Underwater Hotel Poseidon Resorts is planning on opening a five-star underwater resort. Located on a private island in Fiji, it will be the world’s first permanent sea floor one-atmosphere structure.

I first ran across Poseidon Resorts almost 3 years ago while surfing the web. On their website I found that they were actively searching for potential investors. Impressed by the innovative concept and detailed planning, I emailed the L. Bruce Jones, the developer of Poseidon Resorts, about the investment opportunities available. Jones responded informing me that the need had arisen for new investors.

He sent me some nondisclosure documents, which I signed and faxed to Jones’ lawyers. In return I received some very detailed information about the hotel and the investment opportunity at hand. Everything from the amenities in each room to estimates of return on investment, down to the nearest dollar, could be found in these documents.

When it came down to it, I barely had enough money to meet the minimum investment amount required. Even though this seemed like a once and a lifetime opportunity, I decided, the potential risk outweighed the proposed benefits and I had to pass on this opportunity, no matter how good it seemed. If I had invested, I would still be waiting to realize ROI.

The hotel isn’t expected to open until Sept. of 2008, so we will have to wait a little while longer to find out if my risk aversion let the next Bellagio slip through my fingers. So many times I see risk aversion choking out all things new and innovative.

Many companies don’t want to stray from the so called “tried and true. They don’t want to do anything in which the results are unknown. What they don’t realize is that hands are really around their own necks. AeronChairHerman Miller’s Aeron chair is a great example of a product that barely made it into existence because of risk aversion. During product testing the Aeron chair’s ergonomic design did beautifully when it came to comfort, but many consumers had negative opinions regarding the overall look of the chair. It looked very different from any other chair on the market at that time. Despite these reactions Miller decided to produce the chair anyways.

Today the Aeron chair has a place in the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. The chair also received the Exclusive Gold Award in The Designs of the Decade: Best in Business 1990-1999 Awards.

On a very similar note, Seth Godin, in a recent post, points out how risk can be a powerful factor in driving word of mouth communication. So Peelers, next time the intern throws you a crazy off the wall idea your direction, don’t be so quick to dismiss it. As Will Rogers once said, “You’ve got to go out on a limb sometimes because that’s where the fruit is.”