How do I pick an idea to run with?

An important lesson I have learned after decades in business is the person behind the idea is as important as the idea itself.

I was in Dublin recently visiting Virgin Media Ireland and I was speaking to some talented Irish entrepreneurs and one asked me how I pick which ideas to run with.

Many people come to me with similar ideas for new ventures or investments they want to set up. A really important factor to me is whether I think the person can execute the idea and have they got what it takes to carry out what they’re promising?

I’ve seen many shy entrepreneurs succeed because they have surrounded themselves with the right people. If you don’t enjoy pitching and public speaking, partner with someone who does. If you enjoy brand strategy but hate the numbers, find a good accountant or analyst to help guide you.

You could have the best idea in the world but if you haven’t got the right attitude or the drive to succeed then it can still fall flat on its face. I love people who are good with others and look for the best in their team. It’s absolutely critical that people believe in what they’re doing and are fuelled by passion. For the first few years it’s all consuming and you will face setbacks that are easier to overcome if you can smile about them.

There are so many ideas I’m excited about at the moment. Virgin Orbit is currently testing its rockets to launch satellites into space to improve global access to data. Virgin Galactic is doing test glide flights to get us closer to commercial space travel. I’m also fascinated by emerging technologies such as the company Blockchain, a bitcoin wallet business, and how SofarSounds is changing the way people experience live music.

There are just so many ideas out there but the one thing successful companies have in common is a great team backing them and the right attitude driving them forwards. If we all support each other we have a better shot at fulfilling our potential and turning our ideas into realities.


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