Simply put, an entrepreneurial project requires four main components: a business idea, a team, capital and execution. In this chapter we will focus on the first: the idea. Or rather on the ideas, because a successful start-up typically combines multiple great ideas. We will look at how you become good at getting ideas, but also at how you sort and analyse these.

You might have a few friends or acquaintances in your network who have an incredible number of ideas but who at the same time are working in unstructured or unsystematic ways and therefore cannot bring their ideas to fruition – ‘all hat but no cattle’, as they say in Texas. These types are usually quite hilarious to dine with because they are constantly mentioning new ideas, and they may be both funny and inspiring, but it will probably be you who ends up with the bill because these hyper-creative people are often penniless.

You might also know people who are good at running a business but at the same time are not the ones who get the great ideas. They might not be the most hilarious people, but at least they can execute on a project.

Whether you naturally belong more to the one or the other of these groups, the challenge as an entrepreneur is to be reasonably good at both things – ideas and execution – to achieve major success. Often, however, you must learn some of it; just as you can be taught marketing and logistics techniques, you can learn plenty of methods to get and develop ideas. ...

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