Why Many (Most?) Great Ideas Never Get Off the Ground
Scott Berkun has a good article on how describing your idea or product is as important as conceiving it. Here’s are a few excerpts:
Just about anyone in the professional world is, in effect, a professional speaker. Every single idea in the history of the business world had to be explained to at least one other person before it got approved, funded or purchased by anyone else. Call it what you like–sales, marketing, pitching or presenting–but I know the history. Despite dreams of a world in which the best ideas win simply because they should, we live in a world where the fate of ideas hinges on how well you talk about what you’ve made, or what you want to make.
From my studies of innovation history (which led to my best-seller, The Myths of Innovation), I know that the difference between relatively uncommon names like Tesla, Grey and Englebart, and household ones like Edison, Bell and Jobs, has more to do with their ability to persuade, convince and inspire than their ability to invent, create or innovate.
One potent thread in the fabric of reasons why some ideas take off and others don’t is the ability entrepreneurs have to explain to others why they should care. The bigger the idea, the more explaining the world demands. Yet these skills are constantly trivialized in many organizations, leading to dozens of great ideas being rejected, and their creators wondering why lesser rivals with weaker concepts are able to capture people’s imaginations and pocketbooks.
I see too many inventors and executives who see speaking about their work as the least important thing they do. And it shows. To the detriment of the quality of their ideas, their presentations are the spotty lens through which those ideas will be seen. Without dedicated effort, those lenses distort and betray what it is they truly have to offer.