“Fail Quickly, Then Try Again”

July 12, 2017 Rieva Lesonsky

While there are some universal tenets of success, entrepreneurs wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t march to the beat of their own inner drummer. Many successful small business owners have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that help them achieve success.

Here some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners share their insights and success secrets with you.

Meet: Scott Lininger, the cofounder and CEO/CTO/designer at Bitsbox, a monthly subscription box for children ages 5-13. Bitsbox is filled with projects teaching kids to code. Scott says the company wants to “make coding fun and accessible for every kind of kid."

Here’s how it works: Once kids get their monthly Bitsbox, which contains a coding book full of apps, a motivational mystery toy, stickers, temporary tattoos, app trading cards and a challenge item, they get to create their own apps and then share them with their own group of “kid coders” or upload them onto the Bitsbox website.

600,000 kids have built apps on the Bitsbox website, and the company has subscribers in more than 50 countries.

The company says, “Coding is like learning a language and the younger one starts the easier it is.” Kids can use Bitsbox as soon as they can read and write.

You can reach Scott on Twitter @ScottLininger.

Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Scott Lininger: A superhero or architect. Didn’t manage either.

Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?

Lininger: My 7-year old daughter got interested in learning to program computers, so I went online to find the best way to help her with that. None of the products out there were quite right, which gave me the idea of making something new.

Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?

Lininger: We weren’t sure if people were going to like our product idea, so we started with a Kickstarter campaign. $253,000 in preorders later, we knew we had a business.

Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?

Lininger: Team is everything when you’re small, so make sure you have the right folks. Hire slowly and fire fast.

Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?

Lininger: Fail quickly. Learn and improve yourself from it. Then try again.

Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?

Lininger: With all of the great services available on the web, it's so much easier to create, run and grow a small business today. I think this will dramatically grow the number of viable small businesses over time.

Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?

Lininger: Anne of Green Gables.

Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?

Lininger: I’m a fan of the old Henry Ford chestnut: “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you're right.”








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