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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

Interest in the mindset of the entrepreneur, one of the first popular topics of entrepreneurship research, has since specialized into studies of subsets of entrepreneurial manifestations including innovation-driven, necessity-driven, corporate, and social entrepreneurship. The societal and market impact of young companies with purely digital products or services, like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, has recently raised interest in an emerging subset, the so-called “digital entrepreneurs” and on new business models and ecosystems in which digital entrepreneurs seem to thrive. In this paper, we focus our attention back to the persistent question on whether psychological traits can help identify and characterize entrepreneurs and, in particular, these new digital entrepreneurs. Are they unique offspring of millennials and digital natives, or are they business as usual? We use the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality and psycholinguistic text analysis of interviews with entrepreneurs at a business incubator to analyze startup performance. We find an increase in model predictive power when we distinguish digital entrepreneurs from traditional entrepreneurs. In particular, digital entrepreneurs are significantly less concerned about the future than traditional entrepreneurs, and appear to use the personality factor “neuroticism” to their advantage. Among traditional entrepreneurs, anxiety correlates strongly and positively with risk and negatively with firm performance, whereas anxiety in a digital entrepreneur correlates strongly and positively with firm performance. These findings show that digital entrepreneurs are sufficiently different from traditional ones to warrant further research on their drivers and motivation, and on policies and ecosystems that reflect these differences.

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Personality Traits and the Digital Entrepreneur: A New Breed or Same Actor?

Interest in the mindset of the entrepreneur, one of the first popular topics of entrepreneurship research, has since specialized into studies of subsets of entrepreneurial manifestations including innovation-driven, necessity-driven, corporate, and social entrepreneurship. The societal and market impact of young companies with purely digital products or services, like Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, has recently raised interest in an emerging subset, the so-called “digital entrepreneurs” and on new business models and ecosystems in which digital entrepreneurs seem to thrive. In this paper, we focus our attention back to the persistent question on whether psychological traits can help identify and characterize entrepreneurs and, in particular, these new digital entrepreneurs. Are they unique offspring of millennials and digital natives, or are they business as usual? We use the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality and psycholinguistic text analysis of interviews with entrepreneurs at a business incubator to analyze startup performance. We find an increase in model predictive power when we distinguish digital entrepreneurs from traditional entrepreneurs. In particular, digital entrepreneurs are significantly less concerned about the future than traditional entrepreneurs, and appear to use the personality factor “neuroticism” to their advantage. Among traditional entrepreneurs, anxiety correlates strongly and positively with risk and negatively with firm performance, whereas anxiety in a digital entrepreneur correlates strongly and positively with firm performance. These findings show that digital entrepreneurs are sufficiently different from traditional ones to warrant further research on their drivers and motivation, and on policies and ecosystems that reflect these differences.