By Steve Moran

From time to time, I will talk to an operator or vendor who has something new they are working on that they are bedazzled by.

The conversation is then followed by one of two whispered statements:

  • “I will tell you, but you can’t tell anyone else about it” — something I always agree to and am always true to my word about.
  • “It is so cool that I can’t tell you or anyone; you will simply have to wait and see.”

And if I am honest, after the second response, I keep waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting ….

The Other Group

There is another group that lays out everything they are doing, what they are thinking about, the progress they are making, and how it is going — often even talking about their failures along the way.

What They Figured Out

Here is what they have figured out: EXECUTION IS EVERYTHING. They know there are a million good ideas out there. I could probably make a list of 30-50 new ideas that I have had. The thing is, new ideas, good ideas, only count when they are executed on.

Execution is the single hardest thing in the world to do.

If You Think I Am Wrong …

Two quick examples in case you think I am wrong:

  • There were dozens, if not hundreds, of people trying to create flying machines when the Wright brothers finally cracked the code. There was actually nothing new or revolutionary they discovered. They simply looked at all that others had done and were doing, then did it better — which is essentially ultimately true with every other aircraft manufacturer today.
  • Coffee shops and coffee counters were around long before Howard Schultz came up with Starbucks. Again, what he did was execute better than anyone else ever had. Even today, though many have tried, Starbucks remains the king.

There’s More

The moment you roll your product or service out to people, it will become impossible to protect your idea. You will be a lot further ahead if you put your energy into executing with excellence and with speed. Ultimately, no matter how secretive you are, if someone wants to figure it out — if what you are doing is that good — others will figure out a way to unravel what you are doing.