The Success of Businesses Lies with the Idea
"Idealab initially made only Internet companies because we felt this was an incredible new medium that had unbelievably high gross margins. If you could make a Web site, you could sell something online and you could make margins of 90 percent or higher. When we looked back at the ones that were most and least successful, we realized it had nothing to do with their margins. It had to do with how protectable the idea was. Was there a core intellectual property with which you could differentiate yourself and earn sustainable margins? Because you can make good margins online, but if you can't sustain them, it doesn't mean anything. So that led us to take another look at all businesses -- even companies that make physical products. We had shield away from making anything with atoms; we were all caught up in doing only things with bits. But you can make things with atoms and still have a huge amount of intellectual property in them, where you can earn good margins and protectable margins."
Startups in 13 Sentences (#3)
"Let your idea evolve. This is the second half of launching fast. Launch fast and iterate. It's a big mistake to treat a startup as if it were merely a matter of implementing some brilliant initial idea. As in an essay, most of the ideas appear in the implementing."
The Idea and Money
"Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money."