Ideas are worthless!
As of June 2016, there were over 4.2 million apps between the Apple & Google app stores. Many of the developers behind those apps probably think they have a great idea and will earn a load of money. But in reality, only 25% of iOS developers will earn over EUR 5,000 per month from their apps. And on Android, it’s significantly less. In fact, many developers, if not most, earn close to nothing.
Perhaps you have a great idea too; one which you believe could make you a lot of money. But the real value is not the idea itself, it’s the combination of the idea and the execution. You have to build your product, market it, hire employees, search for customers, care about bookkeeping and find an office, and then there are also many external factors to consider. Nearly always, there will be competitors with the same idea going after your market. Or typically, in a later stage, the big guys like Google or Microsoft or large investment firms throwing their weight around and splashing their war chest of funds at your market to take you and everybody else down.
So even having a great idea and being the first person on earth to think of it will not necessarily bring you success. Apple was not first to launch an MP3 player, while Google was not the first to develop a search engine and Facebook was not the first social network. But they took all these products to another level. And they are all examples of how it’s all about the execution and doing what you do better than others.
Therefore start executing, but do not immediately rush into looking for investors in the first place. I highly recommend to only pitching to investors when you have an existing company with paying customers; especially in Europe. You will learn a lot by waiting and operating the company; you will be forced to operate lean and very likely you will experience that you have to change some assumptions and adjust your idea. You’ll be infinitely better placed to land an investor after you have had some success in the market; you will also have much more shares in your company and in a best case scenario, you might even discover that you don’t need an external investor after all.