“Ideas Mean Nothing”

The first event at the League of Innovators (5/3) featured a Q&A-style discussion with Brad Feld, an early stage investor and entrepreneur who is perhaps best known for founding Tech Stars. Feld, with long and successful experience of supporting and bringing startups to fruition, was peppered with questions from local innovators, entrepreneurs, and academics, mainly related to his experience: what makes a successful entrepreneur and how to make a successful business of great ideas.

Feld’s answer was that ideas do not matter. At all. He made it very clear that as an investor he does not care at all for the quality of or how promising are the entrepreneurs’  ideas. Instead, what matters is implementation — and at an early stage only implementation. Feld repeatedly stressed that he gladly (and often) invests large sums of money in “crappy” or even stupid ideas with great or promising implementations, but never in great ideas with only okay or mediocre implementations. And since there are so many projects “out there,” he sticks to the strategy; his track record makes it clear that it is a successful one.

One wonders where this view of ideas as basically worthless leaves for example the Schumpeterian entrepreneur, who is often (too simplistically) thought of as but an “innovator.” Would Brad Feld invest in Schumpeter’s business?


One Response to “Ideas Mean Nothing”

  1. Pingback: “What Would Sir Richard Do?” « entrepreneurship@McQuinn

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