The Jeff Goldstein Blog

“Well behaved people seldom make history”

In Rants & Raves on May 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm

I came across this article written by MATT HARRIS on fortune.com in THE WEEK and found it interesting:

“As a venture capitalist, I have done due diligence on many business founders, said Matt Harris.  If I’m going to be in “a foxhole” with someone, I have to be sure that person is ethical and acts with integrity. But I don’t stop there. I also look for signs that a founder is “persistent (bullheaded), persuasive (flexible with the truth), and visionary (delusional).” Like it or not, those are the character traits typical of people who have found businesses that create or redefine an industry. In fact, starting a game changing business is so “audacious, disruptive, and preposterous on the face of it” that you have to be a little crazy and “transgressive” to try it.

So I’m not surprised to read that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg allegedly “stole the idea from a set of Olympian twins” and “screwed the college buddy” who provided seed capital.  Don’t get me wrong… I’m not endorsing criminal or unethical behavior. But if you’re looking for people who want to change the world , don’t go in search of those who fit neatly into the world as they originally found it.

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