Without validation and execution part your business idea worth nothing. Just accept it! And if you don't, you will increase your chances to fail.
While talking with dozens of startups applying for fundraising or acceleration programs on InnMind, or those which I mentor on external classes, I still hear the same entrepreneurs' remarks quite often:
- "How can I make sure no one will steal my idea?"
- "My idea is incredible, it will become a multibillion business, but I don't want to risk sharing it too early"
- "I’ve been thinking of it for many years but haven’t told anyone because I’m afraid someone will try to execute it".
Let me tell you the known and proven fact: your idea worth nothing until you start validating and executing it. If you don't trust me, check for instance what Steve Jobs has declared years ago:
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
And you will find so many other respected entrepreneurs, investors and market professionals repeating it continuously, so you have to consider this seriously. And I would say even more: keeping your business idea as a secret may significantly harm your future business and reduce your opportunities for successful execution. And here is why:
1. Unique Ideas Rarely Exist
There are nearly no unique business ideas. Even if you believe so, try to make good research around your idea, you'll find that plenty of people Were, Are and Will be working on similar ideas in different parts of the world. And this should not scare you!
By the way, having competitors is really good because it can be an additional validation of your idea or the problem you're solving, and you can also learn a lot from your competitors, analyzing their mistakes and achievements. If you don't know how to do it, you can download the free competition map template here.
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2. Idea Validation is Essential
The ideas evolve and improve while they are being digested and tested with potential customers, getting their feedback and criticism is essential. By hiding it you will just miss this important step in your customer development and idea validation process.
Therefore, telling your business idea to as many relevant people as possible before you even start developing your MVP is the best thing you can do for your future business. Only by doing this you can analyze and use this feedback to create a product or solution that will solve real pains for your customers. And of course you will safe a lot of time and probably money on development of useless features or going into wrong direction.
3. Idea Execution is Everything
In reality all that matters is EXECUTION. When different startup teams compete with each other, working on the similar idea, their execution will differ significantly and that is why some of them will fail and others will skyrocket with the same ideas.
4. Building Startup Team
Execution heavily depends on the people you managed to involve and engage in your startup development. Even if you're a brilliant "orchestra man", who is capable to kick-start on your own, you will soon need other people for product development, marketing, design, and millions of other tasks.
Those who join your startup at the very early stage usually become your "core team". And usually it is not so easy to attract qualified and experienced professionals that will really strengthen your team on an idea stage, when there is nothing yet existing and no salaries offered.
Then how do I do it? Only by talking about your idea with as many people as possible you will be able to find the most interested and motivated ones who may finally want to join efforts in bringing it live and become your early team mates.
5. Fundraising on Idea Stage
If you need to attract some external funding on the idea stage, you can approach early-stage investors. BUT they will still expect from you to do your homework, at least by validating your idea with potential customers and partners, building a core team, starting early marketing to create a waiting list, etc. I can hardly imagine an investor, who will invest in a pure idea that you keep in your head (with rare exceptions like FFF who can invest in yourself as an entrepreneur).
There are many more aspects proving what is described above. But I hope that it is already enough to make you get rid of illusions that ideas can be considered as your asset. Because I sincerely feel sorry for those startup founders who still believe in this myth and therefore lose many opportunities for validation and moving forward from the idea stage.
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