Jigsaw LLC


The equal importance of the idea and the execution.

— Culture & Observations —

We all come up with good ideas and executions all the time. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t make it in advertising for very long. Every once in a while, good work becomes great work. That’s the work that wins awards, grabs the attention of the media and may even become a part of pop culture.

What factors differentiate the merely good from the great? A lot of variables affect the outcome (client relationships, agency culture, budget, attitude – just to name a few), but two play a larger role in success than all the others: the idea and the execution.

You can have a fantastic idea and an OK execution, and your final product will be good, not great.

Or you can have an OK idea and a fantastic execution, and your final product will be good, not great

You will only have a great final product if the idea and the execution are both outstanding.

Here’s an example. Dolly Parton had a fantastic idea for a song.

Her execution of the song was good, but it wasn’t great.

(I may not have loved her version of this song. But that doesn’t mean I won’t always love Dolly.)

It took Whitney Huston’s execution to elevate the song to new heights.

By collaborating, Dolly and Whitney achieved success that went beyond what each could have reached alone.

This song is a lot like advertising. Except in our field, the person who most often gets all the credit and glory is the one who comes up with the idea. But, as we’ve just heard, the idea is only half of what makes something exceptional. Even if you don’t come up with the idea, it’s important to remember that the execution is just as important. You can  take a great deal of pride in what you can do to transform good into great.

As you get your next assignment, be inspired by Dolly and Whitney. (Just don’t sing to your partner too much. I’ve been told that’s annoying.)

Posted by Jigsaw