My New Year’s Resolution: no more ideas.

Ideas are everywhere.

The hot dog vendor on the corner of 49th St. has them.  My interns have them.  Plumbers, priests and even pets have them.

What separates the people that produce from the people that don’t, is the ability to execute those ideas.  The successful people see the light bulb go off above their head, and then stop at nothing until that idea becomes a reality, whether that idea is for a screenplay, a way to retrofit an antique faucet, or a way to get the peanut butter out of the center of a Kong.

Whether or not the execution of the idea is a success or not is besides the point (in fact, I’d argue that true success is seeing something created where there was nothing before, not how well it sells, or how many people see it).

When you think about it, ideas are nothing but intellectual masturbation.  Execution is where it’s at.

So that’s my resolution for 2010.  No more ideas.  Only executions.

And have faith that the more you execute, the more success you’ll have.  It’s a law of nature.

Happy New Year, PPers.  See you on the other side of the decade.

Comments
  • Nick says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! Happy New Year!
    — Nick
    from City of Kik
    http://nickleshi.blogspot.com

  • Rich Mc says:

    Not sure I agree. While it’s true that the vast majority of ideas remain unfulfilled and unsuccessful, the majority of successful commercial ventures started with an original idea (or a ‘better mousetrap’ twist on an established idea) followed by proper implementation. While implementation is absolutely essential for success, “you can’t start a fire without a spark”. Internet success stories such as E-Bay and Amazon had no serious predecessors – they began with unique concepts, accompanied by exemplary implementation. I believe the key is discrimination; any investor must evaluate a concept with an eye to its unique value proposition, management (or creative) team’s track record, and its overall potential for commercialization and scalability. “Me too” offerings rarely cut it within the VC community without a unique tweak on an established model. With respect to theater, I believe there is compelling evidence that unique and unproven theatrical concepts have delivered commercial success. A case in point: Copenhagen, an esoteric Broadway play dealing with the life of physicist Niels Bohr and the development of quantum mechanics. Somehow this dry, intellectual work met with widespread critical acclaim and (reportedly) recouped investors’ money. I think savvy Producers realized its potential upfront, based on the concept; surely many others did not.

  • Tom Atkins says:

    The separation of ‘idea’ and ‘execution’ is impossible. A happier situation might be to continue dreaming up a bank of thoughts and ideas, and then picking the right one out for the right moment. An early and rushed realisation of an idea, without concern as to its success or failure, for the sake of seeking that success through volume of output feels a bit odd to me. It’s good not to get stuck in the dream world but spending too little time there is not necessarily the best route. I believe that the successful people see the light bulb, but then know precisely when to switch it on.

  • Ideas are common, and overrated. Not only does everyone have ideas, but they are often the same ideas. In Hollywood, it’s called parallel development.
    We’ve probably all had the experience of seeing a movie based on one of our own unexpressed ideas, or an invention based on an idea we thought of first. Many times I’ve started working on film scripts or outlines, then let them sit for too long, only to find someone else produce a very similar film. They had no way of knowing what I was working on, and yet there was my idea, up on the screen. Written by someone else. They didn’t steal it, because it wasn’t mine.
    Our ideas are not our own. They don’t belong to us until we give them life. That’s why you can’t copyright an idea, only the expression of an idea.
    Steven Spielberg once expressed it like this: imagine great ideas are floating in the air all around us; they pop in and out of people’s minds, from one head to another, seeking to be born; eventually, the idea finds fertile ground in the mind of someone able give it life, able to write it, or direct it, or produce it; but if the idea comes to the wrong person, or at the wrong time, it quickly moves on.
    If you’ve got a great idea, make it your own by making it real.
    Or you’ll lose it to someone else who will.
    – David
    http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/project/view/34

  • Rodney Anderson says:

    Is that your puppy?

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