There are two different kinds of people in the business world. There are Makers, and there are Doers. Equally important, but completely different. For a business to be successful, you need both ingredients. Without this balance, your business will fail. Wozniak and Jobs perhaps personify these two roles most distinctly and accurately. For Apple, Wozniak made things and Jobs did things. Like Wozniak and Jobs, some people find their niche in innovating, while others find success in doing everything it takes to make those innovations to market successfully. It is my firm belief that all great companies are built by innovative Makers AND tenacious Doers. It is important to determine which one you are and know who on your team is a Maker or Doer. Whichever one you are, get into that role and do it well.
First off, the Makers – they invent and innovate, but more importantly, they know how to turn their vision into a reality. We’re talking about the people that know how to realize ideas through software development, prototype building, and so on. Take a look at Henry Ford, for example. Ford built his first gasoline-powered horseless carriage, the Quadricycle, in the shed behind his home. This invention led to creating the first mass-produced affordable automobile, the Model T, leveraging the power of the assembly line. It was because of Ford’s determination that he was able to turn his vision into a product that revolutionized transportation, and the world, forever. The combination of imagination and determination is key to becoming a successful Maker, and the ability to procure realities from your dreams is what will get you ahead in your business.
However, an idea isn’t going to go anywhere unless there’s also a Doer. It just won’t. So who are Doers and why do Makers need them? Doers see what is being created, they are able to envision the “big picture,” and as a result, can transform the Maker’s vision into a statement. For a company, its statement needs to be direct, informative, and enticing to people. Business mogul and aviator Howard Hughes was known for doing just that. Hughes was an adventurous risk-taker who produced films, airplanes, and much more, becoming a tremendous influencer of his time. He didn’t just sit around and wait for things to happen. He risked his own life several times testing planes and setting world air-speed records—anything it took to achieve greatness. Doers have to confront challenges and create ingenious solutions, no matter what it takes. I’m not saying you need to get in an airplane and do some stunts. But doers do need to be persistent, resilient, and tenacious when it comes to finding ways to showcase the work of their fellow Makers. It what makes Doers and Makers a team.
Take a look at the guys from eBay, Pierre Omidyar and Jeffrey Skoll. Omidyar developed wrote the code and Skoll developed the business plan. Together, both guys were successful in launching eBay as an online auction site, which we all know is still one of the most popular marketplaces. These guys worked well together because they shared the same philosophy about their customers wants and needs, and they believed in giving back to the community. When both Maker & Doer share the same values, you can work effectively side-by-side to see your ideas get built out from start to finish. Find people that share the same philosophy and this will be key to making your business partnership work.
Another ingredient to make your business work is passion. Your team will crash and burn without it. Jerry Yang and David Filo, co-founders and Maker-Doer team of Yahoo!, personify this best. While the two were attending Stanford, Yang and Filo found themselves spending 20 hours a day scouring websites for fun, but because they continually crashed the Stanford’s computer system, it was then that both guys realized they had a business on their hands. It was the combination of Yang and Filo’s persistence and passion for the web that made Yahoo! into a success. Passion for what you do is vital, no matter what skills you have as the Maker or Doer. Passion drives your business into surviving the good and downright awful times. Combine that shared passion with tenacity, and you have a recipe for success.
Of course there are exceptions to this rule and there are those who can do both; Musk, Zuckerberg are perhaps the most noted entrepreneurs in modernity, who exemplify the notions of Maker and Doer – at least each did, for a time frame. For obvious reasons, no business can scale with one person doing both. In due time, Musk and Zuckerberg stopped wearing both hats and instead, focused on one role and excelled in it. So remember, it is important to determine what one you are and stick to it. Keep in mind that by determining which role fits you best, you will also need to find your alter ego.
The combination of innovation and execution is pivotal and has proven to lead to successful relationships. Without one or the other, a business cannot function to its maximum potential and you will suffer, rather than reap the benefits. Figure out which kind of player you are and make a plan to consistently create, learn, and build with your partners.