By the age of 23, Mark Zuckerberg was the world's youngest self-made billionaire. He has built a global social media empire, connecting more than 2.7 billion people actively using Facebook each month.
The co-founder and CEO of Facebook is certainly one of the most powerful and influential people on the planet. He sets an inspiring, but possibly also intimidating, example to budding entrepreneurs. However, the Zuck is keen to reassure people that genius isn't the only ingredient to success.
Zuckerberg's advice on making ideas work has been included on this infographic from Resume.io, along with other motivational wisdom from leading founders and entrepreneurs. He says:
People think innovation is just having a good idea, but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.
Success isn't just about ideas
Zuckerberg warns against getting dazzled by famous success stories and legendary feats of genius. "The idea of a single eureka moment," he says, "is a dangerous lie" that can make people feel inadequate, and prevent people from getting started in the first place.
A great idea or flash of inspiration is a useful starting point, of course, but it is far from the most important thing. Ideas need to be brought to life through execution -- the ability to actively and vigorously pursue an idea to make it work. This involves testing out those new ideas and moving forward with projects rather than waiting around for a fully formed and flawless concept to magically appear. It's a dynamic, exciting, and rewarding process.
Yet people are often held back by the fear of making mistakes, and that can be very limiting. If you wait for a fully formed and flawless business plan to fall in your lap, you could be waiting for a very long time. The likelihood is that things will not work perfectly the first time around -- and that's OK!
Facebook is a great example of this. Zuckerberg's original idea was Facemash, a "hot or not" style platform to judge the attractiveness of fellow students at Harvard. This enterprise got him into trouble with the college administration for privacy and copyright violations, so he was forced to rethink his strategy for developing his idea.
Ideas become more clear as you continue to develop them. Try to view mistakes as opportunities to see what does and doesn't work. If you can identify an issue while you're testing an idea, you can work out creative and practical solutions and make adjustments and improvements to hone things further.
Kick-start your project
Zuckerberg's advice is all about making sure that you move things beyond the idea stage, and into the real world. That means getting yourself organized and getting other people involved.
There's no use pretending that you can do everything by yourself. Bringing other people to the table is a great way to inject life into a project, and make sure you have all the necessary skill bases covered. It's also vital to invite input and feedback from others to get a fresh perspective on how things are going.
When starting out on a new project, you need to:
- Reach out for help. Look for people who have the skills, knowledge, experience, and interest that will help your project take off.
- Include your team in your plan. Run through the important details and key goals of your project in an initial kickoff session.
- Agree on a process. Make sure that everyone is on the same page about key strategy points. Don't get bogged down in details that can be ironed out later.
The fantasy of flying solo powered only by miraculous inspiration is a recipe for disappointment. If you can adopt a more practical and realistic approach to making something of your ideas, you have a genuine chance of success.