The Economist: In praise of misfits

The Economist: In praise of misfits

Why business needs people with Asperger’s syndrome, attention-deficit disorder and dyslexia.


The Economist: In praise of misfits

Attention-deficit disorder (ADD) is another entrepreneur-friendly affliction: people who cannot focus on one thing for long can be disastrous employees but founts of new ideas. Some studies suggest that people with ADD are six times more likely than average to end up running their own businesses.

David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue, a budget airline, says:

“My ADD brain naturally searches for better ways of doing things. With the disorganisation, procrastination, inability to focus and all the other bad things that come with ADD, there also come creativity and the ability to take risks.” Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s and a hotch-potch of businesses since, has both ADD and dyslexia. “I get bored easily; that is a great motivator,” he once said. “I think everybody should have dyslexia and ADD.”

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