Are Entrepreneurs Born, Made, or Simply Loaded Up With Parasites?


The debate has been going on for decades. Are entrepreneurs born, or are they made? What makes people comfortable leaving their jobs and venturing out on their own, with no idea of the end result? Some believe genes rule. Some think it's all about training, education, and environment. Now research is showing there may be a different way – toxoplasma gondii.

Apparently this unusual organism gets into your brain and causes behavior changes that make you more adventurous.

A biological scientist from the U.S. Geological Survey–of all places–have published a paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, Biology, suggesting that human culture may be significantly influenced by a parasite that commonly infects cats, but also targets humans. "In populations where this parasite is very common, mass personality modification could result in cultural change," says the scientist, Kevin Lafferty, who's based at the University of California, Santa Barbara in a press release, variations in the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii "may explain a substantial proportion of human population differences we see in cultural aspects that relate to ego, money, material possessions, work and rules."

…it could well be that humans experience subtler behavioral changes than a rat would–a mild increase in the tendency to be adventurous, say.

There you go. The question has been answered. Stay tuned for the next wave of books from management gurus with titles like Who Moved My Toxoplasm Eggs?, Bottom Line Results: How To Win Using Management by Bacteria, and Rancid Leadership: How Unwashed Vegetables Can Help Drive Cultural Change in the Entrepreneurial Organization.

Now I understand why Google has their own chef on staff.

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  1. Hugh's Gravatar Comment by Hugh on August 14th, 2006 at 3:58 am

    Phhhew! Finally having cootees is kewl. 😀

  2. aaron's Gravatar Comment by aaron on August 14th, 2006 at 4:12 am

    Now the important part, how can this be used? Can it be used to help recently oppressed cultures make the transition to freedom?

  3. Motivation's Gravatar Comment by Motivation on August 14th, 2006 at 10:11 am

    Good post.

  4. suresh gupta's Gravatar Comment by suresh gupta on October 2nd, 2006 at 8:32 am

    can u sent me a paragraph on a debate on ” manager born or made?”

  5. Jim Scout's Gravatar Comment by Jim Scout on October 29th, 2006 at 10:08 am

    I think what you are describing is a recipe for irrational thought and action. Entreprenuers aren’t risk seekers rather they are good calculators, risk vs return, if the return probability outweighs the risk, then its worth a shot.

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