Ideas, Alone, Don't Succeed

Ideas Alone Don't Succeed, by John Malmo

Memphis, TN – Many years ago, I had an idea for a weekly Memphis business newspaper. But I was too busy and did nothing about it. A few years later, Ward Archer, Sr., had the same idea. And he wasn't too busy. He founded the Memphis Business Journal. It was successful, and several years later, he sold it for a very handsome figure.

The point of that story is that having a great idea is worthless if you don't do anything about it. On TV the other night, I saw an interesting interview with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. One part of the interview involved the lawsuit by two guys who said Zuckerburg stole the Facebook idea from them while working together. As it turned out, Zuckerberg settled with them out of court, and each got several million dollars. Now, though, as Facebook grows in value, they want more.

I'm on Zuckerberg's side. With today's world population of almost seven billion people, it's unlikely that any one of us comes up with an idea that no one else has thought of. The difference between having an idea and making a success of it is commitment. Ward and I had the same idea. He committed his time and his money and succeeded. I didn't. Zuckerberg committed and became the world's youngest billionaire. The others didn't.

Your own ideas are pretty worthless without your own commitment.

John Malmo is a marketing consultant who concentrates on helping business owners grow their businesses with effective marketing. To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or ask him a direct question, go to