Why are some people compelled to take big risks on big ideas, attempting to change a market or, indeed, the world in ways that others find delusional? And why do they keep trying, again and again, often after repeated failures and at great personal expense? Neil Seeman is one of those people: an internet entrepreneur steeped in North American start-up culture. He is also the son of one of Canada’s most important brain scientists. Drawing on his own business experience and his father’s research into the brain’s processing of risk and reward, Seeman explains the entrepreneurial mindset-the world’s primary wealth creation engine-is in fact a form of addiction. The highs experienced by individuals when they are solving problems or making breakthroughs are so enormously generative and exciting, and the lows so tormenting and debilitating, that they live on an unsustainable hamster wheel of constant striving and often wind up destroying the very things that they helped create. With compassion and deep insight, he suggests ways in which the vital energies of the entrepreneurial class can be directed in a more constructive and sustainable manner.
May 9, 2023
NEIL SEEMAN is a Canadian writer, Internet entrepreneur and mental health advocate. At the University of Toronto, he teaches at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and is a fellow in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), The Fields Institute, Massey College, and the Investigative Journalism Bureau. Neil is an essayist for Nikkei Asia and Healthcare Quarterly. He has published his research on mental health topics in Nature, Synapse, and in other leading academic journals.
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