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Is Entrepreneurship Success Determined by Your Relationship with Your Parents?

Feb 5 2014, 10:18am CST | by

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Is Entrepreneurship Success Determined by Your Relationship with Your Parents?
 
 

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Is Entrepreneurship Success Determined by Your Relationship with Your Parents?

Do you have happy, rich relationships with both your parents? If so, consider this a mixed blessing. Venture capitalist George Zachary, who has  been studying start-up founders for the better part of 20 years, says that the best entrepreneurs typically have stormier relations with either mom or dad.

“People who feel most hurt by the world are the ones most likely to go out and change it,” Zachary explained, during a start-ups’ conference in Mountain View, Calif., this week. Zachary, a partner in Charles River Ventures, was interviewed on stage at the Computer History Museum by Derek Andersen, founder of StartupGrind.

“Most founders come from a chaotic life,” Zachary added. “Typically, one parent is very involved, and the other one isn’t there.” Such dynamics apply in about 80% of great entrepreneurs’ backgrounds, he estimated. In the other 20% — where relations with both parents are sturdy and sunny — he contends that entrepreneurs will still do well but won’t push as hard.

Restlessness may be a hallmark of entrepreneurs’ nature, Zachary suggested. Asked if achieving great wealth makes entrepreneurs happy, he demurred. Striking it rich in an initial public offering may bring a short-term lift in people’s moods, he said, but “if someone was an anxious person before, they’re going to be an anxious person afterward. They’re just going to have a new budget to spend it on.”

What’s more important to entrepreneurs, Zachary said, is a sense of meaning, and a belief that they have created companies of lasting significance.

Within Charles River Ventures, Zachary said, turbulence has its place, too. If three or four partners are enthusiastic about a possible investment, and three or four hate it, “we like that,” he said.

“If all of us are super-positive, it means it’s too obvious,” Zachary added. Such companies likely are pursuing opportunities that many others will see, making it unlikely that anyone will be a big winner. “We like the ones with some controversy.”

Source: Forbes

 

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