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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  A Great Idea is Nothing Without Proper Execution


A Great Idea is Nothing Without Proper Execution

Posted on September 12, 2011 and read 8,885 times

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keithstoeckeler A Great Idea is Nothing Without Proper ExecutionKeith Stoeckeler
Making things at Publicis New York. Find him on Twitter at @KeithStoeckeler

A friend shared this video a few weeks ago, and since then it has been a fixture on my mind. The video is nearly two years old, and has over 10 million views, but it was the first time I had seen it.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

This is such a perfect example of how a great idea is nothing without proper execution.

Too much emphasis is put on the idea. Execution is just as important, and I’d argue more so. I don’t know when the “big idea” became the goal to reach, but it is foolish. Too many agencies tout it as their focus and specialty, and people wrongfully list it as an accomplishment. I can’t understand why only half the work is heralded so much. The “big idea” is only partly the responsibility. If you cannot execute a great idea, it is just that, an idea — and even the best ideas, if not executed well, will go unnoticed.

Think about when you hear an idea that resonates. How great that idea is. How you start developing the idea in your mind. What happens when the idea comes to fruition? Are you pleased or are you let down? What elicits the reaction is no longer the idea, it is the execution of the idea you first heard. The best web site, social media program, or mobile app ideas don’t get adoption if the user experience and execution aren’t at least equally as good.

Take Apple. How has Apple succeeded in the tablet market and others have not? Apple isn’t selling the idea of a tablet with the iPad; they are selling the execution of one. The physical manifestation of what the tablet idea is and can be. You can, of course, respect the vision and idea Apple has for the tablet, but you spend money on how they execute it.

Or look at something as straightforward as food. When you break it down to its simplest form, restaurants are all the same; they all sell food. So why is it you go back to eat at a restaurant more than once? Execution.

Execution is what creates the separation. It shows the drive and passion that exists to make the idea happen and bring it to market. The start-up market is booming right now because there are vast ideas, many APIs to jump on and immense thinking happening. And it isn’t just about what hasn’t been done before – there are people who are taking an existing idea and making it better. As a brand, you will always have competition. People will continue to take your idea and make it better. If you aren’t executing well and continuing to innovate, all you have was the original good idea. How much can you sell that for?





  • Maxwell A. Davis

    Genius article. No further comments.

  • http://www.facebook.com/venturini.claudio Claudio Venturini

    I respectfully disagree. 

    Think of it as an idea as a cake and the execution as the frosting. Can a cake be great without frosting? I would say a cake can be good without the frosting. I would be eating it thinking how much better the cake would be if it had some frosting but I would still be able to enjoy the cake.

    In turn, frosting without the cake is… just frosting. no substance. People get into trouble when they try to build substance with just execution. It usually leaves your audience longing for more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/venturini.claudio Claudio Venturini

    In your own analogy, 
    ask yourself if HP’s Tablet (an execution of a tablet) is doing just as well as the idea of a Tablet, what apple is selling. 
    Apple doesn’t sell a front camera, a flash, a screen, (all executions)… they sell the idea of being able to communicate with your family from afar.

    Idea vs execution. 
    It’s what has made a company like Apple different from the HP, microsoft, Dell and so on.

  • http://keithstoeckeler.com keithstoeckeler

    It isn’t about cake vs. frosting, it’s about cake vs. cake. Products that continue to innovate and execute well are those who succeed. Nokia in the US? RIM/Blackberry? When you fail to execute, you lose.

  • http://twitter.com/juano_mc Juan Sebastián Mendo

    A great idea without propper execution loses all of its power, it becomes an attempt for communicate and the only people able to -read between lines- the idea, are us creative people, everybody else will see it as any other commercial, event or even a poster that will generate some feeling and comfort and satisfaction towards the brand or product.

    But the best execution of a bad idea can’t either power up the communication. You can do things perfect, but the general feeling will be that there was nothing on it, it won’t create any reaction from its audience.

    Regarding this video, isn’t it the very old conference example of ‘it’s spring and I can’t see it’ used over and over again? and even if there is some good production for the video, the execution is very poor and loses al of it’s sentimental and conceptual power to a not so blind man, a very snob -not actress- copywriter and a crappy editing that wastes all the viral possibilities (even or a 10 million views video)

  • http://twitter.com/izzadbaharuddin izzad baharuddin

    love this article


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