The November issue of Nature magazine highlights a study out of Cambridge that suggests it might someday be possible to “enhance entrepreneurship pharmacologically”. Specifically, a willingness to take risks and the ability to make quick decisions would be the proposed benefits of taking such a drug. This got me thinking about other notions surrounding what makes some people more inclined than others to take on entrepreneurial challenges.
My curiosity led me to another article in Business Week, which examined whether entrepreneurial qualities can be developed or if you have to be born with them. Not surprisingly, no clear conclusions were drawn from this examination other than it is probably a combination of both.
So, what if in the future, we could all take a pill to make us just that little bit more willing to take the risks associated with starting a new business? I’m not so sure it would be such a good thing. I like to think that the special combination of nature and nurture that makes some people really good at something is a form of magic — whether that’s in the realm of business and entrepreneurship, sports or just everyday life.
After all, we all have some things that we’re good at which make us stand out and it doesn’t matter if we were born like that or if we learned it along the way. It would be a shame if we could all take a pill to make us ride as fast as Lance Armstrong or build a business like Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis. After all, if every day were Christmas day, would it still be special?