Idea vs. Execution in Startups: What Matters More?

Jan 18

Just imagine having a once-in-a-lifetime idea, a completely new concept that could change people’s lives. You want to turn it into reality as quickly as possible without spending too much time assembling a team of professionals, conducting tests, and securing the best possible investment. Do you think you will succeed?

Now, consider the scenario in reverse — your idea isn’t revolutionary, but you put everything you have into execution.

It may seem like a philosophical question, but there are answers. In this article, Kilo Health leaders will share their thoughts on the balance between idea and execution.

Important questions to ask yourself

Most of the startup leaders will tell you, that before you put your idea into the “successful” shelf, you must ask yourself some questions to determine if the idea is as good as you think.

As Kasparas Aleknavicius,  a medical doctor and co-founder of probiotic supplements, explains:

“I had quite a few ideas on my plate, including apps and supplements. And guess what? Bioma came out on top. It’s important to ask yourself: Which of your ideas has a solid foundation in reality?

Moreover, we had app ideas and other supplement ideas, and looked at many other things in the market, and it became clear that probiotics had the strongest ground. It was a trend, but not one of those weak trends – probiotics remained relevant either way.”

What made this product successful was finding a market fit because it directly correlates with the chances of long-term success and sustainability. It helps startups understand who their ideal customers are, their needs, and how they can address them.

Agne Belopretovic, Research Team Lead, explains that a startup’s success depends on how well it understands the market, competes effectively, uses resources efficiently, communicates, and stands out with a unique selling point (USP).

“It’s important to know the answer to the question: ‘Will my product solve a problem?’. And, of course, to be able to celebrate every small step forward, and when faced with challenges – to remain flexible and always open to feedback and changes,” she notes.

Vilius Česnauskas, Chief Business Development Officer, explains what questions they evaluate when generating ideas at Kilo Health:

“We create a product by figuring out what problem we can solve for the consumer, how to present it, and how it will stand out in the market. Then, we decide on its look and market strategy. Afterward, we calculate the expected return on investment and decide if it’s worth risking our capital for potential gains.”

Passion for your chosen field

Now let’s look at it from a different point of view.

Upon reading this, you might think that finding the perfect market fit and having the most unique idea are the keys to success. However, that’s not always the case either.

In fact, many successful CEOs are fueled by a deep personal passion for their chosen field.

If you don’t find the theme of the product personally exciting or interesting, it might indicate that you’re not yet ready to become its founder, and the question between the idea and execution might not matter anymore.

Ultimately, the desire to make a meaningful impact is often more crucial than simply fitting into the right market. For instance, Vitalijus Majorovas, a co-founder of a vagus nerve stimulator, is so passionate about his field that he didn’t give up after failing multiple times.

“I failed 4 times before coming up with the idea for Pulsetto.

As nothing seemed to be working, I started wondering: why am I successful in the corporate world but struggling as a startup entrepreneur? But I didn’t give up.

As we all know now, I finally hit the jackpot with my fifth product idea. But it had a twist – unlike Kilo Health’s other products, this one wasn’t an app: it was a physical device.”

Cesnauskas also emphasizes the importance for a business idea creator to strongly believe in their idea and understand its monetization prospects:

“These are the two most crucial things. If the leader doesn’t believe in what they want to sell or has unrealistic expectations for making money, success becomes almost impossible.”

Your idea is merely a story until you put it into action

“I recall a conversation with a friend at a café, where he shared a health-related idea over a beer. I later mentioned that I was heading to Kilo Health, and he jokingly said, “Are you stealing my idea?” The point is that everyone has ideas, they’re a dime a dozen. An idea is merely a story until you put it into action,” explains Toms Zalmanis, CEO of Business Category.

Gytis Labasauskas, co-founder of Greatness, explains that what is important is ensuring that the product being developed meets the needs and expectations of the target market while also having a sales strategy that effectively communicates the product’s value and drives customer acquisition.

“Having a clear value proposition that effectively communicates the unique selling points of your product is crucial. At Greatness, we have a highly skilled sales team that diligently keeps up with the latest updates and market insights. Their dedication ensures that our customers truly find value in our habit-tracking product by seeing it as a tool that fits seamlessly into their lives, helping them build habits that lead to greatness.”

The ultimate answer

Matas Olendra, Head of Innovation, emphasizes that ideas typically emerge when old problems are looked at in a new way:

“Generated ideas usually go through a multi-step process. First, we need to gather information: research the market, and identify direct and indirect competitors. Then, with the help of an expert team, a refined evaluation process, and the latest research tools, we collect and present the necessary information to a broader team, which develops the idea during creative sessions.”

In conclusion, both the idea and the execution are crucial for startup success. However, having a unique idea alone is not sufficient, but a flawless execution might be. In the best-case scenario, you need to believe in your idea, develop a marketing strategy, test it in the real world, and gather customer feedback. 

Afterward, put your best effort into execution, bringing you as close to success as possible.

Don’t have a startup idea, but got the drive? Check out our Kilo Health Incubator Challenge.

Kilo Health
Kilo Health is a digital health and wellness company with over 6,5 million customers worldwide. The second fastest-growing company in Europe according to the Financial Times FT 1,000 in 2022. The company currently has 500+ experts, 30+ products, and offices in 5 European cities.

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