The Instigator
ptc
Pro (for)
Losing
39 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
43 Points

Execution is more important than an idea for a successful business.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/14/2008 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,890 times Debate No: 4033
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (23)

 

ptc

Pro

For the purpose of this debate:

Business: an act of providing a valuable product/service in return of some type of, usually financial, gains.
Idea: a product/service idea for a business.
Execution: a process to build and market a business around that idea.

Having a brilliant idea but not executing it properly leads to nothing but "yet another failure". People often wait for a great idea before starting a business but that fact it that -- it doesn't really matter how great an idea is; whats matters most is how that idea is executed.

Having said that, now, I wait to hear and rebuttal my opponent's arguments (if any).

Thanks.
Danielle

Con

Business Objectives:
1. Profit
2. Customer Satisfaction

A bad idea, no matter how prepared or well executed, will not be successful. Why? People won't buy into the idea, thus negating customer satisfaction and a profit. A good idea may not be well executed, yet because the idea is good, you will probably succeed regarding at least one of the two objectives.

Example: Say I live in an area where there is a high demand for toy stores, and no demand for shoe stores. Opening up a shoe store would be a bad idea; it would not generate any business no matter how well thought out or executed my business plans may be. Thus, 0 customer satisfaction (demand), therefore 0 profit.

If I opened up a toy store; however, but priced my items too high, that would be an example of a good idea (opening up a toy store where there is high demand), but bad execution (high prices). Because there is a high demand directly correlated to the good idea, customers would in fact shop at my store despite their lack of satisfaction. Thus I may have failed in one aspect of my objective, but the profit I would make from the customers (even if there were few of them) would mean that I was successful in at least one of my endeavors.

The same would apply if I implemented the opposite - good idea (toy store), bad execution (prices too low). The good idea of a local toy store matched by customer's desire for affordable items may mean no profit, but there would be high customer satisfaction. In other words, SUCCESS. This could only be disputed if my opponent deems both objectives be met at the same time in order for something to be successful. However, because this interpretation of success would be impossible to prove (and only rooted in opinion), my reasoning stands.

The point is, having a good idea put forth with bad execution has a better chance of generating success than a bad idea with good execution. If the idea behind a business is bad, what does it matter how well a business is run if there is no interest in the product/service? Without a good idea to begin with, no execution is necessary and therefore doesn't even matter. Thus, clearly ideas are more important than execution.
Debate Round No. 1
ptc

Pro

ptc forfeited this round.
Danielle

Con

Because my opponent forfeited R2, I'd like to extend all of my arguments from R1. Also, I'd like to remind everybody that without an idea for a business, there is no business. What good is business execution if there is no idea to be executed? Thus, an idea is more important than execution.
Debate Round No. 2
ptc

Pro

Alright! theLwerd, I agree with the business objectives you've mentioned; just to add -- those can also be seen as measures of business success. I'd like add one more to the list though -- customer reach i.e. size/growth of customer base.

Now moving towards toy-and-shoe store example. Assuming that you haven't really read my argument in comment, I am reiterating it here -- the choice between opening a toy-store or a shoe-store is not the product idea when evaluated against demand-supply equation. Market analysis is a part of execution, per se. Now, lets say, there are two persons -- Tony and Shane. Without any market analysis, both of them decide to start to business. Tony has a great idea to manufacture toys and Shane has great idea to manufacture shoes. To make the story further interesting, lets say, Tony lives in BigMenCity where there is no demand for toys; and Shane lives in BareFootCity where there is no demand for shoes. Now comes the execution part -- both have great ideas according to my interpretation (or bad ideas, according to your interpretation) -- but irrespective of how great or bad an idea alone is; there profits, customer satisfaction level and reach will be determined by how they run there stores. Tony is great at execution so he learns that he is not going to sell his great toys in BigMenCity. So he figures out places in world like AllKidsCity, KidsOnlyCity, LetsPlayCity etc and opens his stores there. Given the fact that he knows web 2.0 technologies (as his sister is computer graduate), he launches a web site to showcase and sell his toys online! He also does market analysis of different areas and sets different price range in different areas to ensure profits as well as reach. He also seeks feedback from their customers consistently and improves his toys to gain more customer satisfaction. And Shane does nothing -- because he believes that his shoes are great and they are going to bring him success. Well, it takes no guesses, to find who succeeds and who fails.

The contrary scenario -- "too low price" -- is certainly an execution flaw. Now customer would more than happy to get something for free but a business can't even survive by making customers happy that way; let alone being successful. Thus with good product and bad execution -- business fails!

Now lets say one has bad product idea and starts a business. An excellent execution consist of feedback and improvisation loop. Over time, the product will evolve (may even get transformed completely if situation demands) and down the line the product based on bad idea will turn out good and build a successful business around.

