I was recently talking to someone who asked me, “what do you mean when you say that ‘ideas are more important than delivery?'”.
It was in reference to a line on the about page of this website and was a good question.
Finding myself in a tricky spot where the only exit was the exact shape and size of a well considered answer I had to engage my brain.
After a brief delve into my memory I answered:
It was based on my time spent studying and subsequently working at the University of Winchester with Chris Horrie who is always full of good ideas.
Not only is Horrie always full of good ideas but he has an uncanny ability to side-step the awkward politics and difficulties that crop up with delivery.
The result of this was that ideas were cherished and encouraged and delivery was believed to be a thing that would follow, one way or another. A solid idea craves delivery.
Although my answer goes some way to describing why I used the ‘ideas are more important’ line on my about page, I don’t feel that it fully captures the essence of what I was getting at. It also risks writing off ‘delivery’ as not-so-important, but this is not the case.
So, a more concise answer would be this:
Good, solid delivery of a project will never be able to save a bad idea from failure.
A good idea can survive shoddy delivery.
That is why ideas are more important than delivery.
Delivery can happen, there is always a way.
Good ideas cannot be faked. You must work hard to own a good idea.
A good example would be a client who I worked with some time ago.
The client had an idea, it was to create a website that would provide a place for amateur creatives to publish their work, sell it, share it on other websites and the like.
Not a bad idea but it was missing a couple of key things.
1. The client had no solid proof that there was an audience for this product.
2. The client had no pre-planned method of gathering a significant audience, instead opting for a ‘build it and they will come’ attitude.
Fast forward a few months to the delivery of the project, a fine delivery at that.
The website was delivered in the form of a technical masterpiece. Chock full of features, bells, whistles and empty database rows ready and waiting for creative work.
Despite the great delivery and subsequent addition of new features, up-take on the site has been slow to say the least.
The delivery followed the brief perfectly but the idea within the brief needed more time to brew.
I am confident that the site in question will come good, all it needs is some good promotion, but that requires going back to the ideas stage.
You can’t fake hard work at ideas stage. Delivery will always happen.