Good ideas are not a dime a dozen

So far Loladex is a bootstrap operation. I haven’t asked anyone for money, but I’ve spent some time looking at the world of funding. There are many sources of advice on such matters, and they all seem to agree on one cliche:

Ideas are a dime a dozen.

I’m sure every Web entrepreneur has heard this. It’s depressing to have your inspiration called a commodity, but I do understand: A half-baked idea that gets prompt and competent execution is a much better bet than a long-delayed and sloppily executed plan of surpassing genius.

Since VCs are in the betting business, they’re certainly justified in relegating ideas to third place. (First and second are industry sector and team, not necessarily in that order.)

But let me speak here as a Web user: Good ideas are not a dime a dozen, dammit.

OK, I’m sure I’d make a lousy VC. Still, if I suddenly landed on the other side of the table I’d be looking for teams of great executors, sure — but only those teams who bring a decent idea to said table.

To me this would be a requirement, not a nice-to-have.

A great team that’s busily executing on an incomplete idea, or a me-too effort, or blatant acquisition bait, or something downright stupid … well, it’s just depressing.

Life is too short, even if there’s money to be made.

This is a unique time. “Web 2.0,” or whatever you want to call it, is manifestly what the Internet was made for. There are lots of people out there right now with truly great ideas that deserve support.

But there are also lots of mediocre and bad ideas, and we hurt the greater community when we don’t make distinctions. IMO, the investing community should take an active pride in the quality of the ideas it supports. A good VC will advance the Web, not just his interests, with each funding decision.

For an entrepreneur, ideas are the opposite of a commodity: Your belief in the idea is so strong that you can’t do anything else. When the time comes for Loladex to seek money, I hope to find VCs who feel the same way.