Rotman Management

The Roots of Entrepreneurial Success

You have been involved in start-ups for many years as a founder, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer. In your experience, does entrepreneurship demand specific traits, or can anyone with a great idea do it?

I don’t subscribe to the idea that it takes a special something to become a successful entrepreneur. There is no secret sauce. Having said that, in many ways, a major predictor of entrepreneurial success is privilege. Family support, personal background, and financial flexibility provide a definite advantage. As cynical as it may sound, most people who are seen as successful entrepreneurs today have benefited from some kind of privilege. Obviously, there are other requirements and characteristics as well. A mindset that includes passion, drive and ambition plays a key role in success. None of these elements are mutually exclusive. They complement each other. There is a certain character type at play as well: You need to be stubborn, have

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