Neil Gaiman: "'Where do you get your Ideas?'
Essay by Neil Gaiman - 1997"
An interesting essay. It makes me think about how in software, as in writing, the execution is the most important thing. I think that's what Neil is really getting at here. Ideas are fun and anybody can have them. What everybody doesn't have is the ability to turn that idea into a compelling story.
How about this: Everybody has an idea for the next big online service, or piece of software. The difference is in how well they execute the idea.
If that's really true, then it makes software patents less important. It also means that software (like writing) is going to be difficult for the duration of a product, not just for it's inception. I think most product managers would agree that the 1.0 release is just the beginning. The first hard part. A products success will depend just as much, if not more, on it's second release as it does on the first. The first release might get people interested, but the second release shows them whether you are up to the task of making this software viable for the long haul.