Focus on doing good things, not just having good ideas

I love Seth Godin's analogy for how to protect your ideas in the digital age:

Focus on being the best tailor with the sharpest scissors, not the
litigant who sues any tailor who deigns to use a pair of scissors.

Or make the best scissors for sale. Or have the best scissor company customer service. But don't block good ideas from changing the world. Don't prevent people from using scissors because you thought of them first. (Others thought of them too!)

I think more emphasis should be put on implementation and not ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Actually implementing the idea is where the work is.

4 Replies to “Focus on doing good things, not just having good ideas”

  1. You know, I’ve thought about this, and it is kinda bad for the people that do have great ideas, because they rarely profit from it and get to endure all the humiliation until it is accepted.
    Examples: – the part about V-Style (and yes, the English article sucks) – at least the guy won one Gold medal
    These guys did a lot to improve the respective sports, but didn’t they deserve more?

  2. I’m not saying that people don’t deserve credit, public recognition and compensation for ideas. But having good ideas is not nearly as hard as implementing them.
    A year or so ago a friend of mine and I brainstormed a whole bunch of ideas for startups. Now most of those ideas are implemented in one way or another by others. Ideas are rarely unique – lots of people come up with the same ideas. It’s those that manage to implement them or convince others to implement them that are truly doing all the work.
    I could tell you tons of ways my computer could be better. But it’s the person that takes the time to make my computer better (not just say how it should be better) that should get the credit/money for doing the work.
    Even worse are people that have great ideas, file for a patent and then sit on it and sue people that try to implement it! They are actually holding us back.

  3. Seth, your idea sounds great. However I think that I need to point out that building a reputation takes time, and seeing a financial gain from this reputation can take even more time.
    As Benjamin said earlier, there are a lot of good ideas out there that are not recognized, idea providers that do not have the power to push things forward to the market. However, there are in staid a lot of companies that are more then willing to implement “free ideas” on the market.
    I would argue that: from an early start-up perspective, for the creators of ideas packaging their knowledge in a valuable offer (patent, trademark, company, database) can sometimes be the only way to get secure some financial compensation for their work.

  4. sorry for the spelling….”might be the only way for them to secure some financial compensation from their work” and actually see their work implemented on the market

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