Over the last 10 years I've gone through the process of ideation, execution and delivery countless times. I'd like to share some lessons I've learned and how I think about projects today.
It's hard to evaluate how important an idea is relative to execution and presentation.
I think ideas are a dime a dozen, and most projects fail not because the idea was bad, but because an attempt was never made.
However, you should expect good ideas to be rare. I like using challenge oriented thinking to filter out bad ideas:
First filter: does this exist already? It may exist, and be popular, and maybe you just give that product or service a try. Maybe it doesn't exist because it's a foolish idea that would never work. Or maybe it doesn't exist because no one's made it yet. If you don't make stuff, there is no stuff. Perhaps bringing this thing into existence is your calling.
Maybe your idea is out there already, you give it a try and have a bad experience. When you're ready to give up on this product, you wonder to yourself: "Can I do a better job?". You have to evaluate how much your execution edge is. Do you have the expertise and resources to do this better? Have you overlooked something that makes this very hard? Peter Thiel's Zero to One explores this idea in a bit more depth. In short he provides the following intuition: unless your execution is orders of magnitude better than your competition you're better of seeking novel ideas that have a higher likelihood of earning you a monopoly.
Once this "market research" filter has been overcome, I look to gain perspective from people I respect. Traits I look for in people to discuss ideas with: generally capable people, well-read, and open minded. I want objective feedback, but I'm not too interested in knee-jerk reactions. My favorite conversations are ones where we try to build up the idea then see if we can tear it apart.
After this, I just let the idea sit in a document next to other ideas. Unless there's a unique opportunity, I'm primarily interested in working on things that would help me in some way. Once it lives in my notebook alongside other ideas, whenever I next feel the need for this I'll make a note. As I'm going through life, I'll put all associated thoughts into this document. My time is limited and this gives me an organic way for my idea to mature and allows me to filter out ideas that seemed interesting in the moment but wouldn't really provide me or anyone any real value.
By the time I sit down to start executing on an idea, I'm usually fed up with whatever the stop gap I've been using is, and I'm in a mental state where I don't really care if other people will use this thing I want it to exist for me. In my experience this makes the process of willing the idea into existence a transcendent experience. You'll understand your needs best and stop over-prioritizing the opinion of other people. The basis for a good MVP is the product you would use, not the hackathon power point presentation you're trying to pass off as your product.
Once you have a core product you're proud of then you can consider if you want to solicit Lean Startup style feedback from the market and your customers or if you want to continue to take a Job's style visionary approach to your product.