Our entrepreneurship module includes a variety of resources that cover a large span of topics, including the specifics of taking an idea to reality, navigating your outer life as an entrepreneur, and navigating your inner life of being an entrepreneur.
One of the best sections, though, deals with the hard questions: do you really want to be an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is hard. The odds are against you. And successful founders are walking paradoxes.
That’s why one of my favorite resources from the entrepreneurship module is Peter Thiel’s “Founder as Victim, Founder as God” lecture notes from his class at Stanford (reflected in his recent book, Zero to One).
The notes cover everything about what many successful founders embody. They are actually statistical oddities. Where most people fall in the middle of a normal distribution, founders are heavily concentrated on both tail ends.
Founders aren’t only on both ends in the broad, collective sense. Founders as individuals can be on both ends.
Steve Jobs was conceived was a notably disagreeable boss and colleague, but was also considered one of the most charismatic men alive — Richard Branson is both an outsider and an insider in aviation — Thiel himself has served the role as both infamous and famous in his lifetime.
The founder is a walking contradiction. Chances are, if you’ve felt a little different in the past, you’re in the tail ends of the normal distribution. You may just be a founder.