Billion Dollar Ideas Are WORTHLESS

After talking to a couple wannabe entrepreneurs last week, I noticed some extremely strong misconceptions about starting new businesses and entrepreneurship in general.

One phrase that pretty much sums up entrepreneurship:

“It’s not the idea, it’s the jockey”

To prove this point. I am going to give away an almost sure-fire way to get rich:

———
As China is currently undergoing its own industrial revolution, simply replicate some of the services offered in the fully developed western countries. Start large chains of dry cleaners, gas stations, coffee shops, law firms, tax firms, shipping centers etc. and you will become filthy rich.
———

There, I just gave away a very feasible idea to literally become a billionaire. But who will act on it?

The person that has the courage to relocate to China and hurdle over the untold amount of obstacles is worth a billion dollars. NOT THE IDEA.

I told all my friends about my first online business idea, but I was the only one who acted on it. The idea wasn’t exactly unique, I just had the audacity to carry it out. After the business became lucrative, everyone wanted to be a part of it.

As Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

If you’re not the type of person who wants to jump all the hurdles and face the uncertainty of opening your own business, who cares! A franchise can offer great potential along with a tried-and-proven method to running a business already backing you. I suggest you check out Dane Carlson’s Business Opportunities Weblog for tons of great franchise ideas and articles about entrepreneurship.

So next time you hear someone tell you about a new idea, make your judgement based 10% on the idea and 90% on the person carrying it out.

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    Blog posted on: April 25, 2005

    16 comments on “Billion Dollar Ideas Are WORTHLESS

    1. Anonymous

      As for your idea: Thousands of Chinese have already thought about it, tried it, and tanked.

      Even the people who have enough money and government connections to deal with corruption, there are always small-level entrepeneurs here that will be willing to work for less, and for a smaller gross margin.

      Not to derail your whole point, which is good. I just want to point out that often these ideas have been around, and have even been tried, and still don’t work out.

      Reply
    2. Dan Hulton

      I think you’ve missed something in your post — the fact that the only people who don’t know this rule are liable to misinterpret it and make poor decisions based upon that misinterpretation.

      I posted a supporting counter-article on my blog, here:

      Billion Dollar People are WORTHLESS

      (If this comment violates any form of linking policy you have that I’ve missed, feel free to delete it with no hard feelings.)

      Reply
    3. Neville

      Imperfect,

      HOW DARE YOU RIP OFF MY POSTS!!

      Just kidding :)
      I actually like how you wrote a whole counter-post rather than a long comment. Well done!

      Your last statement really summed up the entire post nicely:

      (Written by Imperfect): “The lesson to really take away from all this is that a billion-dollar idea plus a billion-dollar person is priceless. The idea or the person by themselves are what’s worthless. “

      VERY well said!

      Reply
    4. JLP

      Neville,

      That is weird that you mention Dane Carlson’s site. I JUST came from there! Anyway, it’s a pretty cool website.

      Getting close to graduation?

      JLP

      Reply
    5. Quant Trader

      This blog post captured one of the key differences between mindset of the general population and that of the entrepreneur. Most people seem to think that ideas are “valuable”.

      As a semi-successful businessman, aquiantances will often share their business ideas with me. The fact is that often they are really good ideas. Sometimes people are worried that if they tell me their ideas, I will “steal” the idea. The strange thing is…I’ve found that MOST PEOPLE HAVE THOUGHT OF AN IDEA THAT COULD MAKE THEM RICH. There is no shortage of good ideas out there. In most cases there is zero chance that I would steal someone else’s “great idea”, because my partners and I allready have plenty of great ideas…far more than we have resources or time to implement. We are allready working hard on the best ideas we have, and if those don’t pan out we have enough to keep us busy for years to come, without stealing someone else’s.

      That brings me back to the point. Entrepreneurs learn that ideas are nearly worthless. Good ideas are simply to common to have much value. What does have value to me as an entrepreneur are these:

      (1)the ability and willingness to take risks
      (2) time
      (3)and finally resources (often this is a synonym for money, or the ability to raise it.)

