Author Topic: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked  (Read 3629 times)

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Knitterly

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That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« on: July 23, 2012, 08:57:20 AM »
Okay, so a relative has come up with this business idea.  The thing is, it's already been launched.  It is without a doubt the dumbest idea I have ever seen. T-shirts that have slogans that make absolutely no sense and will appeal to a very very small market segment.  He thinks he is going to be rolling in money in a few weeks.  I think....not likely.

I will be seeing this relative in 2 weeks and I know they are going to ask me what I think about their great business idea. 

Apparently I have to be polite/nice, so I can't say "it's stupid!"

Would something like "Wow, you've really outdone yourself." be ambiguous enough?  (This person is prone to dumb ideas).

sevenday

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 09:03:16 AM »
Simply say, "It's an interesting venture. Hopefully it does well for you."  Then politely beandip as vigorously as you can.  If he asks for specific opinions, smile and shrug, "I'm not part of your target market (relative); I can't really say.  The color scheme is nice though."  (If you can muster up the generosity to offer that much!)

magician5

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 09:04:47 AM »
"I wish you the best of luck."
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Sharnita

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2012, 09:10:20 AM »
You mentioned a small segment of the population who would love it can you say "Lacrosse fans will love it" or something similar?

cicero

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2012, 10:17:59 AM »
i just want to say that you never know what will *make it* and what won't.

My father, many many eons ago, passed on a business proposal that made a LOT of money. he and his partner were sure it would never go anywhere. so - you never know.

as to what to say?

I like Sharnit'as idea
You mentioned a small segment of the population who would love it can you say "Lacrosse fans will love it" or something similar?


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Thipu1

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 10:27:22 AM »
You have to be gentle with situations like this.  It's possible that the relative HAS correctly read the market for his product.  Although it's unlikely he'll be raking the cash in a few weeks, he may be able to turn a profit in a reasonable time.

Wish him luck and, if you feel like it, ask him about his business plan. 

Don't tell him it's a crazy idea.  Cautious support is probably the best way to go. 

Adelaide

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 10:32:50 AM »
I like what magician5 said. You can say "good luck" or "I hope you do well" or "I'm sure X demographic will love it" without conveying any value judgement.

kudeebee

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2012, 12:35:40 PM »
Agree with remaining neutral--"Sounds like you have really been busy.  Good luck with the business."

If asked what you thnk of their slogans or if you want to buy one:  "They really aren't my thing, but I know many people like them.  It is nice that there are shirts with slogans for everyone's tastes." (or something similar)  Then bean dip, bean dip, bean dip.

jmarvellous

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2012, 01:18:21 PM »
If you want to be discouraging without being actively negative, just say, "I'm pretty sure I'm not your target audience (*which is true without telling him it's a BAD idea). Have you had success so far? What are your plans to expand your business/attract new customers?"

Knitterly

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2012, 01:20:51 PM »
Agree with remaining neutral--"Sounds like you have really been busy.  Good luck with the business."

If asked what you thnk of their slogans or if you want to buy one:  "They really aren't my thing, but I know many people like them.  It is nice that there are shirts with slogans for everyone's tastes." (or something similar)  Then bean dip, bean dip, bean dip.

I think I like this.

Most of the slogans are actually pretty rude.  But he's definitely been busy.  I'll tuck that line away and hope the subject doesn't come up.

Thanks for the help, guys.

Bijou

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2012, 01:45:13 PM »
It sounds like they have already launched the business and so anything discouraging, even pointing out that it will appeal only to a special audience, would be pointless, and may be interpreted as mean spirited. 

I would stay smack dab in the middle of the road, unless they asked me why I thought their business is not doing well.  Even at that, I would have to say I have no idea (because I wouldn't). 

I can think of a couple of very, very successful well known ventures that probably netted the inventors millions, but on the surface seemed like "You've got to be kidding...ha-ha-ha!".

I think you are right to stay the middle of the road and not make any discouraging remarks. 
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 01:49:08 PM by Bijou »
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rose red

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2012, 01:49:56 PM »
i just want to say that you never know what will *make it* and what won't.

I agree.  Who could have predicted a backward robe or rubber band bracelets would make boatloads of money? 

I'd just tell them good luck.

Sharnita

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 02:02:56 PM »
It sounds like they are going with an edgy/offensivestyle of marketing so I think it might be a bit more than a difference of opinion about whether a random item will sell.  i do agree that OP can avoid giving her opinion unless asked but if she is asked and she truly finds it offensive I think she can carefully express that it might be to specific tastes.

bopper

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2012, 03:25:43 PM »
Okay, so a relative has come up with this business idea.  The thing is, it's already been launched.  It is without a doubt the dumbest idea I have ever seen. T-shirts that have slogans that make absolutely no sense and will appeal to a very very small market segment.  He thinks he is going to be rolling in money in a few weeks.  I think....not likely.

I will be seeing this relative in 2 weeks and I know they are going to ask me what I think about their great business idea. 

Apparently I have to be polite/nice, so I can't say "it's stupid!"

Would something like "Wow, you've really outdone yourself." be ambiguous enough?  (This person is prone to dumb ideas).

If they ask you what you think, you could say "I am not sure that would appeal to a mass audience, but I am sure there is a market segment that would like that.  What are you doing to target that segment?"

Craftymom

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Re: That's a stupid idea - responding politely when asked
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2012, 08:18:35 PM »
Only have two words:

 Pet Rock

Count to 10 and be as tactful as you can...and use liberal amounts of bean dip.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 08:21:01 PM by Craftymom »