Ideas First, Not Just Execution

“Cat: Where are you going?
Alice: Which way should I go?

Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Ideas first! If you don’t know where you are going or if you are on the wrong path, then it doesn’t matter how fast you get there. A successful creative journey begins with ideating around the destination and then around getting there, before you start working “hard”/executing on it.

The right idea will set the right course- possibly a shorter and a more efficient course for your success. Your success will depend equally on the getting the right ideas to execute on (assuming basic execution capabilities), including getting “where you are going”, right, first. Execution is as important but secondary, and is often overhyped. Having the right idea at each step of the way, that is congruent with your vision, will be the most important success driver of your creative endeavor.

Success depends on the quality, quantity and innovation quotient of your ideas. The right idea that will determine the path of execution. And it is not just about the first/big/main idea, but about the series of ideas at each step, as you bring that big central idea to life. For example, for a startup, these include ideas on your business model and revenue streams, ideas on target customers/personas, and ideas on your distribution and marketing strategy. Executing well, around the “wrong” idea will simply waste precious resources (time/money/etc), with little to show in the end.

Success depends on the quality, quantity and innovation quotient of your ideas.

Successful execution will be centered around those innovative ideas that are centered around your strategy, long-term vision and values, and will help you differentiate at each step. Ideas (especially the big central idea) will motivate you and your team, will keep you together, differentiate yourself, and will keep you going…so keep ideating.

Yes, you need to start, to act, to execute - to bring that idea to life. But over emphasis on execution (especially as it is often understood, rather misunderstood) will not take you far. There can often be a blind obsession with execution, where process-driven “human-robots” take over, after a quick initial idea generation (that can often be a poor imitation of an existing idea that worked (very well) for someone else at a different point in time in a totally different context and under different circumstances); where one hopes to succeed through execution efficiencies — faster/stronger/leaner, instead of getting the idea right first, that is novel and suited to them.

The right idea will help you choose the right path…for your business/product/your creation, and will be as critical as your ability to execute on it.


How do you generate those ideas that you need to have at the beginning and then at each step of the creative journey?! And how do you zero-in on the right one?…learn more in the book “Creativity Secrets”


The above is an excerpt from the book: “CREATIVITY SECRETS: Creativity Secrets & Musings for Creating Your Own Masterpiece”, 2018, by ABHAY (Wharton MBA, Artist, Entrepreneur).



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Creativity Secrets

Creativity secrets, processes, fundamentals & more…to help you take the leap, push your imagination, and create: