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Is nice necessary in startups? by Christina Bechhold, WSJ

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Christina Bechhold writes:

While there are plenty of examples of thriving companies led by the aggressively unagreeable, I believe the best-worn path to entrepreneurial success is marked by respect, responsiveness and coachability. That may not necessarily equate perfectly with “nice,” which is both fine and perhaps preferable – decisiveness often requires one to step on some toes. That doesn’t mean you have to break feet.

Adam Rifkin, a successful engineer and serial entrepreneur based in the Bay Area, was deemed the best networker by Fortune magazine and as profiled in Wharton professor Adam Grant’s book, Give and Take, leverages his vast network by making three introductions a day. Having been the humble recipient of several such connections, I can say confidently that Adam embodies the traits I hope every person, entrepreneur or otherwise, seeks to cultivate in himself and others. Adam believes deeply that success depends on the quality of our interactions with others, and that giving is usually more important than taking.

As the global startup ecosystem continues to grow, pulling in more people, companies and institutions, I challenge us all to be grateful for the success we make. Nice may not be necessary, but it certainly can’t hurt, and it’s where I’ll continue to place my bets.

You know I agree. :)

@Adam is the bomb - but the contrarian side of me has to ask "would Steve Jobs have accomplished more by being nicer?" 

Steve Jobs accomplished what he did despite his meanness, not because of it.

We know this because he accomplished more later in life when he was nicer.

Yes he was wiser and more experienced, but also more people were willing to work with him.

Being nice, for me, is not really an option. In my view, we must be nice

So timely. And what was the other term for someone grumpy who is authentic?

A disagreeable giver.

There was an article in The Atlantic last month that discusses disagreeable givers:

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