What Really Makes a Good Idea Work?

“Go ahead and learn from the successes of others, but never assume that stealing an idea will give you the same results.”

Innovative ideas that create significant change to an industry are few and far between. It’s no wonder many people go to great lengths to get insider information about the ideas and strategies that surround the latest “success stories.” Why not? There’s a lot we can learn from companies and organizations that share the same market space with our own endeavors.

Unfortunately, some are trying way too hard to steal ideas under the guise of learning. This is faulty thinking when it comes to idea-making. Here’s why (apart from legal ramifications):

It’s not the idea. It’s the execution. Too many people get distracted by the idea and overlook the hard work that allows ideas to flourish. You can copy or steal an idea, but without proper execution, it’s not going to have legs.

It’s not the idea. It’s the people involved. The reason some ideas scale and others don’t is often because of the people involved. It’s one thing to emulate an idea, but it’s another to emulate people and their unique sets of life experiences and networks. Many of the successful ideas we recognize in our world were built upon a lifetime of experience.

It’s not the idea. It’s the context. Ideas don’t live in a vacuum. There are so many other variables to the success of an idea. Elements like timing, funding, technology and network play a vital role. It’s no wonder no two ideas are alike.

All this to say, go ahead and learn from the successes of others, but never assume that stealing an idea will give you the same results.

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