Exploring the Shared Traits of Addicts and Entrepreneurs
The same thing that makes you a great entrepreneur can also make you an addict.
What is true is that people who have inherited these genetic variance that predispose them for addiction, they’re also more novelty seeking and they’re more compulsive and more risk-taking. And interestingly, of course, those traits are not all bad.
Those are traits that can serve you extraordinarily well in the world; in the world of business or sports or entertainment. And so when we turn on the news and we see all the tragedies of celebrity addicts and you might think, oh well, celebrities really get addicted at the same rate of other people, it’s just that we hear about them because they’re celebrities. And when some no name person dies of a heroin overdose, we never hear about it.
Well, I don’t’ think that’s entirely true. Because I think the genetic variance that make you more likely to be an addict are the same ones that kind of bring you to the top of your profession and make you a celebrity. So a lot of addicts aren’t just losers on the street that can’t get their lives together in any other way, particularly if you look, for example, at gambling addicts.
Gambling addicts are often people who are the go-to people in their jobs. They are the ones that get things done; they are extraordinarily effective in the workplace. And the same traits that make them effective in the workplace, that novelty-seeking, risk-taking and compulsion, the same thing that makes you a great entrepreneur, can also make you an addict.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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