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Ground Zero

An ambitious new study aims to uncover what <i>really</i> happens in the start-up stage.

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This story appears in the December 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A business idea crosses your mind that seems to be, dare you say it, inspired. Excitement bubbles, brainstorming ensues, notes are scribbled. Convinced this is exactly what the marketplace has been waiting for, you conclude that you are no less than a genius.

All this self-congratulation, of course, happens before the business is even started. And knowing the ratio of discarded ideas to that of successful businesses, we are left to wonder: What is the difference between people who contemplate becoming entrepreneurs and those who actually start businesses? What occurs in the gestation period before start-up that makes people decide either to toss an idea or to persevere?

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