Which is Most Important? The "Idea" or the "Plan"

71 replies
I'm curious what fellow Warriors think about the importance of and how online success is tied to both "the idea" and "the plan".

I know both are important, but which one do you feel plays a bigger role in success? ..and why?
#idea #important #plan
  • Profile picture of the author Shane Hale
    Originally Posted by steveweber View Post

    I'm curious what fellow Warriors think about the importance of and how success is tied to both "the idea" and "the plan".

    I know both are important, but which one do you feel plays a bigger role in success? ..and why?

    I think the most important part is the "action". Action is the glue that cements both together which creates something great for everyone to see,use and learn from.
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    • Profile picture of the author steveweber
      Good point...yep, I too agree, a great plan for a great idea will fail with no action for sure.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pradeep Bhagwat
      This question is like 'chicken first or egg first'!, but I think 'PLAN' is more important in both. There may be hundreds of Ideas in your mind but if not planned properly nothing will be going to become successful.

      - Pradeep
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      Originally Posted by Shane Hale View Post

      I think the most important part is the "action". Action is the glue that cements both together which creates something great for everyone to see,use and learn from.
      I absolutely agree on this one! Ready, Fire Aim!
      Signature
      I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicoletta
    Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    When you fail to plan, you have planned to fail. Every idea is at the mercy of plan. No matter how beautiful an idea is, if there is no well-laid out plan, the execution may hit a brick wall. Ideas are like policies but plan is like strategies for implementing the policies.

    I might have an idea of where New York city is but if I don't have a plan on how to get there, I might never get there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaun OReilly
    Originally Posted by steveweber View Post

    I'm curious what fellow Warriors think about the importance of and how online success is tied to both "the idea" and "the plan".

    I know both are important, but which one do you feel plays a bigger role in success? ..and why?
    Both "the idea" and "the plan" are important.

    Of the two, I'd say that "the idea" is the more important
    if I had to choose.

    Why?

    Because the quality of your idea will determine how easy
    (or hard) it is to execute your plan and get results.

    If you have a bad idea, even a great plan won't help you.

    If you have a great idea with a poor plan you can still get
    some results.

    Ideally, you want a great idea and a great plan.

    Ultimately though, there's something even more important...

    You need to take heavy action on your idea and plans to
    get results.

    Dedicated to your success,

    Shaun
    Signature

    .

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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      It isn't so much a matter of importance as it is of sequence.

      First comes the idea.

      Then comes the plan.

      Next is the action.

      Those three things are the legs on a stool. With all three, the stool is stable. Take one away, and you have problems. Take two away, and you have a disaster (or at least an embarrassing pratfall ) waiting to happen.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeLeckie
        I agree with John McCabe:
        " It isn't so much a matter of importance as it is of sequence.
        First comes the idea. Then comes the plan. Next is the action."

        However. I would add the fourth component and that word is:

        Completion

        Without completion - the idea, the plan and the action are made void.
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  • Profile picture of the author steveweber
    Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post


    Wow that's heavy stuff... considering I've had a few beers!

    Imagine what I can do sober!

    -Rich
    I have found a beer or two can bring great clarity!
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  • Profile picture of the author Russell Turner
    The execution.
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    You're a guy selling a PLAN. A step-by-step plan for Internet Marketing Success. So, honestly are you really curious?

    You have a process you use. But, is that process a good idea for ANYONE? I don't know.

    Since you asked, I'm of the opinion the IDEA is more important. IF you can clearly see the end result and backward chain the events that lead to the conclusion, you have a PLAN.

    And the well thought out PLAN which springs from the IDEA, can tell you whether it is doable or not for YOU. Too many people latch on to a "formula" or a step by step plan and either don't follow it or find out it just doesn't suit them.

    I'm of the opinion, one size does not fit all when it comes to planning.

    The problem is most are not schooled in goal setting and how the IDEA formulates the PLAN at the start, complete with roadblocks, stumbling points and dead ends.

