Frans Johansson: The Secret Truth About Executing Great Ideas

About this presentation

In this high-energy talk, Frans Johansson illustrates how relentless trial-and-error – coming up with an idea, executing it on a small scale, and then refining it – is THE distinguishing characteristic of the greatest artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. Why? Because humans are not very good at predicting which ideas are going to be a success. Thus, nearly every major breakthrough innovation has been preceded by a string of failed or misguided executions. So, as Frans says quoting Churchill, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

About Frans Johansson

Frans Johansson is an entrepreneur and thought leader. He is also a consultant and the managing director for a hedge fund. Frans previously co-founded and managed two companies, a Boston-based software company and a medical device company operating out of Baltimore, Maryland and Stockholm, Sweden.

A successful author, Frans has written on a variety of topics, from business management to healthcare to sport fishing to how to save our oceans. His bestselling book, The Medici Effect, has been translated into 17 languages and was named “One of the Ten Best Business Books of 2004” by


More insights on: Failure, Innovation, Iteration
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  • Sky

    But where is his speedy 1 mn intro?
    It was so awesome!! :)

  • Kat

    Every creative I know is having so many ideas and having so many small projects going on the side. I was always wondering if that’s a good thing or if we should concentrate on one big idea instead.I like Frans’ point of view. I agree!

  • Matthew Traver

    Well said. One of the more inspiring talks I’ve watched on here!

  • Mario Jauregui

    Not too bad a little long winded so I got lost but was nice!

  • Giorgos Kertsopoulos

    Congratulations, very informative on a realistic basis, I would like very much to get in touch with you Mr. Frans Johansson. If interested please email me your communication address, thanks, all best, Giorgos

  • Big Switch Media

    I’m glad I found this site first off and his message was simple in believing that if you believe you have potentially great idea don’t be afraid to try it and fail. Just moderately try your idea out and see where it leads by research, trial, and error.

  • Guest

    Ehhh… little new information and not the best presenter. Watch a real presenter discuss these ideas that have been around such as TED or BoS.

  • Michael Locke

    Love what he said…”what is the smallest executable step that you can take for any idea that you develop. Define it, because that is the bet that you should be able to place on that idea.” Love this talk, got so much from it.

  • markjl

    Thats reassuring, trial and error are vital to my business and appear as useful learning when thinking positively. Otherwise they would just be mistakes. Regards

  • Guest1

    Frans Johansson is terrible at speaking to an audience! He needs to improve a lot on his skills of speaking. Doesn’t know how to draw people in and then communicate a definite chief call to action that will drive them to innovate. His presentation was all over the place.

  • Girish Lakshminarayana

    I couldn’t have come across this at a better time.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Ted Kusio

    Not the best presenter, but there are still some gems here.

    Then again, maybe it’s an example of what he’s talking about. i mean, he DID a presentation, I didn’t…(yet?)

  • Ouch

    This guy should have rehearsed before he gave this lecture. It’s giving me a headache.

  • ZamZam Project

    This is some really good stuff! any chance of making these into podcasts?

  • Jacko

    Good god, who gave this guy a mike? He needs to be in a church in Tennessee not here. Puts the ‘s’ into simplistic. Who needs to think? it now comes pre-packaged from middle America. “The Sixth Sense was an awesome movie”, yeah, that’s just what my 12-yr old cousin maintained too, until he grew up.

  • recholes

    Did you ever get any communication with Mr. Johansson. I would like to find him for an interview and wondered if you could offer any advice ?

  • Guest

    Should come with a warning: Beware, Ego on the loose. High energy, highly ineffective.

  • beve83

    Brilliant talk, I really learned a lot.

  • Ian Cullen

    Awesome talk. :D

  • Serrato76_

    as Spanish-speaking people can purchase and enter the conference and others in our language oscar serrato colombia bogota

  • RolanDanache

    “trying” the magic word, great talk!

  • Hls_Que

    That was an excellent first attempt at becoming a social critic. Since your analytical skills appear to be subpar and you failed in your first executable step, how will you reapproach your goal? Maybe you should begin by watching the video again.

  • Chika Chukwunta

    Awesome and precise guide to sustain passion… love it. I appreciate you Frans

  • Richard Batista

    All I needed to hear was “The purpose of a strategy is to convince yourself and being the act” GREAT VIDEO!

  • Viewster

    This man is an amazing thinker

  • Andrew Kennedy

    Loud…but great concepts presented. Pursuing multiple pathways to great ideas via small executable steps, mindful to reduce resources.

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