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 fixed3.65%3.83%
15 yr fixed2.76%2.94%
5/1 ARM2.92%2.94%
30 yr refi3.67%3.78%
15 yr refi2.80%2.98%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,787.20 -86.02 -0.48%
Nasdaq 4,948.06 14.55 0.29%
S&P 500 2,096.96 -2.10 -0.10%
Treasuries 1.83 -0.02 -0.92%
Data as of 6:30pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 14.79 -0.09 -0.60%
Micron Technology In... 12.72 0.41 3.33%
Apple Inc 99.86 -0.49 -0.49%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 4.29 0.13 3.12%
Microsoft Corp 53.00 0.68 1.30%
Data as of 4:15pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Forget the Warriors and Cavaliers. The teams really fighting for domination in NBA Finals are Under Armour and Nike. More

Venezuela faces a shortage of nearly every kind: food, medicine, electricity and toiletries. The scarcity reflects Venezuela's spiraling economy and humanitarian crisis. More

Elder care will become a more pressing global concern in the coming decades, but it's already an issue in Asia. Asus has a new robot, Zenbo, to help. More

The gender pay gap in the labor market is pretty well documented. But the gender gap also exists in the housing market. More