I've found myself thinking a lot about the research being conducted by the Startup Genome Project these days. The data is an absolute goldmine and provides quantitative benchmarks for issues I've thought about for years. One of the findings from their first report was:

"Most successful founders are driven by impact rather than experience or money."

This certainly maps to my experience as a founder and also working with other entrepreneurs. However, in most cases it's a little more complex than that, as I find a number of goals typically intertwine to get people to jump in and start a business.

There are players in the ecosystem driven by other goals, such as job creation. For example, the Kauffman Foundation, an institution I partnered with when I was a research fellow Carnegie Mellon and continue to hold in very high regard, has proposed the Startup Act as a way to encourage entrepreneurs and strengthen the economy.

As part of this, they produced an excellent 3 minute video (embedded below) talking about what entrepreneurs do and specifically highlighting their role in birthing innovations, creating jobs and producing net new wealth.

I certainly wouldn't disagree with any of these outcomes from successful founders or a program that makes the economy more entrepreneur-friendly.

However, getting back to the original question of this post, given the community here at ReadWriteStart, of entrepreneurs and also supporters of entrepreneurs (such as investors), what motivates you? Please leave your answers in the comments below and also explain your role in the ecosystem.

DNA photo by net_efekt