An Entrepreneur's Idea: When a Sound-Bite Becomes Iconic

July 02, 2013 at 2:14 PM

“Ideas are worthless; it’s about execution.”  Dan Gotte, IMAF

Panelist Dan Gotte made this seemingly spontaneous remark to a large group of entrepreneurs during the SBTDC Investor Ready Conference at the Ben Craig Center, held on June 26.   

I wrote it down and tweeted it out and wondered silently if its significance landed on the group of entrepreneurs in attendance. The next day, I picked up Inc. Magazine/June 2013 edition to see an article written by Eric Paley, titled, A Great Idea Is Never Enough

As a support organization for startup founders and early growth stage organizations, an important role that Ventureprise plays is to be an informed resource, like no other, for our clients.  We serve as a portal or another set of eyes and ears, bringing critical information, trends and events that entrepreneurs need to know but don’t have the time or the network to get on their own. 

So, connecting the short dots between Dan Gotte’s remarks and Eric Paley’s treatment around ‘Ideas’ is important and worthy.  

“Don’t love your business idea.  Love the problem you want to solve,” is Eric Paley’s broader message, showcased in his sub-title.  Paley goes on in the article to substantiate his position by referencing successful venture after venture that had failed predecessors with the same or similar idea. One venture that Paley features as example that most of us can relate to is Facebook.  When notoriety came to Mark Zuckerberg through the portrayal of his stealing the idea for Facebook from the Winklevoss twins in the movie The Social Network, Eric Paley defends Zuckerberg.  There had been social networks in existence for nearly a decade, and Facebook’s success “didn’t come from the idea, but instead, from countless ideas and iterations around product implementation, go-to-market approach and customer engagement.”

The movie delivers a bias perspective, but one thing is factually clear; Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, leadership and execution of Facebook made it the success it has become. 

In contrast to success with a great venture idea through artful execution, Garth Moulton, another IMAF angel investor and panelist for the afternoon, gives the Investor Ready audience an honest account of his failed venture, Other Screen.  Many in the entrepreneurial community in Charlotte have heard this recount from Garth’s partner, Chris Halligan. Chris and Garth’s message collaborate – in spite of doing mostly the right things and receiving positive feedback from the media and markets, their idea was simply something people didn’t want.  Bad idea, good execution that failed.   

So,  where Dan Gotte and Eric Paley intersect is that good ideas aren’t worthless, but unless they are met with a series of informed and timely decisions that leverage all elements essential to a startup and growth venture, there is the likelihood they end up becoming the failed predecessor to those who also have the same idea but execute craftily and with speed.   

- Marilyn, Director Venture Development 

About Marilyn

Marilyn Carpenter comes to Ventureprise with over twenty years of proven performance in business development, sales, and marketing for entrepreneurial organizations. Most notably, Marilyn was employed as the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Source Technologies, Inc., managing a $65 million business unit with a team of twenty marketing and sales professionals.

In 2006, Marilyn achieved the Associate Certified Coaching certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She created a coaching and content program – Sales Entrepreneur Institute - to engage entrepreneurial sales and marketing teams with go-to-market strategy shifts required for success through social media, personal branding, social networking and community building.

Most recently, Marilyn worked as the Director of Business Development for UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics, to successfully launch the new NSF I/UCRC research site for Safety, Security, and Rescue.

Marilyn is also a published author and a speaker, with a focus on training and development.

Marilyn, Director Venture Development 

About Marilyn

Marilyn Carpenter comes to Ventureprise with over twenty years of proven performance in business development, sales, and marketing for entrepreneurial organizations. Most notably, Marilyn was employed as the Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Source Technologies, Inc., managing a $65 million business unit with a team of twenty marketing and sales professionals.

In 2006, Marilyn achieved the Associate Certified Coaching certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She created a coaching and content program – Sales Entrepreneur Institute - to engage entrepreneurial sales and marketing teams with go-to-market strategy shifts required for success through 

social media, personal branding, social networking and community building.

Most recently, Marilyn worked as the Director of Business Development for UNC Charlotte College of Computing and Informatics, to successfully launch the new NSF I/UCRC research site for Safety, Security, and Rescue.

Marilyn is also a published author and a speaker, with a focus on training and development.

- See more at: http://ventureprise.org/blog/in-search-of-first-customers-the-worthy-and-unworthy/#sthash.iCtrFfSz.dpuf


Tags: entrepreneur innovation ideas investor
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