The Idea Assassin

How to avoid wasting time and resources on the wrong ideas

As a rational human being, I often end in discussions with both family and friends. Discussions where I am surprised – almost annoyed – that no one are asking the obvious questions.

Admitted, I might be somewhat of a challenger and I know that asking the tough questions often end in moral, complex and deeper discussions. But sometimes I struggle to understand how you can make decisions without asking those questions and without challenging the way we do things.

In my rational mind I am still looking for the answers to why insurance and pension is something I really need. Or why I should join a union. I also struggle to understand how large corporations can make products that are so off target that they are killed shortly after their launch.

I do however understand why we end up as a union member with insurance and pension. I also understand why failing products are created. I just don't understand how decisions are made without anyone challenging the way of thinking. Why no one is asking how insurance really impact them and why no one is asking themselves whether they might be better suited to handle their money better than a pension fund.

Alright, I definitely see the counter arguments coming in; ''it's easier'' and ''then I won't have to worry about that''. I truly understand and respect those points of view, but often when I ask people about insurance they haven't asked themselves why. They are just doing what everyone else is doing.

In fact my parents, whom I really love and who truly care for me, are concerned that I am not buying in on insurances. But I have no children yet, and as long as I am "only" responsible for myself, I don't see why.

I asked my parents how much money they have spent on insurances the last 40 years. And I asked how many times they have received a payout when something went wrong. Half way through the calculation they laughed, rolled with their eyes and asked me to stop.

It was so obvious that they have ''wasted'' a lot of money on their insurances. And yes, that might have bought them less worries and a freer life, something that might be invaluable and might be the best decision of their life. But in every other decision worth two or three years salary, you would probably ask yourself whether it is worth it or not.

The story is a great example of how most people think and work. If we follow best practice or do as the majority, we are probably not doing anything wrong or at least we are not doing anything wrong alone.

I truly believe that such a mindset will make you stand out – stand out as follower, not a leader. If you want to make an impact, create changes and contribute to making the world better, it is about time that you start to reflect on your way of thinking, reflect on your way of acting and reflect on your way of communicating.

Why did no one challenge the decision makers while a shitty product was created? Why didn't the decision maker challenge herself and why did no one raise a hand to ask whether this was the right product to build? That's what I am struggling to understand. How can an entire organization be so fearful that no one dare to ask the right questions?

I have an idea why and that's why I am writing this book. I want people to engage, be curious, ask questions, stand up for their beliefs and I want everyone to create better products, better services and better experiences.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, leader, manager or simply a curious human being you will learn how to make yourself more relevant, how to act responsible, how to become a better learner, how to make faster and better decisions and how to drive simple ideas to impactful innovation in the digital age.

But what's up with "the idea assassin" you might ask. It seems like a huge contrast to innovation and entrepreneurship. Well, you are right, but allow me to explain.

You most likely have a negative perception of "the idea assassin". Probably you visualize an older man wearing a worn-out suit and the grayest of all ties. Maybe you can even smell the awful breath and you can most certainly hear his monotone but certain voice saying "no". He is your worst nightmare and he is the boring one that kills all innovation or states facts that pull apart seemingly great ideas.

Not anymore!

Those people don't deserve a place in the dictionary. So let's rephrase the meaning of "the idea assassin" – let's turn it into something positive.

In this book I will present you with the new definition of the idea assassin. I will describe how being an idea assassin will help you focus on the right ideas and avoid wasting time and resources on the wrong ideas.

As you probably have guessed, I like to do things differently and this book is no exception. Chapters are released when written, they will probably contain spelling errors and I bet the grammar is horrible.

I call that experimenting. Why would I write a complete book if no one are reading it anyway?

That is actually a trait of the idea assassin; experiment, learn, kill, refocus.

I will however do my absolute best to create an awesome reading experience for you. Even though I have outlined the contents here, it might be subject to change as well. This also means that your feedback and suggestions are are totally appreciated at

I hope you enjoy reading the book but most of all I hope you will feel inspired, hopeful and eager to act.

Until then, get accustomed to the thought of becoming an idea assassin.

Best regards,

Søren Nielsen
Copenhagen, May 2018

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