Why your ideas aren’t worth shit

Why your ideas aren’t worth shit

Oct 18, 2023 · 4 min

Photo by Frederick Medina on Unsplash

I’m a true ideas man. I have the ability to swallow new information like a sponge and soon after start to create new ideas and suggest improvements. While this is a great ability, being the person throwing out ideas without the understanding and drive to make them happen has a value close to zero.

Let’s make games

The first time I ever thought about technology and software development was when I was about 6. I was into video games and spent all my free time playing them. After some time, I got frustrated about the limitation of the games. Everything was 2D and all the games had very linear journey. I wanted the game to have more flexibility and more freedom. What if I could make a game where you can move freely around the city, drive whatever vehicle you please and do what you want. This was the year 1992 and Grand Theft Auto was nowhere close. In my young eyes, I needed a soldering machine and to open up the yellow cartridge to start soldering new functionality.

Better than books

In first grade, we had an inventing competition and everybody needed to come up with and invention about something they are passionate about. For some reason, the first thing I thought about was a book that could have endless content. I saw shelves full of books at home and thought that it is such a waste of space as these books were never moved, never read, and never used. What if we could have a single book and switchable content. My invention was a digital screen where you could switch out the content by replacing a matchstick with the book. I was not a fan of books, and I did not like reading them. What got me excited was the way I could improve the life of people by smart technological solutions. This was the year 1993 and the first ever E-Reader was ready in 1997.

I hated taxis

While in university, we had a course about startups. One part of the course was creating a start-up as a group project. I got assigned to a team of new people that I hadn’t met before. After some first clumsy introductions, we started throwing out ideas. At one point, I shared my frustration about still having to use my phone to call a taxi while being out on the down. This idea about taxi app got a lot of excitement and we started to work. We built a mock-up and started investigating the potential clients for the service. As we were a bunch of introverted engineers who loved to do mock-ups and code but did not like to go out and talk to drivers and clients, our ambitious project ended with a presentation and a successful grade. All the logic we built and the ideas we gathered were abandoned as every one of us went our separate ways. Fast-forward 6 months later, Markus Villig started Taxify that is now Bolt, one of the strongest mobility companies in the world.

The actual mock-up I created on May 14th, 2013

Clean cars for everyone

So what if there was a way to get your car cleaned very easily. Without any time from you, without any big planning, without waiting in a queue. This sounded like a genius plan. Someone would fly in with a mobile washing center and clean everything up without the need of your involvement. As genius and promising this idea sounds, it does not mean I had the drive to make it happen. I got as far as imagining the solution and the benefits but stopped there. 2 years later down the road, Upsteam took the stage with everything I imagined and more.

Ideas are not worth a dime without execution. It does not mean that any execution will do. You have to have passion for the idea. You have to feel and breathe the idea, you have to feel like this is what is missing in the world. If one of these is missing, your idea will probably stay an idea.

© 2023 · Indrek Vändrik