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- Marc Andreessen on the 5 personality traits of an innovator
Marc Andreessen on the 5 personality traits of an innovator
“When you’re talking about real innovators—people who actually do really creative, breakthrough work—I think you’re talking about a couple things:”
Very high in trait openness. “Just flat-out open to new ideas… And the nature of trait openness means you’re not just open to new ideas in one category—you’re open to many different kinds of new ideas… But of course, just being open is not sufficient because if you’re just open, you could just be curious and explore and spend your entire life reading, talking to people, but never actually create something.”
High level of conscientiousness. “You need somebody who’s really willing to apply themselves—typically over a period of many years to accomplish something great… For most of these people, it’s years and years of applied effort. You need somebody with an extreme willingness to basically defer gratification… Of course, this is why there aren’t many of these people—there aren’t many people who are high in openness and high in conscientiousness because to a certain extent, they’re opposed traits.”
High in disagreeableness. “If they’re not ornery, they’ll be talked out of their ideas… Because the reaction most people have to new ideas is ‘Oh, that’s dumb.’ So, somebody who’s too agreeable will be easily dissuaded to not pull on the thread anymore.”
High IQ. “They just need to be really smart because it’s hard to innovate in any category if you can’t synthesize large amounts of information quickly.”
Relatively low neuroticism. “If they’re too neurotic, they probably can’t handle the stress.”
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