Moderate overconfidence is best for founders.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Confidence
So I went to his writeup of How confident should you be? and got the following definition:
Moderate overestimation of ability and overestimation of the precision of initial information leads people to choose tasks that raise expected output.
Still, this begs the question of what "moderate overestimation" is.
I take it to mean that founders should err on the side of slightly optimistic rather than conservative when it comes to business issues.
What makes a great founder? Humility in what you say; confidence in how you say it.
Dumbo initially needed a feather to believe he could fly.
There was a study done in 1991 that looked at a group of competitive swimmers who, on paper, should all be of equal ability. Yet some of the swimmers consistently won more than the others. This study applied a self-deception test to the swimmers and found that the swimmers who were more likely to win also ranked highly for self-deception. Then they looked at what those swimmers did to prepare for a meet — the self-deceivers (a.k.a. the winners) routines tended to include self-talk about how unbeatable they were. Where they "really" unbeatable? No. But by making themselves believe they were unbeatable, they won more.
Great study, Ray! Thanks for the link.
Me too! Thanks, Adam:)