If Good Ideas Fail, Do Bad Ideas Succeed? In a Word, Yes

old English measurements

In a previous post, I lightheartedly wondered what would happen if someone with a good idea went before Venture Capitalists who were not quite ready to see the idea’s potential.

That idea fails to progress, and a major innovation is lost to society.

In the post, it was Karl Benz pitching his newfangled car which, at the time, had no intellectual property protection and no infrastructure to support it.

But if a good idea can get shot down, can the opposite happen? Can bad ideas get through?

Well, thanks to this thread on Quora, we know the answer is yes. Here are some of the gems submitted by contributors:

Bottled Water: Only in the rich Western world could we convince ourselves that tap water is dangerous, bottled water is enriched with all kinds of goodies and minerals, and that it tastes better, said Vinod Gopinath.

Measurement: Continued American use of archaic measurement systems. Twelve inches to a foot, three feet to a yard, two yards to a fathom, 11 of them to a Gunther’s Chain or 15 to a shackle.

Then 100 fathoms to a cable. and why they didn’t make a cable evenly divisible by a shackle is anyone’s guess.

This triumph of marketing: That a diamond ring should cost two month’s salary.

The Pet Rock. Devised by an advertising executive, it solved a problem. The exec, Gary Dahl, came up with the idea after he heard his friends complaining about the care their pets required. His solution was the perfect, maintenance-free pet.

Smoking. Take that one to the Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank!

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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