It took Michael Dearing exactly 2’190 days, 2’481 companies and 4’515 interviewed founders to find out which traits successful entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley have in common.
He found 5 cognitive distortions that all of them share. These cognitive distortions, also known as strong patterns of automatic thoughts influenced their thinking and allowed them to create tons of value through their respective companies.
These are the five automatic thought patterns:
- Personal Exceptionalism
- Dichotomous Thinking
- Correct Overgeneralization
- Blank-Canvas Thinking
Now let’s get down to the details.
1. Personal Exceptionalism makes someone think that they are special and everything that they create is special as well. This includes the following benefits: increased endurance and charisma.
2. Dichotomous Thinking is a trait that makes someone see things only in black and white, excluding the grey area. A person succumbed to this distortion is noted to be an advocat of perfection. He or she therefor achieve excellence frequently.
3. A person who is under the distortion of correct overgeneralization does exactly that: he or she draws the line between two dots. This makes entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs save time, but also makes them indifferent to important data.
4. An entrepreneur who is under the cognitive distortion of Blank-Canvas Thinking sees the world as a piece of paper waiting to be painted. He or she is known for creating surprises and invent stuff in general.
5. Last but not least, the cognitive distortion known as Schumpeterianism drives entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley to believe in disruptive innovation. This makes them abitious and fearless of destruction.