In fact, many people fail before starting a business because they're in search of a great idea. Best way to build a business is "to get started" and learn as you go. Waiting for a great idea is a bad idea indeed. There are plenty of examples around where the companies initially started with a completely bad ideas (well, those looked bad in retrospect of course) ... over time they learned, evolved and transformed their ideas into a highly successful products. For example, Motorola started with battery repair service and then moved into car radios, then television, then semiconductors and ICs and eventually into cellular communications! And today they connect millions of people together with their legendary communication devices.

One more example that would make the point further clear -- Mark Zuckerberg, a stanford graduate, was accused of stealing the concept of online social networking from founders of ConnectU.com ... that would mean he developed a product based on an idea behind ConnectU.com ... now I am not sure how many people are aware of ConnectU.com today ... but the product developed by Mark Zuckerberg has turned out tremendously successful today -- it's called facebook.com! Now both ConnectU and Facebook are based on same idea of online social networking; what differentiates them is the way they were executed.

Thanks.
Danielle

Con

I'd first like to address Pro's counter-examples regarding Tony's toy store and Shane's shoe store. He and I disagree about whether or not market analysis is part of the brainstorming stage (idea), or execution stage. From my position, market analysis is clearly a part of the 'idea' phase. To consider "building a toy store" as being the only idea is extremely limiting and completely untrue. What consists of an idea is more than just one thought - it takes strategy and planning. Realistically, an idea would sound more like, "I'm going to build a toy store in AllKidsCity, because I think that would generate a lot of success." That's an idea.

The execution aspect comes into play when a business owner must decide how they are going to go about perfecting this idea via proper execution. Building a toy store in GrownUpTown would be a BAD idea; even with the best execution (great location within the town, good pricing, great staff, etc.) the idea would not generate a successful business. However, a toy store built in AllKidsCity (a good idea) would still be more successful than a toy store being built in GrownUpTown, even if the execution wasn't as great... say, a slight miscalculation in pricing, a less than stellar staff, etc. These things would affect the overall sucess of the toy store; however, the idea to have it in AllKidsCity alone would make it more successful than if it were a store in GrownUpTown.

You have to keep in mind during this debate that PLANNING (market analysis, in this example) is a strategy and absolutely part of the IDEA phase - not execution phase. But don't take my word for it. Consider instead the reality of an entrepreneur X wanting to open up his own business. The first step he would take (considering he's not rich) would be to go to the bank and apply for a loan. The lender will say, "Okay - tell me your idea" in an attempt to see if whether or not person X has a good idea. If so, he will lend him the money to EXECUTE that idea. Well, if person X tells the lender that they would like to build a toy store, the lender would certainly inquire about where (in business: location, location, location!). If X said he wanted to build this store in GrownUpTown, the lender would deny him the loan, and the execution phase would never even come into play.

This ties into the fact that my opponent has not addressed the concept that I have reiterated in both of my previous rounds: THAT WITHOUT AN IDEA, THERE IS NOTHING TO EXECUTE!!! Clearly my opponent has avoided this very important argument because there is no arguing it. Even if he and I (or you, the reader) disagree on whether or not market analysis constitutes an idea phase or execution phase, the bottom line is that without an idea in general, the execution really becomes irrelevant. Say Tony went about executing things (i.e. hiring staff or ordering toys) without an idea -- there would be no point -- he'd just be out of a lot of money, and have a lot of toys and unnecessary staff. Now assuming he bought those toys and hired that staff and THEN decided to build a toy store, the IDEA to build the toy store after acquiring those things is still what makes his execution worth it. Thus there is no getting around the fact that in business, an idea is more important than execution. It simply is not the case.

Back to Tony and Shane, in response to my opponent's example regarding the decision to sell toys online - I again disagree, and feel that this was a good IDEA that Tony put into place. He had the idea to sell his products online, and the execution aspect came into play when he decided to involve his sister (the computer graduate) to make it happen. If Tony simply told her to create a site to launch his toys, but did not give her any direction pertaining to his idea, the execution of creating the site would be pointless -- it would not reflect his idea, the idea that would generate a profit.

In the "contrary scenario," Pro agrees with me that setting prices at too low is a bad EXECUTION flaw -- nobody has the IDEA to set prices low in order to generate a profit, right? Ha - tell that to Sam Walton (WALMART)! But in any event, my opponent was agreeing with me like I said, so I digress. But what I would really like to address is my opponent's bold claim, "Now customer would more than happy to get something for free but a business can't even survive by making customers happy that way; let alone being successful. Thus with good product and bad execution -- business fails!"

First I'd like to remind everybody that we agreed SUCCESS can include either profit and/OR customer satisfaction. Thus, a business CAN be successful in one aspect by keeping their customers happy (and, loyal customers = good for business profits too) -- not every business revolves around generating a profit. An example would be Newman's Own salad dressing, in which the owner donates ALL profits and royalties after taxes to charity.

