Fatal Flaws

Personality Flaws

Many times the company doesn't have warts, but the founders and senior management do. When you're raising capital, personalities play a big role--perhaps a disproportionately big one. Why? Because with equity capital, where the investor owns a piece of the company, you're really talking about a partnership.

Happily, in the pursuit of riches, a lot of personality flaws that might otherwise prevent the development of friendships are overlooked. Some of these qualities include single-minded devotion to work and career, an enlarged curiosity with regard to minutiae, poor social skills, a dry personality, no personality, lack of fashion sense, poor hygiene . . . you get the picture.

But one personality trait that is never overlooked by sources and finders of capital--and the one wart that will absolutely torpedo a deal--is an entrepreneur who knows it all. "If our investors are in the deal, the entrepreneur has to be able to take my input constructively," says Shuey. "If somebody can't take advice from others because they know it all already, then we can't do business."

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This article was originally published in the November 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Fatal Flaws.

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