Startup success is in the execution of your ideas


“Ideas are just a multiplier of execution” is what Derek Sivers wrote in his book “anything you want”: You can see how this plays out in the visual scoring table of idea versus execution below. To see the true value, you need to multiply the idea with the execution.


ideas are a mulitpier of execution


Investor logic supports this approach: investors usually prefer investing in an A-team with a B-idea instead of the other way around. This is because ideas are easy, turning them into a profitable business isn’t. Once you have your brilliant idea, you need to see if it sticks, check with real potential customers if it is a viable solution to a real need that they have. You will need to get out of your bubble and gather hard feedback. You will need to create a product, scrape money together, build a first version (MVP) of that product, and IF you get traction, scale the business. It sounds easy enough, but as the startup curve shows, it’s a tough process, and most don’t make it past this stage.

The Startup Curve

The Startup Curve

Once you do get to a real solution/market fit, you’re ready to start scaling. But be warned: scaling at a rapid pace comes with its own unique set of challenges. What has worked for your startup in the past may not work going forward with your scale-up. You’ll likely experience additional stress and chaos that comes with exponentially growing your company. You will need to navigate additional pitfalls like shifting focus and alignment, hiring prematurely or too late, establishing long term goals, focusing too much or too little on marketing, postponing the next funding round, and lacking of a scalable infrastructure, to name but a few.

Implementation is everything

Everything needs to fit together in order to get to a successful implementation of your growth plans. Ignace Van Doorselaere, current CEO of Neuhaus, explains thus as follows:  “If you line up five dominoes, and you push the first … so that the second, third and fourth fall – but the fifth remains standing – then the score is not 4 out of 5, but 0 out of 5. Because everything that is not implemented does not exist.”

The good news is that companies have been scaling for ages, and that there are some strategies you can build upon. One needs real implementation of the strategy and ideas, because if something isn’t implemented, it’s all wasted effort. You’ll need to take a hard look at your current capabilities and how they fit with your future aspirations, clarify your strategic priorities/opportunities/challenges, and then build an action plan to take your company to the next level.