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

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
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 fixed4.29%4.30%
15 yr fixed3.23%3.29%
5/1 ARM3.33%3.45%
30 yr refi4.26%4.27%
15 yr refi3.20%3.26%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,912.11 -70.48 -0.42%
Nasdaq 4,442.70 -2.21 -0.05%
S&P 500 1,969.95 -8.96 -0.45%
Treasuries 2.46 -0.03 -1.16%
Data as of 6:57pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Frontier Communicati... 6.79 0.85 14.31%
Windstream Holdings ... 11.83 1.30 12.35%
AT&T Inc 36.59 0.94 2.64%
CenturyLink Inc 39.90 2.19 5.81%
Bank of America Corp... 15.34 -0.16 -1.03%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

Amgen is the latest to continue corporate America's cost cutting strategy, even as the economy is supposedly on the mend More

Amgen is the latest to continue corporate America's cost cutting strategy, even as the economy is supposedly on the mend More

Bunch o Balloons allows multiple water balloons to be filled at once. Parents are loving it -- to the tune of $645,000. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.