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Spotting e-business red flags

Is your e-business sickly? You may have an e-bug. The good news: Recognizing an illness is the first step toward recovery.

So says a recent Accenture report, Governance at eSpeed, which looked at the 10 warning signs of a faltering e-business. "Business owners have to expect the way they manage and govern their e-business to change as they become successful," explains Brian Pappas, associate partner at Accenture in Boston.

Here are a few signs to look out for:

1. No experience "clicking around": If you're not a hands-on e-business user yourself, then you probably don't have a feel for what works in the dotcom world.

2. No external profile: Does the world even know you exist? To raise your e-business profile, network with well-known business and technology leaders.

3. No decisions . . . or slow decisions: Exploratory committees, project teams and pilot programs make good e-business sense-just don't forget to move swiftly on your findings.

4. No passion: Most successful dotcom em-ployees are passionate about what they are doing. Are yours?

Paul Stoltz, guru of the adversity quotient concept, has a new book on the subject, Adversity Quotient @ Work (William Morrow). Stoltz advises people to "remember to focus on what you can influence and not on blaming someone." For more in-formation on measuring and strengthening your AQ, go to

Ellen Paris is a Washington, DC, writer and former Forbes magazine staff writer.

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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »