I often hear that ideas are valueless, execution is everything. I know nothing about business, so take this with a grain of salt, but i disagree.

It is true that it is harder to make money off of a good idea without good execution than it is to make money off of good execution without a good idea. But it does not follow that ideas are valueless.

First, we have to clarify that when people say that ideas are valueless, they are talking about the value to an individual who has discovered or been given the idea. Ideas are close to a public good, which means that the value to society can be very large even if the value to the person with the idea is small.

Second, the value of ideas in isolation are of low value, but their value when combined with the right environment they can have a very high value. It's similar to having a master painter who is placed in an empty room and bound and gagged. This is of little value; but if the master painter is placed in the right environment and given the right tools, they may produce a valuable masterpiece. Good ideas, when combined with good execution, can multiply the value of the good execution.

So, the value of a good idea, for a single person, in isolation of anything else, is low. But the value of a good idea from the point of view of society is high. Furthermore, the value of a good idea is high even from the point of view of a single person, if that person has access to the resources needed to execute on that idea.