This is the X-ray of a successful entrepreneur, based on 15 000 tests [infograph]

For the last three years, the Founder Institute put all the applicants to the FI through a range of personality and aptitude tests – totaling more than 15 000 tests taken. Then, they checked the results of the the tests against the success rate of the 625 companies that graduated from the Founder Institute to see which personality traits and capabilities were markers for success.

The results are in the infographic below.

A few striking results: experience is good. You might remember that LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke said that with the pendulum swinging back to B2B startups, we might begin to see ‘older founders’ again, because you need industry experience and contacts to launch a successful B2B startup . Well, it turns out the older founders never really went away. Every year of experience until forty helps you become a more successful founder. And after that, you don’t actually lose points! (Dorothy Dalton, of our contributors already pointed out that 50 might be a great age to start a business).

Another much debated issue is whether entrepreneurs need to be somewhat ruthless, or more the friendly type. It turns out moderate agreeableness is best. You should be ‘generally warm and considerable’, except when necessary: then you should be able to switch to straightforward and harsh.

Oh, and narcissism is a nono, just like being deceitful, emotionally unstable or displaying ‘predatory aggressiveness’. Here’s the full chart:


[via Mashable][photo: "aggression is so pleistocene", subarcticmike, Flickr]

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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