Second I'd like to present a real-life example of an idea/execution dynamic. Consider Toshiba's recent torment on whether or not to go ahead and continue developing HD TV technology, or to cut their losses and instead move forward trying to expand with the new and improved (though more expensive) Blu Ray technology as instigated by Sony. The Original Idea: better quality TV. Toshiba's Execution: HDTV. Now, their execution turned out to be faulty as Blu Ray blew up (thanks in part to the release of PS3), so it would seem that the bad execution in this case outweighs the good idea. However, Toshiba did not give up. They cut their losses, and with deciding to more forward and expand to Blu Ray, this IDEA is sure to generate them future success. Their execution to actually develop the technology is what will back up the idea and create a profit.

Still, if you don't buy that (though I'm not sure why you wouldn't), there is no getting around the fact that the original idea - better quality TV - is what set all of the execution in motion (research and development of new technology, etc). So there is really no way of getting around the fact that an idea is simply more important than the execution. You can't have one (execution) without the other (idea).

Pro's next example is faulty at best. He writes, "Now lets say one has bad product idea and starts a business. An excellent execution consist of feedback and improvisation loop. Over time, the product will evolve..." -- Okay, the decision to evolve using customer feedback is a new IDEA, and the execution would involve putting that feedback into place. Again, his example only supports my position. His next 2 examples only further support my claims:

"In fact, many people fail before starting a business because they're in search of a great idea." -- Here Pro is admitting that a bad idea can make or break a business! And finally, he discusses the Facebook/ConnectU issue for which there was controversy regarding Mark Zuckerberg's possibile idea theft, so to speak. Pro writes, "Now both ConnectU and Facebook are based on same idea of online social networking; what differentiates them is the way they were executed." I agree. But ConnectU wasn't fighting with Zuckerberg over his execution -- they were fighting with him because they accused him of stealing their IDEA. Thus execution is super important, but without a good idea, its useless.

Consider the invention of skiis. The first ones were made out of wood, and the founding company was put out of business by a competitor who opted to expand on that idea by using fiberglass. Their execution of the idea was better, but without the idea for skiis, there would have been no company. Thus, all I can say - again and again - is that an idea is more important. I believe I have backed that up with my arguments. I also wish a round hadn't been forfeited so my opponent and I could debate these points. However that missed round has really negatively effected this debate; vote CON :)
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ptc 6 years ago
ptc
theLwerd, I would never disagree with the fact that -- without idea there will be nothing to execute. But it doesn't make idea important than execution as far as business success is concerned. And my claim in precisely -- Execution is more important than an idea for a successful business.

In other words, without idea there will be no business; but there will be no business without execution either. So this fact alone doesn't say anything about what's more important.

Both -- idea and execution -- have to be there for a business to exist. But what we are talking about is which one of the two overweights the other.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Ptc - yeah, it was around 3am here when you posted the argument :)
Posted by DoubleXMinus 6 years ago
DoubleXMinus
Lol and here I always find the time to come, read and vote for you, L... Nice, nice -- as always.
Posted by ptc 6 years ago
ptc
Sure, take you own time! Btw it seems my timezone is lagging behind by 3 hours from yours; I guess, I posted it sometime around 12 (midnight) :)
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
So I read your R3 rebuttal, but it's 3am so I'll hold off on finishing this debate until at least tomorrow (Tuesday).
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Don't worry about the missed round -- it happens all the time. But honestly, I haven't read what you've got to say after the first sentence. I think it's kind of ridiculous that you're using the comment section to convey points you could have during your R2 rebuttal. That's a little bit<h thing to do and I won't pay any attention to it.
Posted by ptc 6 years ago
ptc
theLwerd thanks for accepting the debate and I apologize for not being able to submit my argument is time; just missed it by few minutes.

Just to convey the point using the nice example you've given. The choice between opening toy-store and shoe-store is not the product idea when evaluated against demand-supply equation. Market analysis is a part of execution, per se. Now, lets say, there are two persons -- Tony and Shane. Without any market analysis, both of them decide to start to business. Tony has a great idea to manufacture toys and Shane has great idea to manufacture shoes. To make the story further interesting, lets say, Tony lives in BigMenCity where there is no demand for toys; and Shane lives in BareFootCity where there is no demand for shoes. Now comes the execution part -- both have great ideas according to my interpretation (or bad ideas, according to your interpretation) -- but irrespective of how great or bad an idea alone is; there profits, customer satisfaction level and reach will be determined by how they run there stores. Tony is great at execution so he learns that he is not going to sell his great toys in BigMenCity. So he figures out places in world like AllKidsCity, KidsOnlyCity, LetsPlayCity etc and opens his stores there. Given the fact that he knows web 2.0 technologies (as his sister is computer graduate), he launches a web site to showcase and sell his toys online! He also does market analysis of different areas and sets different price range in different areas to ensure profits as well as reach. He also seeks feedback from their customers consistently and improves his toys to gain more customer satisfaction. And Shane does nothing -- because he believes that his shoes are great and they are going to bring him success. Well, it takes no guesses, to find who succeeds and who fails.

I'll have to wait for my next turn now :)
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Eh, screw it. I'll take it now.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
I'll take on this debate if it's still here tomorrow.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Paradigm took the words right outta my mouth.

I do see a loophole, though... hmm...
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
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