    The reason WHY the idea plays a bigger role in success over the PLAN, it has to come first and be fully fleshed out, which IS the PLAN. As you point out, almost any IDEA can be turned into an Internet Profit center, in the right hands.

    So, I think the IDEA is far and away the more important between the two.

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author creative
      I would say they are both equally important.
      In my experience, however, the most important thing is the right mindset for success.
      You can have a very good idea and a very good plan, but with the wrong mindset you will probably fail...
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    • Profile picture of the author Trapped
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      You're a guy selling a PLAN. A step-by-step plan for Internet Marketing Success. So, honestly are you really curious?

      You have a process you use. But, is that process a good idea for ANYONE? I don't know.

      Since you asked, I'm of the opinion the IDEA is more important. IF you can clearly see the end result and backward chain the events that lead to the conclusion, you have a PLAN.

      And the well thought out PLAN which springs from the IDEA, can tell you whether it is doable or not for YOU. Too many people latch on to a "formula" or a step by step plan and either don't follow it or find out it just doesn't suit them.

      I'm of the opinion, one size does not fit all when it comes to planning.

      The problem is most are not schooled in goal setting and how the IDEA formulates the PLAN at the start, complete with roadblocks, stumbling points and dead ends.

      The reason WHY the idea plays a bigger role in success over the PLAN, it has to come first and be fully fleshed out, which IS the PLAN. As you point out, almost any IDEA can be turned into an Internet Profit center, in the right hands.

      So, I think the IDEA is far and away the more important between the two.

      gjabiz
      Nicely put over there. A plan without an idea would not make sense...an idea without a plan would never succeed.

      At the bottom line..I could not run with 1 leg only...so I would stick to both (idea/plan)..but most likely would tend to give slightly more weight to a GOOD idea (which would be my right leg in this case )and work a plan from there to end up execute the plan..

      (hell of a nice question OP)
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    • Profile picture of the author steveweber
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      You're a guy selling a PLAN. A step-by-step plan for Internet Marketing Success. So, honestly are you really curious?

      Yep, I'm curious....it takes both of course. A plan AND an idea. I help with the plan. But ideas can be many for a basic plan. Some maybe good. Some maybe bad...but can a "poor" idea, like selling ugly rocks, almost always turn out great IF the plan (marketing) is great? ....sort of like selling fridges to teh Eskimos.
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      • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
        Gary Dahl sat a bar and had an IDEA. He and his buddies played around with having a PET, and the rock was the perfect pet. He fully developed his IDEA via a PLAN OF ACTION to bring the Pet Rock to the market. But his plan was fully fleshed out in the IDEA...nobody was going to buy a Pet Rock, but Dahl was a marketing guy.

        He knew it needed a hook, a "story" and he knew how and when to market it. The Pet Rock took off at a "gift" trade show, where the packaging and "story" of having a Pet Rock were introduced and the buyers went nuts with it.

        It had a short shelf life, by design, the marketing strategy was "genius" and the plan came about from the IDEA, which was how to make a million bucks, selling a novelty gift item, and to do it in as fast as time as possible.

        IF he had not had the IDEA, along with a fully fleshed out PLAN of ACTION (based on the reality of gift item marketing), then it wouldn't have come about.

        As to your question as to whether a POOR idea can "almost always turn out great if the plan (marketing) is great"...well NO. New coke. The edsel.

        In fact there are books full of "ideas" which were executed with magnificent PLANS and they cost companies millions of dollars.

        So, my answer to your question is, NO, a poor idea with a great plan just doesn't work. Likewise, there have been great ideas with poor plans that have failed too.

        But, I'm not giving in on the position that an IDEA has to take place first, and even then, it may not be the right idea for the person who has it. They might do better turning the idea over to someone more suited to bringing it to the market place.

