Whether you’re selling car parts or developing a drug, J.R. “Pitt” Hyde said the business idea is way less important than how you implement it.

And Hyde should know.

The AutoZone Inc. founder started the auto parts giant with four stores, and it now has more than 4,800. Now, as board chairman of Memphis-based drug developer GTx Inc., Hyde is again overseeing the implementation of a plan to grow a company from scratch.

“When we started (AutoZone), it was all about developing a concept and then focusing every day — even this day — on improving the execution at the store level and sticking to the objective of serving your customers better,” Hyde said.

Hyde was the keynote speaker at Friday’s daylong “Invention to Venture” workshop at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The event was organized by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to help scientists and investors bridge the gap between the lab and the boardroom.

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