Phil Libin is the CEO of Evernote, one of the fastest-growing cloud technology-based companies in the world. He fits very well in the category of highly innovative entrepreneurs of the 21st century. His company, Evernote’s mission is to help people around the globe to remember everything, capture anything, and access it anywhere.
I had the opportunity to interview Phil Libin for the documentary Innovation:Where Creativity and Technology Meet. www.innovationmovie.com
During the interview, I asked him “Creativity is the idea generation part and innovation is the execution part. How do you combine these two forces to come up with a brilliant product or service?”
His reply was amazingly interesting. I believe many entrepreneurs out there will have a spark of inspiration from him.
Phil Libin says, the idea itself is almost worthless. People can come up with great ideas, but 99% of the value lies in execution. There is a huge difference between idea and execution.
Though Phil Libin has tremendous respect to Leonardo Da Vinci as a genius and the archetypal Renaissance man, Libin says Leonardo Da Vinci was not an inventor, but he was a dreamer. He dreamt of things, drew things and inspired millions of people. But none of them have actionable at his time. Leonardo Da Vinci did not invent the helicopter, because he had visions about flying machines. It was several hundred years later someone actually designed, created it or made it in a way that is real.
Phil Libin says, the brilliant idea is not rare as people think. What is actually rare is the ability to combine that spark (idea) with execution and see it through. And most importantly, not loose the interest. The main flaw of many creative people is that they loose interest after a while. They think for something for a year, five year or ten years and they get bored and they want to move on and think about something else. In reality it may take five or ten or twenty years to actually accomplish something real.
You have to be creative enough to have a good idea, but not so creative that you get bored easily, so that you can stick to it and see it through.
As a filmmaker this clip inspired me a lot. Three years ago, I started my dream project, the documentary “innovation: Where Creativity and Technology Meet” with a budget between 15,000 to 20,000 and a time frame of 6 months for completion. It took three years to complete it and the budget exceeded more than 5 times. Besides that the opportunity cost was too high. I mean my income as a management consultant for two years (I am focusing only in the film work for the last two years) and every penny I had saved for the last 17 years in Canada was spend for the film expense and for my survival. Is it worth? I really don’t know.
Every successful entrepreneur I interviewed for this film, the spring didn’t arrive for him or her overnight. But they all had a brilliant idea (at least every cell in their body believed that) and ready to execute it and see through it. Phil Libin said a story how help came to him few hours before sending an email to his employees about the closure of his company, Evernote.
My fellow entrepreneurs, if you have an idea that can bring value to the world and every cell of your body believes in that, march forward and execute it. Remember, idea alone is almost worthless.
If you have a story that may inspire other entrepreneurs in the world, please share it with us through firstname.lastname@example.org. For more inspirational video clips from world- renowned entrepreneurs, visit www.innovationmovie.com/video-gallery.php.