Very interesting article. It makes sense that ideas change. As you have analyzed the idea and understand the market, better ideas will come to your mind. Usually this ideas tend to solve in an easier way a more specific pain of a more specific market.
I agree, the core group is by far the most important key to success. When a group of competent individuals are all on the same page success is bound to develop.
Good insight, as usual, Dharmesh.
Our people have remained the same, but the ideas have changed. There is always a natural progression as you get feedback from users and, surprisingly, find people using products in ways you had not thought of before. Jim Collins calls it "Get the right people on the bus" http://www.jimcollins.com/lab/firstWho/p2.html
Great book, isn't it? I couldn't put it down.
It seems the idea almost always changes, and even if it doesn't some aspect of the execution does. A great example of that from the book is TripAdvisor (page 361) - they had a solid concept but it took many tries to find the way to make money with it. The key is they knew they were providing Serious Value.
One of my takeaways was that the best startup ideas aren't those that might be the biggest, but those that are the most certain of providing real value, to either...
a) people who'll pay right now (eg. Fog Creek)
or b) to enough free users that someone else will pay to reach them (eg. Hotmail)
PS: Based on your writing, I think you'd enjoy "Lucky or Smart" by Bo Peabody.
Perhaps it is the team that changes an idea into a great business, but isn't it a great initial idea that brings the dream team together in the first place?
Well, I definitely need to get this book for our team.
I can tell you that being able to communicate is crucial. Of our core team, not one of us is over the age of 27 (and unfortunately that would be me), however, we do have some older folks in the mix who have had more work experience than us. This means that when it comes to the core team telling the older folks that we are forseeing problems with how they want to execute the idea and that the strategy needs to change, we are met with the usual "You are young and inexperienced."
They are not here everyday and have not a clue what has been put into actually building the site. But they have the business contacts and the "experience" so we feel like we have to shut up. In any case, this leads to a fundamental problem: the business model they want to stick to so badly, does not align with the vision (which, as much as they may want to see it HAS changed.) When they decide to see it is up to them.