We love ideas. Good ideas. Trailblazer ideas. Simple Ideas. And yes, also bad ideas. Because behind every terrible idea is a lesson. Something we can learn so we can become better human beings in a better world. But for that to happen we need to talk about them and learn from them!
Keeping up with tradition, we have compiled the worst ideas of 2018... so far. The ideas that are sooo bad that it’s an accomplishment in and of itself. So please bask in the glory of these horrendous ideas, knowing that most ideas are better than this.
There’s a multitude of ways to deal with our ever-changing, challenging world. Here at Ideanote, we like to see the comic in the tragic, otherwise, we’ll all quickly be staring down a black hole of hopelessness.
So while some of the sections below deal with serious issues and/or transgressions, this is by no means to diminish the victims’ experiences of these events. We have to be able to talk about these in a matter of ways that opens up the reasoning behind some of these horrendous ideas, in order to be able to learn from our own and others’ mistakes. Here at Ideanote, humor and sarcasm are our preferred methods for reviewing the worst ideas of 2018, this opens up conversations about what kind of society we are building for each other.
Inviting an Applicant to Burning Man, Offering Back Rubs
“Hi there, roughly 25 years younger, female applicant. Would you like to join me and my wife at Burning Man? I’m awfully talented at giving backrubs, so if you wouldn’t mind taking off your top, I’d be happy to give you a demonstration.”
Nope. Just nope. We’re all about flat hierarchies, informal office lingo and chill working environments. But we draw the line just about here; where Google X Director, Richard Devaul offered a 24-year old applicant to join him and his wife at Burning Man where he proceeded to suggest she take her top off to receive a backrub (not that it would have made this idea any better if he had offered her the job, cause, no matter what it’s an absolutely terrible idea - I just want to mention it for the record, that he didn’t).
Bottom line? Don’t exploit your position of power. Don’t harass other people. Bad idea.
An Unholy Mix
The corporate race for innovativeness is on. And arguably, it has been so for decades. This has had companies scratching their heads, trying to rethink themselves and their products. This is basically the corporate equivalent of a midlife crisis.
Heinz’ interpretation of dating a younger model and buying a sports car was developing the Mayochup. What is that, you might ask?
Well, let me just paint you a picture. Imagine you’re munching on a plate of fries and that you’re enjoying both ketchup and mayo as dipping sauces. Sometimes these two may inadvertently mix, which results in a sketchy-looking orange substance that any sane person will avoid eating. What did Heinz do? You guessed it. That ungodly orange goo is now being sold. Bottled. By Heinz. The mix of ketchup and mayo. Mayochup.
It's living proof that innovation at all cost is a real thing in the corporate world. It’s also proof that nobody really learned anything from “New Coke”.
Is There Such a Thing as Too Nude?
While we haven’t really adopted a company-wide stand on nudity, others have. Facebook has what some might call a strict approach to content displaying nudity. Given the amount of nudity online and considering the age of some of Facebook’s users, this seems like the responsible thing to do.
Earlier this year, it all got too much for the tech-giant when the erotic picture of Venus of Willendorf, appeared on their platform. The company claimed that the voluptuous woman was a breach of their user guidelines.
After much consideration, we’ve decided to bring this picture. Viewers’ discretion advised…
Yes, that is a 30.000-year-old world-renowned statue. Scandalous. Apparently, the fact that you could see everything was too much of a risqué move.
When taken down by Facebook an avalanche of user complaints ensued. With users calling Facebook out on censoring a beautiful statue that has been a symbol of fertility for over 29.500 years. A rare apology from Facebook was soon after issued.
The lesson here? Don’t mess with art that’s roughly 29.985 years older than yourself.
Losing 87 Million People’s Data
Facebook takes this next one as well. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal. It’s a complicated matter and you’ve probably heard about it over and over. However, losing the data of 87 million people is such a bad idea that it had to be on the list.
In case you’ve been living under a stone for the past six months, this is the gist of what happened:
Depending on who you ask, Facebook “lost” or sold 87 million people’s data to a third party, namely Cambridge Analytica, who then sold it to others. Among the clients of Cambridge Analytica was President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
First off, giving access to 87 million people’s data, not a good idea. It resulted in plummeting stock prices and a fine of $1.6bn. And a generally tarnished reputation.
One good thing did come out of it though; a slew of fantastic Zuckerberg Alien memes!
Blazing Away on Air
Another way to piss off your shareholders? Smoke a blunt on live web TV. A sure-fire way to make your company worth less in just a matter of minutes. Just ask Elon Musk...
Following an appearance on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast where the serial entrepreneur was happily smoking up in the studio, two senior executives quit within hours, sending the Tesla stock price on a race towards the bottom. The market value of Tesla fell 6% following the incident.
In simple terms: If you’re a CEO of a major company, stay away from smoking weed in public, especially if you’re already in the middle of a scandal involving alleged false promises of taking your company private – but that’s another story for another day.
I Really Don’t Care, Do U?
Wearing a jacket with text on the back might not seem like a risky move. And while the text “I really don’t care, do you?” might not be the most awe-inspiring text, it does sound rather harmless.
However, when this jacket is worn by the First Lady of the United States you start thinking: well, that is just extraordinary. Finally, when you realize that she wore this jacket en route to visiting a US border shelter for refugee children who had been separated from their parents and kept in cage-like centers – this suddenly goes beyond being a bad idea.
At best it’s tone-deaf, at worst it’s cruel. Yet, the fact that it potentially breaks the scale of bad ideas, shouldn’t keep it from making the list.
In October this year she elaborated:
"It's obvious I didn't wear the jacket for the children… It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticising me. I want to show them I don't care. You could criticise whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me to do what I feel is right."
So, while it wasn’t meant as a commentary toward the children, it remains a terrible idea. Next time around, she might consider the circumstances under which she decides to send messages, ensuring that the message is clear and unambiguous. Also seen in the light that it was later used by the presidential pair’s political opponents to raise campaign funds. Backlash taken to a new level.
That’s it (for now)
So there you have it - the worst ideas of 2018... so far. And the best part? There’s still a couple of months left for companies and people to make all their bad ideas a reality. And in the times of global upheaval with the constant challenging of status-quo in positive and less-so positive ways, we’re sure there’s many more to come.