Why Your Amazing Startup Idea Isn’t Taking Off

Some common points of execution failure and how to get past them

Joe Procopio


In entrepreneurism, the idea is nowhere near as important as the execution. Most entrepreneurs understand this, but just believing in the importance of execution doesn’t mean you can successfully execute.

I’m not talking about executing bad ideas. If your idea is terrible, well, no one is going to be able to help you with that. (But don’t sweat it. I have a dozen bad ideas a day.)

No, your idea might be truly amazing, game-changing, something that can solve an age-old problem in a way no one was expecting. And in fact, you might even be somewhere between 10 percent to 99 percent of the way to making your original idea a viable reality.

There’s that one thing missing though, right? One element or component or action is stalling your momentum — not only keeping your idea from coming to fruition but keeping your project from moving forward at all.

I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, and I can abandon an idea within seconds, but sometimes it takes years before I finally give up. This isn’t because it took me forever to figure out that a particular idea wasn’t a winner. On the contrary, I still believe those were valid startup ideas.

But stalling out on an idea is easy to do. Here are some common points of failure and how to get past them.

Lack of definition

Your idea may not be well thought-out. And I’m sure you’ve probably considered this, but have you considered why? Because there may be something there after all.

Every product starts life as an idea that’s more a feeling or a vibe or even a brand. Every solution begins as a hypothesis. Some products and solutions can get very, very far without ever leaving that state.

Ask yourself: Is my product real? Can it stand on its own? Or is it an extension of something else? Are there benefits I can prove? Is there a value proposition I can offer? Can I quantify those benefits and that value?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” then that’s where you start to attack.



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com