DEFINITION of 'Boil The Ocean'

To undertake an impossible task or project or to make a task or project unnecessarily difficult. Boiling the ocean generally means to go overboard.

BREAKING DOWN 'Boil The Ocean'

For example, a manager might be accused of trying to boil the ocean if he directed his employees to prepare a presentation for a business client based in Houston, Texas, and he insisted that the employees prepare versions of the presentation in Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese and Italian, just in case someone at the presentation spoke a different language when most likely they would all speak English.


Another example of trying to boil the ocean might be a six-month-old startup company trying to get venture capital funding and go public by the end of the year. Such a goal might seem ambitious to the company's founder, but in reality, setting such an unrealistic goal is likely to lead to frustration and disappointment for everyone involved.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Blue Ocean

    A slang term for the uncontested market space for an unknown ...
  2. Project Management

    The planning and organization of an organization's resources ...
  3. Ocean Bill Of Lading

    A document required for the transportation of goods overseas. ...
  4. Capital Project

    A long-term investment made in order to build upon, add or improve ...
  5. Net Present Value Rule

    A rule stating that an investment should be accepted if its net ...
  6. Gantt Chart

    A Gantt chart is a visual representation of a project schedule. ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Project Manager: Job Description & Average Salary

    Discover more about the specific tasks that project managers are responsible for and the average salary that can be expected in such a position.
  2. Investing

    BOIL vs. UGAZ: Comparing Leveraged Gas ETFs/ETNs

    Discover the natural gas industry, and learn about two exchange-traded products that provide leveraged exposure to this heavily used commodity.
  3. Small Business

    What Exactly Do Project Managers Do?

    While supervision is one important part of the job, a lot more goes into project management than just watching everyone work.
  4. Personal Finance

    Project Manager: Career Path & Qualifications

    Learn more about what project managers job, the qualifications necessary for the position and the most common careers for these professionals.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Top 4 Tech Simplification Tips for Busy Advisors

    These apps can eliminate or streamline time-consuming tasks, freeing up time to focus on more impactful activities.
  6. Financial Advisor

    Advisors: How to Create a Marketing Calendar

    Marketing calendars are a great way for advisors to keep on top of important tasks that help grow business over the long-term.
  7. Managing Wealth

    What's a Hurdle Rate?

    Hurdle rate has two meanings. In the business world, a business typically makes a decision on a capital project based on the net present value approach. To determine the net present value, the ...
  8. Personal Finance

    Common Interview Questions for Project Managers

    Discover the basic skills needed for a position as a project manager along with common interview questions used in applying for such a position.
  9. Small Business

    Computer Group Stock Trades Ex-Dividend Monday (CTG)

    Computer Task Group will send its dividend payment on July 6 to shareholders of record as of June 22.
  10. Investing

    An Introduction To Capital Budgeting

    We look at three widely used valuation methods and figure out how companies justify spending.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why do interest rates change?

    Interest is simply the cost of borrowing money. As with any good or service in a free market economy, price ultimately boils ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do companies calculate the estimated duration of a new project?

    Learn about some of the common methods used by companies to estimate the duration of a new project, including those with ... Read Answer >>
  3. What's the difference between net present value and internal rate of return? How ...

    Both of these measurements are primarily used in capital budgeting, the process by which companies determine whether a new ... Read Answer >>
  4. What's the difference between a bill of lading and an ocean bill of lading?

    Understand the difference between a bill of lading and an ocean bill of lading. Both documents serve as receipts for freight ... Read Answer >>
  5. How do you use net present value to calculate a capital budget?

    Learn about the net present value calculation (NPV) and how the NPV rule is used in capital budgeting to compare the expected ... Read Answer >>
  6. How much debt is too much when calculating capital budgeting?

    Learn how companies determine how much debt is acceptable when funding a new project by using the net present value to estimate ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. 403(b) Plan

    A retirement plan for certain employees of public schools, tax-exempt organizations and certain ministers. Generally, retirement ...
  2. Master Of Business Administration - MBA

    A graduate degree achieved at a university or college that provides theoretical and practical training to help graduates ...
  3. Liquidity Event

    An event that allows initial investors in a company to cash out some or all of their ownership shares and is considered an ...
  4. Job Market

    A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs. The job market is not a physical place as ...
  5. Yuppie

    Yuppie is a slang term denoting the market segment of young urban professionals. A yuppie is often characterized by youth, ...
  6. SEC Form 13F

    A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), also known as the Information Required of Institutional Investment ...
Trading Center