The Best way To Kill Your Business

March 23, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

“Is to ask for opinions.” -Noah

silence is sexy

With almost any idea I have ever had there are always people who have said it would fail. I realized last week the best way to crush your ideas or stop you from succeeding is to ask a lot of people.

Okay, I missed you guys/girl too much. I am back…

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27 responses to “The Best way To Kill Your Business

  1. Alaska Miller Reply

    Only if you talk to smarter people.

    When you talk to stupid people like me, you end up going in circles.

  2. Tony Chung Reply

    HE’S BACK! :))

    I think it’s a matter of asking the ‘right’ people for their opinion.

    I’ve learned to filter out certain individuals when asking ppl to hear a new song I’ve written.

  3. hollyster Reply

    Nice to have you back. Leeching will now begin =)

    I do think there is timing for when you start asking for opinions can hinder or help and yes it is important who you ask 😉

  4. Will Kern Reply


    Timing is everything, if you ask when you are not completely fleshed out with the idea and it is rock solid, then you run the risk of people punching a ton of wholes in it, or not getting it and making you think it is no good.

    Also, question who you are asking….

    You can always ask me, I am sure I will see the value in it!


  5. Will Kern Reply

    That did not come out the way I meant it. What I meant to say is that I think you are full of good ideas, and if you asked me my opinion on one of them, I am sure I would see the value in your idea.
    Anyways, enough rambling

    I have an idea I have been wanting to run by you, but you have to promise to like it :-)!


  6. noah kagan Reply

    Your idea won’t work for x,y & z reasons. I do think it is worthwhile to ask no more than 4 people about your idea before you do anything with it. In the words of Richard Nixon or some famous guy,

    “You can’t have everyone love you all of the time but you can have some of them love you some of the time.”

    Will hit me up about your idea.

  7. Will Kern Reply

    Very well put! I will hit you up with it in e-mail. I may be teaming up with Wendyness for the Women 2.0 Business challenge with this idea, so watch out :-)!

  8. David Reply

    Agreed. It’s like in Hollywood. An studio veteran was asked about his secret formula for turning one hit after another. His response? “No one–including me–knows a shit whether one movie will be a hit or not until you actually shot it and put it in front of the moviegoers.”

    The producers of Godfather or Forrest Gump can testify, the guy was obviously not bullshitting.

  9. Jason H. Reply

    Welcome back, Playa 🙂

    Although you must always be open and receptive about other people’s opinions, but if you have enough conviction about your idea, then Just Do It!

    There will always be naysayers in the world because:
    1) they try to prove that they are smarter than you are
    2) they have no experience or prior knowledge about your idea
    3) Your idea has not succeeded “before�. However, this doesn’t mean that your idea is a bad idea because the timing might not be right before, or the society as a whole might not be ready for similar idea before. For instance, YouTube would not likely be successful five years ago because of the lack of broadband deployment.
    4) They don’t want your idea to succeed because they’re afraid that once you succeed, you may change. And, if you change, they may lose you as a friend.

    If I remember correctly, I think Howard Schultz of Starbucks was rejected by about 50 VCs and investors because none of them believe in his little “coffee shop” idea. Look where he is at today.

    “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.� ~JFK

  10. Antonio Howell Reply

    If you ask friends, then ask a good question:

    Should I buy a house in Beverly Hills, CA or Vail, CO?

    Asking about your ideas just means that your conviction is low. And if that is the case then you answered your own question.

    *Did Bill Gates ask is parents for permission to drop out of Harvard?

    *Did Steve Jobs ask people if the iTunes and iPod could succeed where Napster failed?

    *Did Warren Buffett ask anyone about buying stocks in a “textile company” called Berkshire Hathaway?

    Be bold go with what feels right deep inside and listen to your heart and conviction.

  11. mikesabat Reply

    I would bet that if everyone likes an idea its destined to fail. In order for a business idea to be GREAT it has to be on the edge -> way different from what we already have. That will scare some people or they won’t get it.

    If its just an improvement on an existing product the idea probably isn’t that great (but everyone will like it).

  12. Damon Billian Reply

    I think it largely depends on what the opinion is being solicited for. For something you know nothing about? You should most certainly ask someone & cherish their advice. For something you know pretty well? I would probably balance it against what you already know & go with what your experience(s) tell you.

    Personally, I tend to trust my intuition on a lot of things…but it doesn’t always make my opinion the *right* one;-0 If I did, I would probably be President of some company right now…hahah.

  13. jbud1 Reply

    Last week without Okdork was miserable… I sat at work thinking, Noah’s thoughts for the day could take up most of the afternoon as I thought about them, and frankly… when they were gone, I missed them.

    Can’t wait for the week to start.

    I have always said:
    “Resilience is a (wo)man’s greatest asset.”

    Talk to the nay sayers: if they have nays, explain to yourself why their nays are wrong, grab a hold of your resilience and live the dream. Be the dream.

  14. sri Reply

    I have an idea….make the next generation cereal that will create a buzz. People are always looking for better tasting cereal. There is a never ending search for cereal.

    I always wondered why cereals never give coupons for milk purchase.

  15. sri Reply

    Sri, while i think ur idea is good, it sucks. Firstly, this is not like something u can just build on the internet…..ur talking about food here!! What experience do you have in the food industry!!

  16. Noah Kagan Reply


    Good point. I want people to contradict, challenge and find holes in my ideas. The problem is when you may be asking the wrong people and/or the wrong questions. It is not a bad idea to ask people you just need to realize your own vision and make your own dreams. My big thought lately is that going along with everyone else will never make you successful.

  17. Will Kern Reply

    You are right, asking the right questions to the right people is key. It is good that people offer differing opinions and find holes in your idea, if you absorb it and use it, it will help make your idea / product better. Sometimes we are so caught up in our idea that we overlook something so obvious that other people clearly see.
    However, there are people out there that no matter what your idea is , they will shoot them down. I say run as quickly as you can in the opposite direction of these people, they will only bring you down.


  18. karen Reply


    You hit it just two posts above this one…you want to get feedback (contradict/challenge/holes) but ask yourself WHY you want this feedback before you do it. If you think you have the most amazing idea and are ready to pull it off…no matter what, don’t let those who have negative opinions about it get you down. Believe in what you’re passionate about. That’s what really matters!

    I’d bet those people who say other’s ideas are horrible or have no future are very unhappy in life and can’t find an ounce of encouragement for someone else’s dream.

    Take the chance…Carpe Diem!