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What motivates us

Earlier this week it was announced that Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have resigned from the company. Supposedly it had to do with weakening independence from the parent company, Facebook. But I’m not really in a position to comment on the specifics.

Fred Wilson wrote a good post about the news this week. The point he makes is that it is extremely rare for founders to stay on, at least for extended periods of time, after their company has been acquired. So it is actually quite remarkable that Instagram’s two founders stayed on for 6 years.

But what I really want to talk about today is this quote from Fred’s post

“The truth is that many entrepreneurs don’t make for great corporate citizens. Entrepreneurs like to be in charge, to be able to move quickly without a lot of friction, and they like to feel a deep sense of ownership in what they are working on.”

It stood out to me for two reasons. One, because I agree with it. And two, because it reminded me of Daniel Pink’s book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. His overarching argument is that motivation is intrinsic and that we are best driven by the following: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

That sounds pretty similar to the things that entrepreneurs also seem to like.

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