There is statistic that is often kicked around which claims that (90/90/95/fill in the blank) percent of new businesses fail within X years. Although I have a very skeptical view of "facts" like these, I think the general thrust is probably accurate: most new businesses fail. But to me, this is an uninteresting statistic. It doesn't tell me much. Were these people of above average intelligence? Were they spendthrifts? Did they have a strong background in accounting/financial literacy? Did they do their due diligence? Did they jump into a business because they enjoyed the trade - or because they actually had a plan on how to run a business? So - for those of you that are entrepreneurs, or have had family members/friends become entrepreneurs, I pose a question: What is the success rate of entrepreneurs that are highly intelligent, financially literate, thrifty, personable, and that take the time to plan things out, strategically and financially, before jumping in? And if you have seen these types of people fail - why do you think they have failed? Wrong product, wrong time? Overestimation of public demand? Poor marketing? Another competitor with a better proposition swooped in? Has it been the idea, or the execution that has led to successful businesses you have witnessed? Any interesting viewpoints/stories are appreciated.