Ways to Kill an Idea – #1. It Can’t Be Done
I recently hosted a conference on immigrant entrepreneurship, which was meant to drive home three key ideas:
1. Fail fast, fail forward.
2. Do not be afraid to think big.
3. Do not let your immediate response to a new idea be “no”.
Obviously, there are some things we should all say no to, but generally speaking, we are often to quick with the dreaded “no”. Specifically, we are far too quick at killing ideas. Our keynote (who did a fantastic job) left us with some ways as to how ideas are killed. While everyone began laughing at each item, it became clear that we’ve all heard them before for either one of two reasons:
a) We heard someone say them, and couldn’t believe that they did, or;
b) We said them ourselves, and looking back we weren’t entirely sure why.
After this exercise, I felt that it would be fun to share some of these with you. While BCG originally entitled this “120 Ways to Kill an Idea”, I’ve trimmed this down to my favourites. Be sure to follow our blog for #waystokillanidea.
Here goes #1: It Can’t Be Done.
I can’t remember how many times I’ve heard this. A part of my gets quite upset when I hear this; another part wants to prove people wrong. Sure, some things can’t be done – i.e. I can’t flap my wings and fly to Mars, but most often we use this excuse in a poor context:
This technology can’t be developed; This product can’t be marketed; This book/movie/game can’t be made appealing. Either way, this excuse is good for one thing: killing ideas. Remember, if you have a great idea, don’t let it be killed!
– Rodolfo Martinez