12 Things People Say to Kill Good Ideas

So you have a group task to create a new product/business idea. You are all gathered in a room and the door is locked until you come up with the next million pound idea. Every idea in this stage of the process is a great idea, but people always make judgemental comments that might cause the “next big thing” to be scrubbed off the list. Here’s the most common ones:

1. It’s too risky/unpredictable.
In the Gold Rush of 1849, people made money through the creative production of commodity shovels, not from stab-in-the-dust exploration.

2. Best to be a fast follower, not a first mover.

3. It will cannibalise sales of our existing products and services, in which we’ve made a large investment. You can’t just write that off

4. We haven’t got a budget for that/we’ll have to cut money from other departments in order to find the funds.

5. Engineering/Human Resources/Legal/Ethics/shareholder activists say it can’t or shouldn’t be done.

6. We’re too big and cumbersome to make the most of this and other ideas. We need to form partnerships with SMEs, government labs and universities, or set up an autonomous unit.

7. We/somebody else did that before and it failed.

8. Our suppliers will never rise to the challenge.

9. The punters are so dumb they will never buy it/will snap up every one we’ve got.

10. Punters and sales staff will be too slow to grasp how it works. Anyway, they don’t need to know that and, apart from a few geeks, aren’t usually interested.

11. We need to protect our intellectual property and our brand at all costs; diverting resources into this innovation doesn’t help in that.

12. It’s impossible to forecast the market for this innovation.

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