We’re sorry to say that it’s highly unlikely you have a unique startup idea or will come up with one. The world is loaded with really smart and observant entrepreneurial people. Often, these people are already working on implementing an idea similar to yours and may even have funding to accelerate their progress.
The good news is, none of that really matters. Sure, if you’re the one-hundredth person to have an idea to meet a need in a well-established market, it’s probably not going to turn out well for you. In most cases, though, after you’ve refined your startup idea and built a highly differentiated business around it, you can still create a successful company.
You don’t need a great startup idea.
The secret is that it’s not great ideas that make great companies—it’s the excellent execution of a great business model that leads to success.
What do we mean by a business model? It’s everything you do to make a successful company. From the market you’re in to how you make potential customers aware of what you’re offering to how you sell your product or service and, ultimately, to how you make money. It includes how your company is funded and the team that you put together to make it all happen.
It’s this complete business model that needs to be strong and differentiated from the competition, not just the idea that starts the whole process off.
Did Steve Jobs invent the mobile phone? Bill Gates the operating system? Henry Ford the car? Just a reminder, they did not. They developed better business models and executed better than the people who actually came up with the original ideas.