        As for "fridges to eskimos", that is copywriter hype thinking and old world used car salesman thinking, and maybe why we have so much frustration here at the WF due to people buying the WSO filled with a "great plan", they being the eskimos NOT in need of a fridge?

        Give me a good idea, and I'll find someone to execute it, iffin I can't.

        gjabiz


        Originally Posted by steveweber View Post

        Yep, I'm curious....it takes both of course. A plan AND an idea. I help with the plan. But ideas can be many for a basic plan. Some maybe good. Some maybe bad...but can a "poor" idea, like selling ugly rocks, almost always turn out great IF the plan (marketing) is great? ....sort of like selling fridges to teh Eskimos.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Shaun is spot on. You can take all the action in the world, but really, thats meaningless without results.
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  • Profile picture of the author Firstrate
    Actually taking action and doing something, anything..... beats both in my opinion!

    I think a lot of people tend to overanalyze and over-think a lot of things in IM.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Richard Odell View Post

      It fuelled Hemingway for years..

      If I drink enough I my yet get a Nobel prize!

      Do they give one for falling over?

      Hic!
      Or end up sticking a shotgun in your mouth, Hemingway-style...

      I don't think they give a Nobel for falling over, but I think the programmer who came up with the "Drunkard's Walk" algorithm may have gotten one in economics...
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
        Both play a role and the importance of either in accomplishing your goals varies.

        I have a military background. I'm sure you've heard of the phrase "no plan survives contact with the enemy". I believe the same is true for business plans. If you listen to the stories of company founders you'll find that once they entered the marketplace they needed to heavily modify or scrap their business plans altogether but the plan forced them to think about and hopefully plan for event that at the time seemed unlikely.

        Ideas are also important but neither the idea or the plan holds a primary position...it all varies.

        A great idea combined with a weak plan can be successful due to very strong market demand.

        A weak idea with a great plan can also be successful.

        And don't forget the other side of the triangle--->Action. Without action it really doesn't matter because you'll never know what was strong, weak, needs to be improved etc.

        So to answer your question...it depends.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sardent
    Which is most important, the chicken or the egg?

    Originally Posted by steveweber View Post

    I'm curious what fellow Warriors think about the importance of and how online success is tied to both "the idea" and "the plan".

    I know both are important, but which one do you feel plays a bigger role in success? ..and why?
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author TekCraze
    Neither...The Execution is key

    I think a lot of the same things hold true between both online and offline business.
    In the business world, an idea on its own is worth exactly $0
    If you look for investors for a business model that is basically a really great idea with no execution plan, they simply aren't interested.

    An average idea well executed can be hugely successful.
    An amazing idea poorly executed is a dismal failure.

    (My experience is offline business, just getting my feet wet in the online world of marketing and multiple income streams)
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  • Profile picture of the author Gorilla
    Originally Posted by steveweber View Post

    I'm curious what fellow Warriors think about the importance of and how online success is tied to both "the idea" and "the plan".

    I know both are important, but which one do you feel plays a bigger role in success? ..and why?
    Neither is more important.

    There is the idea...then there is the plan...and then there is the action...and then there is the commitment.

    Any one without the other is practically doomed. Every facet requires the other.

    Since the idea is the foundation, then it is arguably the most important. Alone, however, all the above are quite useless.

    ...
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    • Profile picture of the author DaveMcF
      I tend to go with Felix Dennis' train of thought when it comes to this.

      "Ideas? We've had 'em
      Since Eve deceived Adam,
      But take it from me,
      Execution's the key."
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      • Profile picture of the author LiamP
        I agree with DaveMcF that implementation is key. Felix Dennis (very rich British man) has a chapter called "The fallacy of the great idea" in his book "How to Get Rich". He explains at length that ideas are worthless unless implemented well and profitably.

