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Do You Need To Be A Jerk To Be A Successful Entrepreneur? | TechCrunch

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I agree with this: "What matters is that you don’t have to make the above tradeoffs. There is no single canonical model for the successful entrepreneur. Successful people come in all forms and they all have different limitations, baggage, prejudices, and ways of looking at the world."

I also agree with this: "Good etiquette, unless it gets in the way, increases the probability of success."

And I agree with this: "Entrepreneurship is not a job; it’s a lifestyle! The important thing is to be clear about what priorities are important to you and what you’re trying to achieve."

I'm looking for something to disagree with but I'm not finding it.

Craig Newman, the Craigslist founder calls himself a customer care representative. I guess that's opposite to the jerk and we can't argue about the success of Craigslist. So, i disagree with this premise of being a jerk to be successful.

I've met lots of customer care representatives who were jerks. :)

I've definitely seen good examples of this:

"In fact, caring for employees, while being objective and critically honest about your issues/people, will attract and retain the right kinds of employees in my view."

I'd like to believe that's true, Chris.

So I behave as if it's true.

My spidey sense tells me you don't see that in the industry much? If you'd say yes, i'd have to agree :)

Yes, I don't see it much. :(

Being demanding and having high standards don't make you a jerk. Both John Wooden and Bobby Knight were very successful as basketball coaches. But one was a notorious jerk, and the other famed for his gentility.

I haven't seen anyone calling Warren Buffett soft, and Dave Duffield's famously kind personality doesn't seem to have hampered Workday.

In the end, being a jerk is one means of maintaining high standards, but it's not the only means, and it's probably not even one of the better ones.

Thank you for the examples of people who maintained high standards without being a jerk.

I guess it's safe to say there's no correlation between excellence and being a jerk.

In 2005, Jobs ordered a smoothie at Whole Foods, but when the aging barista didn’t make it to his taste, he railed about her incompetence.

Personally, I would take being berated by Jobs as source of pride. :-)

Seriously tho, I don't think you can look at Jobs (and to a lesser extent Bezos) through the lens of traditional entrepreneurship. You have to look at him through the lens of Nietzsche and Rand: as someone so completely unique and talented enough to bend reality around his force of will. That type of person is fantastically rare: to be so thoroughly narcissistic (which is inherently self destructive in any social context) yet capable of backing it up with results.

However, there is also a fundamental undercurrent to Jobs, in the Nietzche/Rand dialectic, which I see very little mention of, particularly by followers of those philosophers. He wasn't trying to be the ubermench. He wasn't pretending he was Harold Roark. He was never an advocate for someone else's philosophy of life, only his own, for his own purposes. The true Randian hero would never attribute success to anything Rand ever wrote.

Therefore, trying to pretend to be Steve Jobs will not make you anything like Steve Jobs. His power was his alone, as your power will be yours alone. If you have the talent to bend reality to your will, you will.

In other words, we cannot fault Steve Jobs for being himself.

But that still wouldn't make everyone want to work with him.

No. I mean that trying to be Steve Jobs misses the point of Steve Jobs. Be who you are. You can't be anyone else.

Ah, even Steve Jobs would encourage you to be yourself, not him.

Sounds like Elon Musk might be another Jobs-like example of the successful entrepreneur who, uh, "does not play well with others."

Eric, yes. That's one of the central themes of The Paypal Wars.

When I read "The Paypal Wars" I heard this in my head.

LMAO. You can't create a PayPal Mafia without first having PayPal Wars. :)

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