A Big Idea

by Urban Samurai on May 9, 2011

“Vision without execution is hallucination.” Thomas Edison

A few years ago, I worked with a guy an ‘idea guy’. Give him an hour and ten inventive ideas would come out. This guy had more creativity and vision in his pinky than most of us have throughout our whole bodies. I’d see a new product on TV, and he had that exact idea, for that exact product, years earlier. Cool movie ideas, cool marketing campaign ideas, cool anything, this guy had thought of it first, so many times. And he really did. I watched him. He wasn’t making it up.

I was awestruck…at first. Creativity at the highest level, is beautiful to watch.

After a while, it made me sad for him. Who wants to be the person that has all the ideas, but doesn’t have the gumption to step up and execute them?

Do you know how many people have ideas? Every drone on a dank subway car on their way to their miserable job, has one. But what do they do with those ideas.

If you don’t do anything with it, your great idea is equally as amazing as your afternoon yawn.

Ideas are easy. There is no sweat. There is no blood. There is no risk. There is no brink of failure. There is no self doubt. There is no threat of bankruptcy. There are no sleepless nights. No frantic decisions. No huge steps backwards. No starting over from scratch, with nothing. No people coming to try take what you’ve built. There are few critics.

All those things come with execution. Even successful execution.

You know what else comes with execution…? The opportunity to light the world on fire. Core-touching satisfaction. Public recognition. Potential financial reward. Your dreams…realized.

I’d rather spill some blood and risk it all in an effort to get those things, than to bury my ideas inside and watch someone else execute them.

Don’t be the person who ‘had that idea.’ Don’t watch your product be mass marketing or franchised or mass produced by someone else. It may take effort and time and resources, but all those combined don’t equal the cost of disappointment and regret.

It’s not to say to rush in and make rash decisions. Don’t expend all these resources on a whim. But don’t over think it either. As General George Patton said, “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”

If you don’t execute them, your ‘big’ ideas are really small. They are nothing. They are less than nothing. They are wasted thoughts. They are hallucinations.

You have a great idea for a book? Then write it. You have a great idea for a product? Make it. You have a great idea for a business? Start it.