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.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Science confirms: Earth has more than one 'moon'

Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.

J. Sliz-Balogh, A. Barta and G. Horvath
Surprising Science
  • Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
  • These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
  • The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less