Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

STEP 6: Try to fail quickly

By Jennifer Alsever


Once you find a good idea, don't move halfheartedly. Scott Anthony is the managing director of Innosight Ventures, an investment firm in Watertown, Mass. He often assigns one employee to examine all of the company's new ideas.

"When we think of an idea, we don't ask for a person to spend 5% of his or her time on it," says Anthony. "We say, 'This is your focus for three to six months.' If you're serious, you need to commit them to it."

Case in point: When one of Anthony's partners at Innosight wanted to create a new business focused on incubating and investing in startups, the other partners gave him the freedom to spend all his time on the project. Innosight has since invested in three successful international companies -- a business that wouldn't have been built if pursued part-time, says Anthony.

Moving from brainstorming to action can be tough, entrepreneurs admit. Set goals and benchmarks -- time or money -- for your idea so you know when to quit.

And beware of getting trapped in "shiny-penny hell," where you become enamored of too many great ideas at once, says Kirk, the CEO of Path Forward International. "You have to separate out the emotion."

Unless, of course, you're trying to turn your funeral home into a life-celebration service. In which case you'll need all the emotion you can get.  To top of page

Questions & Answers



QHow does a florist sell more in this economy? We changed our business to designing weddings and events only, as the everyday flowers are not selling. We had to throw out too much product at the end of the week -- flowers are perishable! More
Get Answer
- The Flower Lady, Suwanee, Ga.
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.36%3.43%
15 yr fixed2.65%2.69%
5/1 ARM2.87%2.93%
30 yr refi3.40%3.46%
15 yr refi2.69%2.73%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 18,432.24 -24.11 -0.13%
Nasdaq 5,162.13 7.15 0.14%
S&P 500 2,173.60 3.54 0.16%
Treasuries 1.46 -0.05 -3.51%
Data as of 8:20pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
KeyCorp 11.70 0.05 0.43%
Bank of America Corp... 14.49 -0.19 -1.29%
Ford Motor Co 12.66 -0.05 -0.39%
General Electric Co 31.14 -0.11 -0.35%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 5.42 0.23 4.43%
Data as of Jul 29
Sponsors

Sections

For the first time ever, Amazon and Facebook are more valuable than Berkshire Hathaway, the storied company run by legendary investor Warren Buffett. More

Venezuela's government issues a decree recently that makes it possible to force workers to work in the country's fields amid food shortages. More

Sara Mauskopf started Winnie to help parents find everything from parks to family-friendly restaurants. More

It's about to get harder for some luxury all-cash home buyers to hide their identity from the U.S. government. More