Boil The Ocean

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. Ocean Bill Of Lading

    A document required for the transportation of goods overseas. ...
  3. Both-To-Blame Collision Clause

    Part of the Ocean Marine Insurance policy that states that if ...
  4. PERT Chart

    A project management tool that provides a graphical representation ...
  5. Micro Manager

    A boss or manager who gives excessive supervision to employees. ...
  6. Project Finance

    Defined by the International Project Finance Association (IPFA) ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Oceaneering Is A Great Business, But How Much Are You Willing To Pay?

    Oceaneering is a great way to play the growth in offshore energy, but the market already expects big things.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Oceaneering International Shuffles Its "C" Level (OII)

    Big changes were afoot on the executive deck at Oceaneering International (NYSE: OII) last week. The biggest name in underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) announced it is promoting current ...
  3. Investing News

    Can Amazon Sink Ocean Freight Competitors?

    The only question is, how long will it take Amazon to put the ocean freight market in a tailspin.
  4. Professionals

    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. Investing

    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 ...
  6. Stock Analysis

    Climate Change May Have Texas Flooding More Often

    Scientists say global warming could be contributing to storm frequency and severity. A specific weather pattern may be largely responsible for the recent heavy rains in Texas and Oklahoma, but ...
  7. Investing Basics

    Capital Budgeting: The Importance Of Capital Budgeting

    Capital budgeting is a step by step process that businesses use to determine the merits of an investment project. The decision of whether to accept or deny an investment project as part of a ...
  8. Personal Finance

    An Introduction To Capital Budgeting

    We look at three widely used valuation methods and figure out how companies justify spending.
  9. Taxes

    Personal Income Tax Guide: Introduction

    By Ken ClarkFor many people, getting ready for tax season is about as much fun as planning a trip to the dentist. Just thinking about getting ready for tax time causes most people to get a pit ...
  10. Professionals

    4 Common Questions About Hiring Staff

    The more you plan upfront, the more likely it is that your first outing with hiring will be successful.
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. How do you use the profitability index rule when scoping out a project?

    Understand the parameters of the profitability index rule and how this rule is used in corporate capital allocation to determine ... Read Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. What does a merger or acquisition mean for the target company's employees?

    Learn about the likely impacts of a mergers & acquisition deal on the target company's employees, their benefits and adjusting ... Read Answer >>
  6. When do I need to project run rates for my business?

    Learn some of the reasons why businesses project run rates; discover why companies rely on such a simple metric and how it ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  2. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  3. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
  4. Weighted Average Cost Of Capital - WACC

    Weighted average cost of capital (WACC) is a calculation of a firm's cost of capital in which each category of capital is ...
  5. Basis Point (BPS)

    A unit that is equal to 1/100th of 1%, and is used to denote the change in a financial instrument. The basis point is commonly ...
  6. Sharing Economy

    An economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else.
Trading Center