How to Tell a Startup Founder From a Corporate CEO

Nov 03, 2015

There's a major difference between entrepreneurial founders and corporate CEOs, according to XPRIZE CEO Dr. Peter Diamandis. Founders take more shots on goal and try crazy ideas while corporate CEOs do not, he said at Fortune's Global Forum in San Francisco.

"It isn't that entrepreneurs are smarter than companies, it's that they are trying more crazy ideas," said Diamandis, a Harvard M.D. and an MIT trained aerospace engineer. His brainchild is the X Prize Foundation, which sponsors competitions in futuristic areas such as space technology.

Diamandis cited Google, which has funded one of the foundation's competitions, the Lunar Prize, as one of the companies that is using big data to drive hundreds of experiments. Google's 'experiments' include self-driving cars and hot air balloons that provide Internet to underserved communities.

"Every company’s core business will go to zero eventually," said Diamandis. "Today's mission is where do you go bold and big, and where do you take moonshots."

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