        A great example of a bad idea done well is OrigamiBoulder.com .
        The idea: Let's sell people scrunched up pieces of scrap paper.
        The execution: Genius.
        As the owner himself says :

        "Idea" is dime a dozen and have no value. No scarcity of ideas on earth. Stupid idea well implemented more successful than best idea on earth never used.



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        A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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  • Profile picture of the author stephfoster
    I get plenty of ideas. They don't come to anything without execution. There's planning involved, and it's important, but if you don't do anything with the plan it won't do a thing for you.

    A big part of successful execution is flexibility. You have to recognize when your plan isn't working and develop a new one. Stick to a plan blindly and you may miss the direction you should have taken your idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    I have read these replies and as an ideas person for many years (followed by the other suggestions) I will call the idea the most important, for without the idea nothing else can exist, and you can not plan nor implement or end up with results.

    The ability to spot and develop / nurture an idea is the kindling that sparks and ignites everything beyond that point.
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    • Profile picture of the author LiamP
      Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

      I have read these replies and as an ideas person for many years (followed by the other suggestions) I will call the idea the most important, for without the idea nothing else can exist, and you can not plan nor implement or end up with results.

      The ability to spot and develop / nurture an idea is the kindling that sparks and ignites everything beyond that point.
      I agree that having an idea is essential. My point is that good ideas are abundant and cheap, but good implementation is scarce and valuable.
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      A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
      Robert A. Heinlein

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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by LiamP View Post

        I agree that having an idea is essential. My point is that good ideas are abundant and cheap, but good implementation is scarce and valuable.
        yes buddy, it is a chicken and egg question really, and while i agree ideas may be abundant / you still need at least one to develop and implement for without that one seed your garden will not grow.

        all low key here and what ever works for people is fine by me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle
    To answer the original question as it was asked, the idea is more important from a theoretical standpoint.

    You can't have a plan without an idea. Without the idea, you have nothing to plan. The idea can be as simple as, "I'm going to sell something," but you need at least that seed to start the planning process. Without the idea, you don't even know you need a plan.

    In theory, a bad idea with a great plan has some possibility of success. Conversely, a great idea with a bad plan also has some possibility of success.

    A plan without an idea is no plan at all, thus has no possibility of success.

    Again, purely a theoretical viewpoint here. The issue depends on the operational definition of "idea" and "plan."
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    I get friends/family coming up to me all the time with ideas about what would sell great online. And I always tell them that if they want to do something with the idea, let me know and I will give them some help to get started. They invariably come back with why dont I just market their great idea and cut them in as a partner. And that is when I break the news to them... Good ideas are a dime a dozen. I have a list of almost 200 products that I have in queue to develop - and they are all great ideas. I suppose if you are not creative, then ideas might be hard to come by... but I have found that focus and execution are much more important than the idea of the day (even if its great)...
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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    Of course you will have the idea first before you can come up with a plan. So therefore idea comes first.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Shiloh
    Banned
    The good news is that everybody has an idea. The sad news is that just a few have a plan. Unfortunately, execution often eludes many people.
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  • Profile picture of the author henndi
    I think it is the plan, because without them you could not have success with the best idea. It will destroyed through the daily problems, which you have to solve with your plan.
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    How much percentage your salesrate should be increase?

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    • Profile picture of the author steveweber
      Wow, cool Replies everyone! There does seem to be a theme appearing over and over in many of the replies....action. I heard a phrase a long time ago I often repeat: Relentless Focused Action

      Put RFA to work with a good idea and plan...I think most agree here THAT is the key to success...thanks everyone!
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  • Profile picture of the author Robert Puddy
    Ideas are a dime a dozen... Only the action plan makes it viable

    My 2 year old grandson puts his finger up a dozen times a day and says Papa i have an idea.

    and how many times have you hadf an idea and when you go flesh it out with a plan, the original idea is changed beyond all recollection
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  • Profile picture of the author phpnetpro
    I agree that it's the action.

    There are tons of great ideas and plans out there, but to actually put those into action is the real key to success. A lot of truly great ideas and plans require a lot of action to actually accomplish.

