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Archive for the ‘Self-belief’ Category

I was interested to read about the overconfidence bias courtesy of Peter Klein:

Busenitz and Barney (1997) famously argued that entrepreneurs (founders) are particularly susceptible to overconfidence and representativeness biases. Compared to professional managers, entrepreneurs systematically overestimate the probability that a new venture will succeed and tend to draw unwarranted generalizations about the future from small samples.

Is this simply stating that entrepreneurs have a greater appetite for risk?  Is it explaining why they appear to have that greater appetite for risk?  More interestingly, does this say anything about whether an entrepreneur would make a poor professional manager or simply that they would be wasted in that role?

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In Michael Hutchinson’s book, the Hour, he describes how Graeme Obree failed at his first Norwegian attempt at the record, went back to the hotel, slept, got up and did it again the following day.  The second time he broke the record.

Hutchinson describes his state of mind thus:

He spoke to no one in case they punctured the fragile self-belief he’d managed to build after the previous day’s failed attempt.  When the starter began to ask Graeme if he was ready, he was interrupted by Graeme spitting back, “Are you ready?”  It came over as arrogance.  It was terror that he was going to fail and go home the same person as when he left.  He was more afraid of failure than of death.

I find this insight very interesting but I’m not sure what to infer from it. 

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