Founder Personality Dramatically Impacts Start-Up Success

Andy Hab
4 min readNov 28, 2023

Different personality types and how they mix dramatically increases the chances of success for start-ups

Andy, I know you have been measuring start up personalities — how does this research tie into your work?

Yes, indeed, we have measured startup personality for a number of years now and this research matches our work — but also comes up with some interesting insights. Not to mention that the way they collected the data was very innovative.

How did they collect the data then?

Paul X. McCarthy and colleagues of the University of New South Wales used a machine-learning algorithm to analyse the data from twitter (now “X”) accounts of 21’000 founder-led companies and from this infer personality profiles.

This might sound a bit risky with a high risk of inaccuracy but the final algorithm ended up being able to predict with 82.5% accuracy founder success!

Wow, that is accurate — but did they find a successful start-up founder personality?

Well, they didn’t find one successful type of personality but multiple. I am sure we are all aware that different types of people can be successful founders and we know this from famous entrepreneurs who have different personalities.

Our own data also predicted different clusters of personality traits.

And what were those different personality types?

They identified three “pure types”:

  • Accomplishers: Organised & outgoing. confident, down-to-earth, content, accommodating, mild-tempered & self-assured
  • Fighters: Spontaneous and impulsive, tough, sceptical, and uncompromising.
  • Leaders: Adventurous, persistent, dispassionate, assertive, self-controlled, calm under pressure, philosophical, excitement-seeking & confident

…and three hybrid types

  • Operators: conscientious, orderly, pleasant and humble.
  • Expert/engineers: experts with high intellect, openness, and imagination
  • Developers: normally in the software space with, openness, and…

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Andy Hab

Sharing fascinating, fun, and important knowledge on the brain and human behaviour - most days. And masters track athlete - still going strong!