to do anything with it. So perhaps this is the first posting to go on the wiki.

In the final analysis the world has a general bias toward action. Nature and business alike reward activity. They rarely reward inactivity.

So quit congratulating yourself on your fantastic ideas. Take one of them and do something with it.

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