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It's tough, particularly if it's your first time out. Thankfully the cost of trying out ideas in the software world is very low. Try experimenting with hardware to see the other extreme.

In many ways doing hardware ventures teaches you something very important: Ideas are not what's important; Opportunities are important. This, because the cost of failure can be very high, and so you learn very quickly that the idea is almost of no real value until a matching opportunity is identified.

Everyone has ideas for a million different gizmos. I certainly get approached on a regular basis with "let's build this thing that does this and that and that". When I ask about the opportunity I usually get blank stares. People think in terms of ideas. Business is about opportunities that are then matched with solutions and execution in order to turn a profit.

I used to be on the "I have this great idea" camp. After a number of businesses all I really care about are solid opportunities. Ideas are nearly worthless on their own.

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