      … and in that order too. Those 3 things are what are precious and must be guarded. Even though the vast majority of people I know possess plenty of great ideas that could get them rich, the main reason they won’t get rich from those ideas is that they don’t possess item #1, the ability and willingness to take a risk. This more than anything else is what differentiates the entrepreneur’s mindset from that of everyone else. Entrepreneur’s learn the truth…that ideas are nearly worthless. Doing something with them is what counts.

      Reply
    6. Neville

      Quant Trader,

      I completely agree. “The ability and willingness to take risks” is really what sets the entrepreneurs apart from the workers.

      One of my very successful entrepreneur friends “Bob” is much like you. He literally has tons of million-dollar ideas on his plate, just not enough time to pursue all those “small potatoes”

      He laughs everytime a wannabe entrepreneur tells him “Don’t steal my idea”

      Thanks for your insight, hope you leave more in the future!!
      -Nev

      P.S. Good luck with your new blog. Have you read KirkReport.com?? He currently has a cool QQQQ position worth half a mil riding a 2% gain.

      Reply
    7. ncnblog

      Very, very insightful…great post. Now I feel like a big loser…I have had what I consider to be great ideas in the past, but have never acted. Now, I must get up off of my lazy but and act…thanks for the inspiration.
      ncnblog

      Reply
    8. Smarty

      I agree. Everyone says they have the best ideas in the world, but when it comes to implementing their ideas, they’re either weak in their hearts or minds. Talk is cheap.

      A successful entrepreneur acts on his ideas and is willing to take risk.

      Reply
    9. Anonymous

      You’re absolutely right, ideas are worthless. And this isn’t just true in business. I’m starting a fiction writing career (not published yet, but hoping) and I’ve already figured out that ideas are far too easy to come by; I have one every couple of days. What matters is EXECUTION–whether I have the motivation, time and resources to flesh out the idea into a workable story. Even a lame idea can make a great story, and vice versa. The idea doesn’t matter–what I DO with it matters.

      Reply
    10. Anonymous

      I am one of those people who had nothing but an idea when I was young. I did however have the guts to go for it. I was very successful. ( A few mil in the 80′s ). Crash!!!!!!!

      Now I am working with an attorney to patent a great idea. I’ll tell you, even though I am struggling now, I know that only I can change my future with regards to wealth. Thanks for making people think. Most people, for some reason, think Ed McMahan is going to knock at their door any minute. Ha ! But they are in their chairs !.
      Scott S

      Reply
    11. Anonymous

      HELLO, have you ever heard of FIX-A-FLAT? THE PANIC BOTTON,you must have heard the commical,HELP ME I HAVE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GETUP,THE CHILD’S DANGER PREVENTION KIT AND I HAD MANY MORE STOLEN.I TRIED JUST ABOUT EVERY COMPANY,THAT SAY’S THAT THEY WOULD HELP YOU TO PATENT AND HELP YOU SELL YOUR IDEAS.BUT,THEY JUST HELP THEMSELFS,TO TAKING YOUR INVENTION.SO PLEASE,DO NOT TELL ME THAT IT IS UP TO THE INVENTOR TO DO SOMETHING WITH THIER IDEA.UNLESS, YOU REALLY KNOW OF A WAY TO DO IT.NOW, I KNOW HOW YESTERDAY’S GREAT INVENTOR’S MUST HAVE FELT.THEY DID NOT EVEN ‘HAVE THE NET.IS IT NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASIER IN OUR DAY’S.YOU’LL BE SURPRISED,AT HOW MANY OF MY IDEAS,ARE PRESENTLY IN YOUR HOMES.SO,ONCE AGAIN,I SAY I HAVE ANOTHER BILLION DOLLAR IDEA,IT WORKS JUST FINE AND SAVES LIVES,AND GOVERMENTS MONEY WORLDWIDE, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS EACH YEAR.ANYBODY HAS THE ANSWER FOR PROTECTING MY PROVEN TO WORK INVENTION.LET’S WORK SOMETHING OUT.THE BALL IS IN YOU SIDE OF THE COURT.WHAT DO YOU SAY?

      Reply
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