Abstract

The odds are strongly against entrepreneurs. Most new ventures fail and only a tiny proportion attain success. Yet, a small number of entrepreneurs found companies that achieve truly exceptional outcomes. What factors contribute to such results? It is suggested that useful insights into this question may be gained from basic research on expert performance—consistently superior performance in a particular domain. Contrary to widespread belief, systematic research on exceptional performance indicates that across many fields, attaining such outcomes does not depend on exceptional levels of innate talent or long experience in a given domain. The relationship between years of experience and performance is very weak in many fields, ranging from chess, music, and sports through medicine and auditing.

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