I've been thinking about this lately and I've concluded that it takes a sort of criminal mindset (disregarding 'the rules') to be a startup founder / Entrepreneur.
This isn't necessarily bad. you can have a criminal mindset and have a positive effect on society (left side of the chart). Of course, most are negative (Right side of the chart).
Maybe it's a case of just a little bit of something that's bad when taken in high quantity (like, say, Caffine) can be a good thing.
Another term you could use in the place of Criminal Mindset might be Sociopath.
Some definitions from Profile of a Sociopath
Criminal or Entrepreneurial VersatilityAny of this sound familiar? Ever seen any high profile tech founders exhibit some level of these behaviors? (Think: Jobs, Gates, Zuckerburg, Ellison)
Manipulative and Conning
Grandiose Sense of Self
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
Need for Stimulation
Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
I"m not saying the 'extreme' edge of sociopathic behavior is good. I am saying that some sociopathic behavior and being an Entrepreneur tend to go hand in hand.
Now, having been a startup founder, I can't say that I'm a sociopath, but, I do have a healthy disregard for the traditional 'rules' and some would say that makes me an outlier when it comes to fitting in.
And to that I say, ok, so be it.