Tim is the best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek (New York: Random House, 2007) as well as an angel investor and an entrepreneur. Tim has been a TechStars mentor since 2008 and is an investor in several TechStars companies, including DailyBurn (the premier fitness social network for detailed tracking, online accountability, and motivation) and Foodzie (an online marketplace where consumers can discover and buy food directly from small artisan producers).
Earth-shattering and world-changing ideas are a dime a dozen. In fact, that's being too generous.
I've had hundreds of would-be entrepreneurs contact me with great news: They have the next big thing, but they can't risk telling me (or anyone else) about it until I sign some form of idea insurance, usually a nondisclosure agreement (NDA). Like every other sensible investor on the planet, I decline the request to sign the NDA, forgoing the idea, often to the shock, awe, and dismay of the stunned entrepreneur.
Why do I avoid this conversation? Because entrepreneurs who behave this way clearly overvalue ideas and therefore, almost by definition, undervalue execution. Brainstorming is a risk-free, carefree activity. Entrepreneurship in the literal sense of "undertaking" is not. Strap on your seat belt if you're signing up for a startup. It's a high-velocity experience.
If you have ...