Idea is only 1% of success??!! C’mon

this has been an illuminating debate. i think there are a couple of different concepts that while they look like they cross, are indeed orthogonal in nature.

“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

i think a good idea supersedes a plan, the people, funding, etc. the right idea will find a way to push through in spite of our best intentions. the people who are “fortunate” seem to consistently be the ones who are able to power through all the cruft and latch themselves on to the idea while it goes. if they’re really good, they can help it along. i don’t remember the exact quote, but the idea was: “oops! hmm, that’s strange” has accompanied far more discoveries than “eureka, i’ve found it!”

how does this affect us on a daily basis? i think it illustrates that the most successful people are the ones who are best at recognizing the inevitable rather and helping it than the ones trying to push a new idea through. as an illustration, i’m sure that Pepsi had done all the right things (funding, market research, intelligent & talented people, etc.), but Pepsi Crystal was a monumental failure, possibly only exceeded by new Coke. on the other side, many people / companies will be trying to successfully implement VOIP as the next big thing (i.e. an idea whose time has come), but only the company that has the magical combination of people, connections, idea and talent will eventually be the market leader.

i think that’s why idea is the most important. it doesn’t matter how good a team, how much funding or how good the research is, if the idea is wrong, it will fail. and vice-versa, no matter who tries and fails, if it’s the right time for something to happen, it can’t be stopped, it just might not be you who sees it through.

my 2 pence,


– Randall Noval


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