Ideas don’t matter as much as execution is a view that everybody in Tech seems to hold. Here are a couple of tweets espousing that view.
"You can get a good idea on the corner for $4 with your latte. What matters is how well you execute."— may-li 🦄 khoe (@mayli) October 5, 2018
– Steve Jobs, yelling at us after the MobileMe debacle
I wish more people would talk about this. Last I checked, this quote got lost, so I'm telling you now, since I was there.
Your idea is not valuable, at all. All value is in the execution. You think you are an exception; you are not. You should not insist on an NDA to talk about it; nobody serious will engage in contract review over an idea, and this will mark you as clueless.— Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) December 1, 2017
I maintain a Notion directory of people who I find interesting. Most people on there have personal websites, infact that is how it got started off as. Some people found it useful when I posted it recently.
Spent some time last week collecting screenshots of landing pages of websites here: https://t.co/iviDQlmNyF— Adarsh Rao (@adarshrao_) November 28, 2019
I also maintain a list of certain people with personal websites over at https://t.co/UqRAMiodN4
I was happy that something I was collecting for myself was useful to some others.
A couple of weeks later, I came across this:
👋 Hi Friends! I've been hacking on a fun little project.— Faraaz Nishtar 🦊 (@FaraazNishtar) December 13, 2019
Check out https://t.co/5PO5TJG9jD ✨ A directory of creators and all of their best tweets, blogposts, interviews, and podcasts — in one place!
Why? 2-min thread below 👇 pic.twitter.com/TWsBXXEfL8
Faraaz Nishtar launched a website that was heavily appreciated. Paul Graham retweeted it. So did Balaji Srinivasan.
I’m not equating my idea with his. His is much more compelling (“Rss from the other side”) but there are some similarities.
To put it another way, http://waitwho.is is the personal website I wish everyone else had.
I was just struck with the amount of attention/engagement it got. Heck, I’d like to get that amount of engagement. A quote-tweet from PaulG would make my year.
So why did it lead to so much more in engagement.
I think it’s a classic case of Execution > Idea.
- His launch was extremely polished. His Twitter was quiet leading upto the launch.
- Design as a differentiator. The illustrations add a lot (also make it unscaleable but that’s later)
- He seemed to have help. A reminder that having people to help you, helps.
But the biggest difference I think was that making something useful for others was a core desire in contrast to primarily building it for yourself.
I’m very guilty of this. I primarily build for myself. Which is perfectly fine. But these examples show that if I wish to be prolific then I need to sometimes focus on providing value to other people for it gain the virality and be important.
It’s also important to do a much better job rather than the bare minimum.
Sure you may not want to for a hundred different reason, perhaps you don’t have the time, perhaps you don’t have the skill, perhaps you don’t have the drive. That is fine. Just be aware of the tradeoff you are making.