We live in a time of unparalleled innovation. This is the age of the entrepreneur. We're always hearing about twenty- or thirty-something geeks whose ideas go viral and, next thing you know, they're instant billionaires.
If only it really happened that way. The truth is the vast majority of ideas are doomed from the start. Most startups fail. And even some of the best-laid plans of industry-leading giants like Nokia (NOK), Sony (SNE) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) end in disaster.
Is it all just a question of luck and timing? Are we supposed to spend years investing in a concept, only to see it flop for no apparent reason and hope for better luck next time? Is it any consolation to pat each other on the back and say, "it sure seemed like a good idea at the time" or "back to the drawing board?"
Of course not. This is America, and we can do better than that. The trick is to understand that there's a big difference between invention and innovation, people don't always want to buy what you want to build, there are a whole lot of potential competitors out there, and often the devil's in the details.
So whether you're an executive in a big company, a marketing manager, a business owner or pretty much anyone with a dream, here's a checklist of the 10 most common pitfalls to avoid, with some recent real-world examples.
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