I recently answered the following question on Quora:
As an investor, what do you do when pitched by an entrepreneur with a great idea but who is really annoying?
I stated that this is a very hard question to answer because “annoying” is a non-specific term. There are many things that might annoy me, some of which are cosmetic while others are substantial. In my experience, some of the most challenging personalities lead to the most attractive outcomes. When I think about the word to describe this, one “just right” word comes to mind:
As a former professional in the derivatives and quant trading realms, I came into contact with many brilliant people who were really hard to deal with. They were stubborn. Self-righteous. Judgmental. Pedantic. Socially awkward and sometimes inappropriate. However, they were good people. Super high integrity. Brilliant beyond comprehension. And they made money. And yes, they were undeniably quirky. Was it worth the time to figure out how to best interact with them, notwithstanding the brain damage and suffering? Ab-so-lutely.In my new life of technology VC, especially as one who spends a lot of time with hackers and the like, I bump into many brilliant, quirky, non-linear people who combine stark genius with lunacy that give me fits. Now this is where my former life really comes in handy, as the character traits of top hedge fund and Wall Street quants and hacker-entrepreneurs are really quite similar. I have been sensitized to these quirky personalities and have been able to tap into their brilliance without losing my mind. It has taken time to get comfortable with working with people with whom I’m not innately comfortable, but given the common thread of integrity, decency, brilliance and orthogonal thinking I have learned to deal with it. It was up to me to grow up and become sufficiently adaptive to work with a wide range of people, not just those with whom I click chemically but those who require an investment of time and understanding. It’s in the venture investor job description. If you missed it, you’re missing out on a lot of transformational opportunities. In short, quirky rocks.
This post originally appeared at Information Arbitrage.
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