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16 February, 2011 / Karl Maier

Brilliant, Difficult People

Hard to get along with Brilliant

Fred Wilson's matrix of Entrepreneurs

I just read a blog by Fred Wilson titled Difficult Is Good.  Fred argues that entrepreneurs fall into one of four categories that fit into the chart on the right.

Fred’s experience is he rarely makes money with normal people who are easy to get along with (Red Circle).  Most often they make money with brilliant people who are hard to get along with (Green Star) and sometimes they make money with brilliant people who are easy to get along with.

I have to wonder if the “hard to get along with” quality that Fred identifies is a symptom of having a vision and strong values in the person that are not articulated in a framework to make communication easy.  In this case, the person might have the basis for building a successful tribe, but not the tools to articulate the rationale.  Of course, there are many possible reasons and many different brilliant, difficult to get along with entrepreneurs, so there is no single answer.  But perhaps some of the brilliant people who are easy to get along with have similar goals and values, but also have a framework to articulate this information to the tribe.

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