Don't Throw Away That "Bad" Business Idea

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Sometimes, we throw away a perfectly reasonable idea because we think it's crap. Says cofounder and editor of magazine Annals of Improbable Research, Marc Abrahams, you might just discard an idea that could -- potentially -- heavily improve your profit margin:
There are ideas that people react to badly because the ideas aren't explained clearly or because that particular group on that particular day isn't receptive. So be tenacious. Keep lists of rejected ideas that you find intriguing, and then bring them up again. Often, in our meetings to assess Ig Nobel candidates, some nominee gets a tepid response; then two or three years later someone suggests that candidate again, and everybody decides this is the best thing they've ever seen.
Here's the Moral We usually dismiss other people's ideas because, in our mind, it's outrageous. Yet, in their mind, it's a million-dollar idea. They could as well be right. Be attentive. "Most companies could ban all new ideas and still have enough good -- but abandoned -- ones lying around to keep thriving for years," says Abrahams. "The thing to remember is that almost every breakthrough discovery or invention -- the lightbulb, antibiotics from bread mold (of all things!), the PC -- once seemed foolish."

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Posted on April 10

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