Steve Ballmer (former Microsoft CEO) spoke last month at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business graduation. He offered a strong reminder about the basic need for businesses to focus around good ideas (Erin Zlomek, ed., Commencement Speeches 2014, Bloomberg Businessweek, 6/2/14–6/8/14, p. 23):
“A great team, great energy, and great hard work will never make up for a bad idea.”
Ballmer has a point. If your business plan is to install screen windows in submarines, then you just might have a bad idea there. I have never yet seen a submarine with screen windows (unless it was at the bottom of the ocean!).
People are marvelous. Energy is vital. Hard work is essential. Nevertheless, you must do the idea homework first. If the idea is good, then your people, energy, and hard work will be able to run with it.