Success in business.

Polish Your Ideas For Greater Success In Business

There’s no such thing as a bad idea, some just need more work than others.

Aidan Kenealy
4 min readJan 12, 2020


Innovation in business is the core driver of sustained competitive advantage over time and innovation is necessary for continued success in business. The pointy end of any business innovation framework is the ability to capture and sort ideas for improvement and disruption. The best innovators develop systems to ensure every idea has a chance to show it’s true potential and this comes down to how they treat ideas that arise.

Did you know that you can polish a turd? It was proven true in episode 113 of MythBusters.

The notion that even a turd can be turned into something beautiful is immensely powerful. It implies that it’s not always the substrate that determines a successful outcome, but the process and technique used to shape it.

This notion also gives weight to the adage that no idea is a bad idea, no matter how terrible it might seem at first. Or put another way, there’s no way to know the true worth of an idea until you’ve had a chance to try and ‘polish’ it.

When presented with an ‘interesting’ idea, instead of dismissing it outright, it’s always worth taking a little time to understand what it’s true value might be. Pull it apart, work it around, poke holes in it, and generally interrogate it for its underlying value.

In doing so you will typically end up with three scenarios.

1) The original ideas being validated as a good idea.

2) The original idea looking different but more valuable.

3) All parties satisfied that the idea is not worth pursuing.

Adopting a mindset that gives every idea a chance will quickly gear an organization towards validating all potentially useful innovation concepts by habit. No idea is dismissed until it has had a chance to be considered and every good idea, by default, therefore has the chance to realize its full potential.

By not engaging in such behavior, founders are doing themselves a disservice. They run the risk of only doing what seems easy or standard, limiting…



Aidan Kenealy

Professional startup advisor for founders of high growth startups. More details @