    When it comes to someone trying to sell you a product online, they love talking about their idea and plan but they hide the required action from you. Even after you buy, they may hide how much work you will really have to do to achieve what they have achieved.

    Yes a good idea or plan is important. Without it, all of the action in the world will never get you anything. However, it goes the other way too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    Of the two, the plan is absolutely the most important.

    As you execute your plan, you test. As you test, the results should tell you where and how to improve your plan. That's how businesses are built.
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    • The plan and the action to implement the plan.

      After all - how many people do you know with a "great idea?" :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Plan
    Do
    Check
    Act

    ....Deming 101

    Ideas are meaningless. There's an abundance of ideas.

    Bad ideas executed well can still be corrected and net results.

    Great ideas poorly executed or not executed at all will net poor results or nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author nikkol1
    I think it is the idea that is the most important because if you have a plan without the right idea then you will not achieve your goal. The idea is the foundation to any goal setting. You can always find the plan to execute it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dayne Dylan
    Banned
    I think the idea.

    Why?

    Because an idea has to come first before any type of planning.

    Example, you can "plan" a website or "product" but before you do that, you have to have an IDEA about what it will be.

    But action is the magical potion to success, without a doubt.
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    Create and Differentiate. Illuminate Your Buyers Need or Wants. Grow Rich.
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    • Profile picture of the author steveweber
      Wow, this was an old thread, but still it's very relevant.

      I coach beginning Internet marketers. Most of them have similar issues in the beginning. Probably their main hangup is "finding a niche". But what they really are looking for is a "niche" that won't take much work....some "secret" area they can find and make a ton of money in without much competition...some "easy" way to do it.

      Here's the truth:

      There are no secrets in all this. ANY area where people spend money online in is a "good niche"...any of them. Some will take more work than others of course.

      But let's just make one up...what comes to mind? How about "heated dog beds". People spend money on those online...it's a good niche. Forget trying to over-analyze it for competition, etc. Sure, you can take a look and estimate how hard it will be, but it will ALWAYS be way tougher than you guess anyway.

      The "secret" is just deciding you will build a site and do all the on page and off page SEO required to rank the "heated dog bed" site well up on the first page. And then take the action to do it.

      Most beginners greatly underestimate the action required. I tell my students that however much work they think it will require, they need to multiply it by 4 or 5 or 10.

      Beginners simply need to find their niche (again, where people spend money), and follow the tried and proven methods for driving traffic...whether it be SEO, PPC if it makes sense, or social media, or all the above.

      Most beginners spend WAY too much time looking for shortcuts vs. taking massive tried and proven action. They need to forget trying to find "magic tools" that give them an edge in the beginning. Just knuckle down and apply the needed action to proven methods and stay focused long enough to get the job done.

      That's my 2 cents...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kaizen Ninja
    "Idea" and "Plan" are somewhat the same with "Goal" and "Strategy". But both of these are essential to attain something giving them both 50% value to get the hundred percent result. On the other side, idea must also have a contributing factor for motivation to keep you going and push anyone beyond their limits. In other words, always check the thoughts that it must be complete not only in making a plan but also in how to do things with ease. After all everything starts in the mind!
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    I get a gazillion ideas a day. I act on few, and have plans for even fewer. So plans is more important.
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    • Profile picture of the author LarryW
      I have plenty of Ideas! I am kinda broke - was this my plan?

      I plan to make some money somehow on the internet, and I got lots of ideas from wso purchases. They even have plans, or kinda. But now little money left to do it. Certainly I have no time to read all of the email I get now with more wso offers.

      I need to opt out of emails and stop buying more wso when I did not read the last two dozen... yes and pick one idea and plan to do it, and then do the plan.

