"I disagree. A terrible idea with a beautifully executed development goes no where. A great idea that is hacked together with shell scripts and kilometers of spaghetti code can make someone a fortune and (lame as it sounds) change the world."
From the linked article
"Many "idea people" tend to think most or all of the value inheres to having the idea. Programmers are a commodity, pulled off the shelf to clean up the details. It's just a small matter of programming, right?
On the other side, some programmers tend to think that most or all of the value inheres to executing the idea. But you can't execute what you don't have."
So the professor definitely understands the value of the idea (though if one only read the slashdot summary, one might think he didn't). IMO ideas are "easier". It takes less effort and time to come up with one. It might takes months or years to implement it however.
That said, it doesn't mean ideas are not important. An example that people here can probably understand is id Software before and after Romero. To paraphrase, Romero was the "idea" guy and Carmack was the implementor. Carmack places/placed very little value in things like design/story (i.e ideas) in video games, while Romero put almost ALL value in ideas (see: Ion Storm, "design is law").
Using this example, one can surmise that a great idea in the absense of a good implemenation may result in a bad product (Daikatana)...or no product at all (Duke Nukem Forever). However, a bad/mediocre idea with a good implementation will result in a "good", but uninspiring product (Doom 3).
If you had to choose one, better to have the latter than the former. You just have to accept that fewer people will accept your product as being "great". The trap that many programmer fall into is in translating this to mean that ideas are not important at all. Not true. If you think this, you will be passed by your competitors just as id Software has (yes, I know some people still think id still makes the best FPS, but this is the minority opinion, these days).