The Horse or the Jockey?

Many people who want to start their own businesses and many people who want to invest in others’ ideas search answer of this question: “Which is more important the idea or the entrepreneur?” .

In academic journals, this is referred to as the horse (idea) and jockey (entrepreneur) debate. The horse and jockey analogy reflects two different financing philosophies: Either you believe the idea is the key and bet on the horse, or you believe management is the key and bet on the jockey. “Another way to phrase it is to say that you either bet on an A-team with a B-idea or on a B-team with an A-idea.

People have different thoughts on this topic. Generally, thoughts on this topic may be  grouped into 3.

  1. The Idea: Some think that a good-idea will turn into a successful business in any manner whatsoever. They think business world has an evolutionary side which only good ideas can survive in time. Their motto is “Having the right idea is what counts.” .
  2. The Entrepreneur: Many venture capitalists operate on the assumption that even if an idea isn’t perfect, it could be made so by the right management. So they think entrepreneur is more important than the idea.
  3. Both The Idea&Entrepreneur: Some people believe that a successful business starts with a good idea. But firstly, an idea must be generated  and turned into a successful business by an entrepreneur. A good idea is a requirement but it’s not sufficient to succeed, it needs a good entrepreneur too.

I also think both the idea and the entrepreneur are important at the same time. A good idea is a start point. But don’t forget, most startups fail. A startup can begin with a revolutionary idea but execute dismally. Another startup can begin with a mediocre idea but execute spectacularly. The startup which executes dismally will fail and the one which executes spectacularly may succeed. But a startup which begins with a revolutionary idea and execute spectacularly will succeed. You may have the best idea but if you cannot reach your customers or you cannot pay your bills, you will fail. On the other hand, you may have the best management team but without a unique idea, growing your business and attracting investors will be very though job.

When you have a great idea, the questions to ask yourself is

1. Now that I have this great idea, do I have the right configuration to execute and make this dream a reality?”

2. Can I convince the marketplace that I can make this happen?

Consequently, I think the entrepreneur is 55% and the idea is %45 important to achieve success in business. What do you think about it? Would you bet on the Jockey or the Horse? Please comment…

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2 Comments on “The Horse or the Jockey?”

  • Anonymous
    1 June, 2011, 13:41

    Quite an interesting post!!!

  • Erdemozkan
    1 June, 2011, 18:53

    What do you think about this dilemma? Which is more important for you, the idea or the entrepreneur?

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