“Ideas Are A Dime A Dozen” Is A Lie Told By Losers

It needed to be said, so I said it.

Yep, anyone that tells you ideas are “a dime a dozen” or that execution is all that matters are the same people who can’t come up with an idea themselves and are just looking to rip you off.

Why do I go against what sooo many other people typically say? BTW, I don’t care if you disagree with me… and read the first chapter of James Altuchers Book, “The Choose Yourself Guide To Wealth”.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

  • Two people sit around a fire. One is an idea man, the other is execution man.  Without a great idea ( one that has been planned out ), the execution guy goes around like ADD doing all kinds of stuff every minute of the day. But because he doesn’t have an idea, he never executes on any one thing, or any RIGHT thing.
  • Two people sit around a fire. One is an idea man, the other is execution man.  Neither man does anything. Idea man sits doing nothing since he doesn’t execute, but since execution man doesn’t know what to execute he also does nothing. At least idea man has an idea and can sell it, license it, or do it later when he feels like it. Execution man will never do anything possibly.
  • Ideas spark the whole process of doing. Without an idea, the Wright brothers would have never built an airplane, which many people tried before. But what if they had another idea though instead like building a better farm tractor? The idea is what sparked the need to execute.

I have found many examples where the people who say “all that matters is execution” are actually people ready and waiting to steal the next great idea you have. Want proof? Read the life story of Nicholi Tesla and how many companies became billion dollar industries off his ideas, while he died a broke man. Without his ideas, none of those companies would have been in existance.

Watch out for those that say if you ask them to sign a NDA, you can leave out the door. All they want to do is steal your great idea.

If ideas are so worthless and it’s all about execution, why did we have people preaching “People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions Of Themselves”? Wouldn’t a better version of you be an idea itself?

Companies themselves are based on ideas. Ideas like they are the best, the fastest, the easiest choice. Who are the executioners? The employees who make min. wage and slave all week to make the idea a reality in the customers minds and life. If execution was so great and so much better, why aren’t the employees getting the lion share of the pay and revenues? You can find min. wage or even sub $45k salaried people all day long to get hired in your business to execute for you. However, if you don’t have the right idea to sell to customers, it won’t mean shit.

Also, look at all the people that say if you have a great product or service, you don’t need anything else.. that customers will just come to you. If this is true, why do you need execution at any level past the idea and min. wage workers to fulfill the service/product part? The execution doesn’t need to be great or even barely there if the product/service is so great ( which came from your great idea ).

Consider this too. We have a whole section of law devoted to trademarks and patents. Essentially if you have an “idea” and patent it, your idea is safe. Even if its a product, it is still an idea ( different from others enough to get a patent). Ideas are so golden, we have a system and law just for them. There is nothing like this for “execution” or “executioners”. If ideas are worthless, why do we have systems in place to protect them ( hint: b/c people still them ).

Execution IS needed. However, we have way too many people preaching ideas are shit and worthless and that execution is all that matters.

The problem with execution is that you can have a great idea and then have someone “execute” it and they get the execution all wrong. In that case, how great is execution?

I can have all the execution in the world ( in the form of doing or having employees doing ). If they aren’t executing the right idea though, I am just spinning my wheels.

At least with an idea, I can patent or license what I have. I can even hire out people to execute for me. Ideas attract executioners to them, executioners don’t attract ideas ( when was the last time you were around an executioner and suddenly got a brilliant idea out of nowhere? ). This is clearly in play with shows like “Shark Tank”. These “sharks” are attracted to ideas so they can invest money into them for better ROI later, which is why the show is even on the air ( if you thought otherwise, you need to re-examine the show ).

Execution needs ideas. Without it, execution is worthless. This is why ideas are worth more.

I’ve seen plenty of famous people who say they know tons of CEO’s that come up with great ideas every day, but that the only thing that matters is the execution. My question back is, if those CEO’s are so great because they can execute and they also have these great ideas all day every day, why aren’t they executing on them? Why aren’t they hiring people to execute on these ideas and building 3-4 new companies a day?

It’s because anyone can mess up execution. Anyone can execute poorly and go down the wrong path.

This is why execution isn’t better than an idea. An idea is either good or bad, but execution can get screwed up anywhere at anytime.

Idea’s can be sold, licensed, borrowed, improved on, giving to multiple executors, and worked on later.. giving the idea holder tons of options. Execution can not even touch this.

Hi! I'm Jason Brown and I’m a 36 year old digital marketing intrapreneur living in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky. I've been involved with the Internet since 1996 and have personally made millions online with my creative marketing tactics and persistence. I blog about marketing, money, and motivation. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Andy Black   •  

    I love hearing contrarian viewpoints.

    I definitely agree you can’t outsource insight or vision – that has to come from us.

    Definitely food for thought. Thanks Jason.

  2. Phil   •  

    That’s an interesting perspective Jason. The main thing that comes to my mind when people say that ideas are a dime a dozen is this: lots of people have great ideas, and a lot of people will by coincidence have the same ideas. Chances are if you think of an idea, it has been thought up by someone, somewhere in this world. Most people don’t execute their ideas and so the ideas are just sitting there not providing any value to anyone.

    Having the right execution is important because it’s not actually that easy to execute ideas the right way. When you are talking about the bottom level employees doing all the execution, they aren’t the ones who initially started the entire organization. They are usually just the mindless slaves doing what they are told and being trained to do things a certain way. They aren’t exactly executing the idea itself. Someone higher up developed the right way to execute the idea, and the rest are just merely cloning this execution. When you are talking about high level execution, that is something that is not easy to come by. It takes a person with a certain set of skills, knowledge, experience, and drive to execute an idea properly.

    An idea is abstract until someone decides to execute it. A good idea is definitely worth its weight in gold, but it takes the right idea along with a great execution to make it happen. A great idea with poor execution is going to flop every time.

    There was a time when the idea of an airplane was considered stupid. The Wright brothers believed in their idea so much though that they worked tirelessly to execute the idea. They started all the initial execution work. Yes, they failed a lot in their execution, but they were able to produce amazing results by being persistent and eventually finding the right way to execute their idea.

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