      The words Self Control and Discipline could be mentioned again on this thread.... But maybe FOCUS is more important.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
        Originally Posted by LarryW View Post

        I have plenty of Ideas! I am kinda broke - was this my plan?
        Larry is there any reason why you dug up this 15 month old thread? :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author hustlinsmoke
    Could not have one without the other could you. But its like what is most important, The horse or the cart. I would go with horse, so I will go with idea. If you don't follow through with the idea maybe someone else will.
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  • Profile picture of the author danlew
    Idea comes first before planning. You can't have a plan without having an idea first. For example, if you have a perfect idea to attract customers in your online business, you're going to plan it next and take action.
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  • Profile picture of the author PerfectSolution
    The plan is more important in my humble opinion. You can always use someone else's idea and device your own great plan and improve on it. n
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  • plan i guess.
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  • Profile picture of the author Venturetothetop
    Business is 10% inspiration .... 90% perspiration. (somewhat borrowed from Eddie)

    90% of your success depends on your plan.

    Kodak had many great ideas - the first megapixel camera and the first digital camera, but they didn't put 90% of their effort into their plans. We all know this ending...
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  • Profile picture of the author Go4DBest
    I think everything starts on a simple idea. Just like the Television, before it was just a crazy idea and someone draw it on a paper. Until, that crazy idea became into a reality.

    Conversing with cam to cam on your computers, before those were just funny ideas, but now they exist.

    Starts with a simple idea, then study that idea to make a plan, and implement that plan.

    You need to have goals as well and pursue them whatever it takes.

    Cheers,
    G.B.

    P.S. Money Makers are the Action Takers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tony Marriott
      ABSOLUTELY THE PLAN

      There are many many ideas on how to make money online. Maybe everyone of them could work.
      What is certain they will not all work for everyone.

      No matter what your idea, if you lay out AND FOLLOW a plan your success rate will be multiplied by a factor of 100.

      You may think the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook were great ideas, dreamed up by students and became what they are today just because they were great ideas. You would be wrong. It was the planning and execution of the plan that made these things a reality. Without the plan the great ideas would probably still be just that today.

      What is also true is that the bigger the idea then the bigger the plan and when the success grows you need an even bigger plan. It never stops.
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  • Profile picture of the author SamuelUherek
    I think the most important is the IDEA. Because you can have a plan, but if you don't have an idea behind it, the plan is just worthless. I always believed that the IDEA or CLEAR GOAL is the key.

    What would you do without an idea? You would make a plan with no tasks. You wouldn't know what to do. I think even decision like "I want to have my own product" is an idea.

    If you buy a supper high tech software that everyone is saying is the best software in the world, you probably wouldn't use it, since you have no idea what the software is for. But once you know that the software can help you let's say build 1,000 backlinks, you actually have an idea what to achieve and now comes the part when you plane.
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  • Profile picture of the author lucidsuccess
    the most important part is your desire and want to be successful by taking massive action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Henry White
    Shane is right - without action the greatest ideas, the greatest plans come to naught.

    Not to denigrate ideas, but they truly are a "dime a dozen." For example, if I don't come up with at least a dozen concrete ideas for niches, products, etc., in passing, it's a wasted day. If you're getting ideas , you simply aren't paying attention to what's going on around you. Wherever people meet, you have a golden opportunity to observe their behaviors and listen to what's on their minds.

    How often do you hear "That's a good/great idea! Why didn't I think of that?" Most likely quite often and usually from wage-slave, couch potatoes.

    Now when was the last time you heard any of them get excited over a business or marketing plan other that the "someone [else] ought to" variety? Not very often, right?

    Combine all three and magic happens!
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  • Profile picture of the author Weby Digital
    Maybe a great idea is more difficult to get, but you need even a great plan to put your idea to its max. Anyway, my answer here is the idea ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    neither, it is the implementation.

    or...what we call in the industry....taking action.

    Taking action will be the best thing you can do for you and your business.

    When is the best time to take action.....simple.....YESTERDAY!
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