Don’t let these 50 ‘idea killers’ stop you, so Do Not Ask for Approval !!!

Dilbert maganager
The influential philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, not famous for his sunny optimism, once state that if you have a bright new idea you will meet the following stages of criticism:
1. You will be laughed at, ridiculed and even declared insane by most;  <too much in front of the marching band>
2. After your idea has been taken over by others as their own, those inventors will attack and undermine your product/venture as much as they can; <you play music while the band marches loudly past you>
3. After everybody has embraced the idea, when you mention it they will mock you and say: “Old hat, why not propose something original !!!”.  < now you walk way behind the music>.
So, the message of Arthur was in brief: You will be criticised before, during and after your invention, so DO NOT SEEK OR ASK FOR APPROVAL ! Especially not by parties with a vested interest !! Remember, they are the turkeys for the next Xmas dinner.
Edison, with his whole fortune invested in a direct current DC electricity grid and lightbulbs, tried to stop Tesla installing the much more efficient alternating current version. He even electrocuted a dog on a NY Times Square gathering to show how dangerous alternating current AC was !! So not only banksters and your bosses but even other inventors and startups can be your enemy 😦
So yes, I agree with the advice of many successful entrepreneurs:
Rise above the need for Approval! Do whats right even if its unpopular. One’s worth is independent of other’s opinion.

vuile handen

So have courage and just go ahead and DO develop new idea’s.

Do not let yourself be stopped for a second by the following 50 or so “idea stoppers” (and even sometimes combinations of these to say NO), that my friends and I have ran into  when proposing our idea to our bosses or higher management:

———-Idea killer list———-

You will run into the following demonstrations of management incompetence:

1. That is impossible.

2. There is no demand for that.

3. That is something totally new.

4. We tried that before already without success.

5. We did not try that before.

6. That is not our responsibility.

7. That is a much too drastic change.

8. That is not scientific.

9. That is not in the agreed plan.

10. Let others try that first.

11. That makes other products of us obsolete.

12. That is not our problem.

13. Why change, things work well the way they are.

14. You are way too far in front of the troops.

15. Lets work with what we have.

16. If that is really a good idea, somebody else would have thought of that.

17. You will not make it to get that done.

18. We will make fools of ourselves.

19. Ok but can  you first go over the calculations again.

20. Good idea but we are not going to do that.

21. We are happy to keep this complex beast flying as it is, so do not touch anything.

22. Can you guarantee that it will be a success?

23. Since when are you a specialist in that field?

24. We can’t explain this to our shareholders.

25. That is ridiculous.

26. The system can not support this.

27. That is going to be too costly.

28. Spare parts for this are not available.

29. The client will never accept this.

30. We do not have time for that.

31. There is no budget for that.

32. Too complex.

33. We are too small for that.

34. Brussels will not allow that.

35. Let’s be realistic.

36. Far too risky.

37. We are not ready for that yet.

38. This will have totally unforeseen effects.

39. Management won’t buy this.

40 Let’s keep this in the back of our minds.

41. That will never work here.

42. What we have been doing for years is like this, and we will not change that an inch.

43. We do not dare to do this.

44. That is not allowed.

45. That is not in line with our policy / strategy.

46. That is a good idea for in the future.

47. (in the UK) That is a very interesting idea. (meaning: it’s rubbish, put it where the sun does not shine).

48. I will come back on this soon.  Put it on the agenda after the holidays when things are more quiet.

49. It is not new, what value does it add??

50. Why do you tell us now at this rather late stage?

—————– end of list ——————————–

A PowerPoint sheet with most of them are here  47ideakillers.


So let the Dilbert Bosses try one or more of the above on you.  Think for yourself and be brave. Just start and DO IT anyway, without their approval, without subsidies or big resources. The best inventions I made where done low key with the help of trainees or students, far away from the approved R&D projects. And without exception, the projects which my boss told me ‘to stop immediately’ became huge successes :-).

I can assure you, the real hallmark of great idea’s is when you test them on your peers and  friends a they are amazed and want it for themselves. And then you can measure how viral it is and how soon it will develop into a disruptive innovation that grows exponentially (an explosion, which has a short and constant doubling time in the number of users).

jaap van till, connectivist

About broodjejaap

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8 Responses to Don’t let these 50 ‘idea killers’ stop you, so Do Not Ask for Approval !!!

  1. kwalitisme says:

    Reblogged this on kwalitisme and commented:
    To the point!

  2. thanks for this. hard to keep going sometimes

    • broodjejaap says:

      Just DO it, and you will find that all the nay-sayers will shut up and that nobody will dare stop you.
      If you really want something you will achieve it. Just tell them: “Jaap van Till said it is right”,
      and it will work !!!
      jaap, connectivist

  3. Jeff Michka says:

    Reason 34. Brussels will not allow it. Seems this may be a bigger reason than anything else on that list as to “why” someone may back away these days. Not only Brussels, but every capitol in EU, STARTING IN Germany would line up to take a swipe and defund anything that did not enter in VIA Brussels, etc. This is a post-Brexit world. End of any research grants or subsidies for that corporation from EU.

    • broodjejaap says:

      Sorry Jeff, every time they tell me this, it is an invention they hide behind which will stop the naive politician, since it sounds impressive. I always ask in such cases “who in Brussels, from which department of the EU Commission?” And I offer to call that person together. the fact is that most EU commision depatments want to encourage innovations and new idea’s. Sure there are well oiled lobbys in Brussels of telco’s and cabletv providers who want to protect their vested interests, but so they are in Washington DC.

      • Jeff Michka says:

        Frankly, Jaap, I’ve always had a pretty good view of EU Commissions and Departments because it actually seemed they were innovative and encouraged new ideas. Like any font of Government, I’m sure there are as equally well oiled ;lobbyists in Washington DC as Brussels, in fact a whole lot more that protect their vested interests at all cost in DC.

  4. broodjejaap says:

    Jeff, The real underlying reason for the reluctance of managers to approve your plans is not only that your proposed improvement may harm the present plant, sales and value chains. They hate the idea that your plan might CHANGE their running of the department and that it would show that their plan is not complete and that they are NOT IN CONTROL. So they fire excuses at you.
    They hate ‘disruptive innovations’ in which they are disrupted. Would’t you? In Indonesia a group of worried parents asked me not to lecture about Internet, since the spread of cellphones already ruined the authority of parents and the elders in the villages, who since centuries knew what was good for the children. Now their ‘wisdom’ was challenged by the young brats who could simply call eachother for advice.
    The most conservative of them all are the old pioneers who once where the rebels and are now surprised to find that even younger kids can come up with brilliant new ideas the work !!

    So the real problem is the constant process of bursts of improvements that cause CHANGE and UNCERTAINTIES. Everybody hate these two !! Because it can mean a better or worse situation for them, so most people want to stick to the status quo and hates surprises.

    And yet, improvements can not be stopped, especially when users can DIY (see Ward Chistensens book) without asking permission. This is what is happening on a massive scale on Internet. The public of the New Power users, decide for themselves 🙂

  5. Jeff Michka says:

    Logically, Power Structures always resent being superceded, but as you say, improvements always happen, sooner or later. Disruptives of any kind can be your weapon of change choice.

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