Most aspiring entrepreneurs believe that the key to success lies in developing an innovative and exciting product. After all, remember Emerson's adage "Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door." I'm here to tell you that if you believe in that adage, then you are doomed to failure. . . . The truth is, it's far better to aggressively market a mediocre mousetrap than to build a superior trap and wait for the phones to ring.
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Source Notes: Beating the Odds: Ten Smart Steps to Small Business Success (chapter 1, "First Things First") (1991). Sarah S. B. Yule and Mary S. Keene credit Emerson with the comment about the mousetrap, noting in their Borrowings (1889) that Emerson said, "If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods the world will make a beaten path to his door."
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