“Your idea is worth nothing” is the headline of Forbes post discussing the Snapchat lawsuit. Similarly a post in the Entrepreneur states that “Your ideas have no value”. Is that the same as that your business idea is of no importance anymore?
Over the last decade there’s been a shift emphasizing the business model rather than the business idea. In many aspects this makes sense, but do we push it too far? Business modeling helps us developing a rough idea into something that may be executed. In line with the lean startup approach a resource efficient method is applied, increasing our chances to eventually achieve a good product market fit. This is all true, but choosing the business idea more carefully may create a far better starting point for a business modeling exercise. There are a number of things to consider before moving into modeling, which may improve the chances of creating significant value. Not all business ideas are worth wasting time and resources on. A business idea with a limited potential can seldom be saved be an extensive business modeling effort. It may be a better strategy to go for existing well established business ideas. Business model innovation applied to well established business ideas may create substantial new opportunities. Most recent successes are not based on new business ideas. Starting with the right business idea is rather to start within the right area where the action may be and develop from there. Then business modeling and execution can do wonders, but that is not the same as that business modeling and execution can create value out of any idea. An idea in itself may not have any value, as the two posts above state. It’s all about execution and what you do with an idea. That the idea in itself does not hold any value is not the same as that it is of no importance, but rather the opposite. Choosing the right idea to work with is still a cornerstone when building business, like in the cases refereed to in the two posts above. Given that more or less all ideas have been tested or formulated, coming up with a business idea is to excel in extracting the winners out of existing ideas, rather than making up your own.