Startups, your execution is more valuable than your idea. |

Startups, your execution is more valuable than your idea.

Startups place too much importance on the IDEA, and too little importance on the EXECUTION of the idea.

This is my observation as a recruiter who works for early-stage startup leaders. 

Startup leaders often fall in love with their idea. They ask me to sign an NDA before they can even share their idea with me.  I sign the NDA, but it really doesn’t matter. The IDEA doesn’t matter. In fact, they could email their idea to all the Big Orthos and nothing would happen.

It’s the EXECUTION that matters.  Potential acquirers will only take notice when a startup is executing well. Acquirers give strong valuations for great execution, not great ideas. 

Derek Sivers shares the multiplier example below.

To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. Ideas are just the multiplier. Execution is worth millions.


Awful Idea = -1
Weak Idea = 1
So-so Idea = 5
Good Idea = 10
Great Idea = 15
Brilliant Idea = 20
——– ———
No Execution = $1
Weak Execution = $1000
So-so Execution = $10,000
Good Execution = $100,000
Great Execution = $1,000,000
Brilliant Execution = $10,000,000

To build a viable business, you need to multiply the two.

The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.

The most brilliant idea with great execution con be worth $200,000,000.

At Ellipse Technologies, we multiplied a brilliant idea and a brilliant execution.  They enabled us to go from idea to $410M in eight years.

That’s why I don’t want to hear your idea, I want to hear about your execution.