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 fixed3.84%3.85%
15 yr fixed2.96%2.96%
5/1 ARM3.20%3.14%
30 yr refi3.95%3.96%
15 yr refi3.06%3.06%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,058.85 -315.91 -1.93%
Nasdaq 4,668.26 -65.24 -1.38%
S&P 500 1,915.35 -35.78 -1.83%
Treasuries 2.13 -0.04 -1.94%
Data as of 2:46pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.56 -0.38 -2.38%
Apple Inc 108.71 -1.66 -1.50%
Alcoa Inc 9.48 -0.09 -0.89%
Micron Technology In... 16.61 0.02 0.12%
Microsoft Corp 42.30 -1.20 -2.76%
Data as of 2:31pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

The Force wasn't the only thing to awaken just after midnight on September 4. Cash registers sprang into life as fans flocked to buy new products tied to the latest Star Wars move. More

Harlem's Hot Bread Kitchen teaches kitchen skills to low-income immigrant so they can find employment. More

Google has released Chrome 45, which claims to make your browser faster and give your laptop battery extra life. More

Harlem's Hot Bread Kitchen teaches kitchen skills to low-income immigrant so they can find employment. More

Pimco's famous fund once managed by star manager Bill Gross has less than $100 billion in management for the first time since 2007. More