Slack co-founder: "Business success is about execution, timing and luck - not the concept"

When conceiving a business, focus less on the quality of the idea and more on how to bring it to life, says Slack's co-founder Cal Henderson.

by Orianna Rosa Royle

Ideas once reserved for Star Trek are being turned into everyday items and making founders very rich in the process. As such, we’ve become obsessed with creating the next big thing and chasing that eureka moment. On Google, there are almost 6 billion results for “how to come up with a good idea”, meanwhile, Steven Johnson became a viral sensation for his TED talk “where good ideas come from”.

But really, awaking your inner Gene Roddenberry won’t do. The visionary who came up with Flickr and Slack, Cal Henderson tells MT that a good idea has little to do with the success of an invention.

“When people think about technology, there's a tendency towards thinking that ideas are really important. People look at Netflix or Facebook and think: “I wish I came up with that idea”. But the idea doesn't really matter, because people have great ideas all the time. There’s usually a big difference between what the founders thought of and what came out at the end. It's all that work in the middle that's important, yet it’s glossed over.

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