Are you a cockeyed optimist or dreamy idealist? You might make a good entrepreneur!

September 21st, 2012 by Briana Cummings

Last month, Inc. magazine surveyed the founders of Inc. 500 companies who had launched successful start-ups in the midst of the economic collapse of 2008 to see what drove them to start a company in such a shaky economy.

Only 4% cited the loss of a job as a factor in their decision to start their own company. As for the rest, 50% said they had an idea for a business model that would do well in an economic downturn, and a full 46% said they were aware of the increased risk posed by a teetering economy but decided to take it anyway because “I’m an optimist and this is my dream.”

1902 Wright Brothers' Glider Tests - GPN-2002-...

1902 Wright Brothers’ Glider Tests (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some examples of the cock-eyed optimist crowd:

  • Larry Borden launched Aardvark Event Logistics two months after Lehman Brothers collapsed and six months before his second child was due.
  • Chris Pershing, the sole provider of a family of five, walked away from a well-paying, stable job to co-found EagleView Technologies.
  • Sugata Biswas, also the primary supporter of a family of five, launched Cadence Research & Consulting, after he was in a car accident that killed on of his colleagues and reminded him that “if we keep pushing things off for another day, that day may never come.”

And one example of an idealist:

  • Rich Johnson, with a brand-new mortgage, quit his employer of 10 years because he disagreed with its values (it gave next to nothing to charity) and, inspired by Patagonia’s philanthropic culture, launched the Premier Group, a business in the construction staffing industry that last year gave $231,000 to childhood cancer research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *