Launching a New Product - Idioms in Context

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Letting the World Know about Your Product. Mint Images - Simon Potter / Getty Images

This short story focuses on the difficulties of launching a new product, or introducing a new idea. Learn from the definitions provided for the idioms and expressions introduced following the story and check your understanding with a short quiz. Make sure to read for gist the fist time.

Launching a New Product - Story

Trying to launch a new product can be a daunting task. In fact, it's so hard that most people have no staying power and soon give up realizing that they'll have to cut their losses and accept defeat.

There are many reasons for these difficulties, not least of which is that really new ideas often fly in the face of most people's expectations. Just think back to the days before the cell phone. I'm sure the company that created that first huge, heavy portable phone faced a lot of opposition to their product. Who ever thought we'd end up carrying phones in our pockets that have also double as our personal digital assistants?! 

In order to keep the ball rolling, an entrepreneur or anyone with a new idea will probably have to ruffle people's feathers as the push for success. This ability to tilt at windmills is similar to the ability to completely ignore what, at the time, must seem like obvious advice. It's this knack for belief in spite of doubt that success hinges on. Without an almost religious conviction, it's hard to continue with the order of the day of pushing your product. This is especially true when a CEO or some other important corporate know-it-all is looking daggers at you as they rake you over the coals for ever having thought of such a stupid idea.

Then of course, there are those who throw a red herring into the conversation as you make your pitch to potential investors. However, in the end, you won't need to hard sell your product to those who "get it." They'll recognize your inspiration and throw caution to the wind to catch the train of your genius!

That's the day you'll kick off your drive to success.

Definitions

cut one's losses - accept that you have lost and quit
fly in the face of something - be contrary to what some ideas seem to prove
hard sell something - try to force someone into buying something by making them believe that they need to buy it NOW!
have no staying power - not be able to last a long time
hinge on something - be dependent upon something else happening
keep the ball rolling - continue supporting something by doing what is necessary
kick off - begin something, usually some sort of business campaign
look daggers at someone - look at someone with intense hatred
make a pitch - introduce a business idea to someone, try to sell something
order of the day - the most important thing that needs to be done on an agenda
rake someone over the coals - strongly criticize someone for doing something wrong
red herring - an argument which is introduced into a discussion to avoid talking about something more important
ruffle someone's feathers - insult someone
throw caution to the wind - take a chance despite the risk
tilt at windmills - work against impossible odds, try to continue doing something that is hindered by others

Idioms Quiz

  1. Let's keep ______________ on this project. I don't think we should quit just yet.
  1. Any artist will tell you that before success comes you'll often feel as if are ______________.
  2. He had to accept defeat, ______________ his ______________ and close the business. 
  3. She ______________ her husband ______________ for his mistakes that cost them thousands.
  4. I'm afraid that idea has ______________. It'll never work out.
  5. Stop ______________ me! I didn't do anything wrong, and I didn't mean to offend you.
  6. Peter knew that he was bringing a ______________ into the conversation, but he didn't want the project to move forward.
  7. I'm afraid that ______________ everything I know. It can't be true. 
  8. Our success ______________ getting an investment in this project. Without funds, we're lost. 
  9. I'd like to ______________ at the next investors meeting. Do you think they'll have time to listen to my proposal?

    Quiz Answers

    1. the ball rolling
    2. tilting at windmills
    3. cut his losses
    4. raked her husband over the coals
    5. looking daggers at
    6. red herring
    7. flies in the face of
    8. hinds on
    9. make a pitch

    Learn more idioms in context with further stories.