I was reading a column in the Economist the other day in which I learned a new word… stormannsgalskap. It’s Norweigan. I don’t know a lick of Norweigan but my understanding is that it roughly translates to “the madness of great men” [or women].
I thought this was an incredibly apt depiction of great entrepreneurs and innovators. As the Economist rightly points out, reshaping an industry requires suspending disbelief and extraordinary self-confidence which can border on psychological aberration.
Or as my friend and mentor Reid Hoffman says being a founder is like throwing yourself off a cliff and assembling an airplane on the way down. What person in their right mind does that? Well perhaps the most disuptive entrepreneurs are a little out of their mind… in a good way. Think Steve Jobs or Henry Ford or Howard Schultz.