What’s in a Name? Ideas and Execution

What’s in a name?

A prospective client came to see me recently to find out how I can help him and his partner start and develop a new business. They had an idea for a possible cool brand name. They had me sign an NDA.

The team that came to see me did not know how exactly they would grow the business.  They did not even know what business they would develop to match the cool name they came up with.  They had no previous experience building anything.  But they were convinced that their audience would walk over each other to get whatever they labeled with the pretty name.

I tried to explain that if for instance, you launch something in the apparel industry, you compete in the apparel industry, not in the cool names industry (look at Spanx-– all about execution).  And when you launch something in the chairs industry there you are, in the furniture industry, not in the cool names industry.

I will borrow Derek Sivers’s (CD Baby) excellent description that shows the relationship between idea and execution. For more on this, check his website, www.dereksivers.com here:

AWFUL IDEA = -1
WEAK IDEA = 1
SO-SO IDEA = 5
GOOD IDEA = 10
GREAT IDEA = 15
BRILLIANT IDEA = 20

NO EXECUTION = $1
WEAK EXECUTION = $1000
SO-SO EXECUTION = $10,000
GOOD EXECUTION = $100,000
GREAT EXECUTION = $1,000,000
BRILLIANT EXECUTION = $10,000,000

To make a business, you need to multiply the two.

The most brilliant idea, with no execution, is worth $20.

The most brilliant idea takes great execution to be worth $20,000,000.

That’s why I don’t want to hear people’s ideas.

I’m not interested until I see their execution. “

Yep, me too!!

What’s in a name? Nothing, unless you execute. And even then, with all the money and execution,  there are no guarantees of success.  I will leave you with a great article: “How Microsoft Made a Bing Mistake” from Mark Hurst of the CreativeGood.com

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