Attention Deficit Delight


  My Home Office Mess 
  Originally uploaded by fredwilson.

The other day I was at a gathering of digerati and media types and was talking to a well known and sucessful entrepreneur and a well known and sucessful technology journalist. Somehow the subject of ADD came up and I said, "I am surely ADD although I’ve never been diagnosed as such". They both laughed and acknowledged that they too were surely ADD.

Growing up I never was able to study for long periods of time, could never watch TV for long periods of time, I’d always move on to something new. I can’t do repetitve work for more than 15-20 minutes without going crazy. I don’t like to drive if I don’t have to becaue my mind wanders. I am curious to a fault and am terrible at organizing things. I just pile stuff up, and move on to new piles. It drives the Gotham Gal crazy.

But if you look at most successful entrepreneurs, they exhibit many of these characteristics too. They can’t focus on anything for long periods of time, but they lunge into new stuff with a voracious appetite to figure it out.

I don’t know about the clinical side of this disorder. I am sure that there are many cases where the disorder is terribly disabling. But I really wonder if a moderate amount of ADD is a bad thing. I think it may in fact be a good thing. It’s certainly a trait I have come to know and love in entrepreneurs.