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Self-Awareness is the single success key behind unicorns — Here is the scientific evidence

Self-Awareness is the single success key behind unicorns — Here is the scientific evidence

Here at Marketgram, we really like to look at the topics from a different angles. This helps us to maintain innovative and problem-solving abilities. This article is the outcome of hundreds of hours of studying and analyzing the unicorns.
There are numerous studies over the Unicorns and their success factors. However, my favorite one is the GlobalGERS. GlobalGERS aims to identify success factors of 311 Unicorns established globally after 2010. So far, the outcome is 126 scale assertions in different categories like Marketing, Product Development, and Operations. These assertions were carefully analyzed during hundreds of hours of research from sources like Companies’ profiles, high-quality academic articles, and experience of known Entrepreneurship academia. The goal of the project is:
How to Scale Early, Rapidly, and Securely.

The more I was going deep into these Unicorns, the more I realized that the founders of these companies have something in common.
1- They have rich previous experience in the field.
2- They have Network
3- They have rich personal traits like “Self-Awareness”

For number 1 and 2, I will give you some examples from SERS companies:
Company: Butterfly Network | Industry: Health, AI | Founder: Jonathan Rothberg

• Jonathan Rothberg is a well-known American scientist and entrepreneur with a rich history working on the health industry who won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by President Barack Obama
• Butter4fly Network idea was born when Jonathan was struggling to do MRIs for her daughter who was dealing with cancer.

Company: Celonis | Industry: Data management & analytics | Founders: Alexander Rinke, Bastian Nominacher and Martin Klenk

• In 2011, Alexander Rinke, Bastian Nominacher, and Martin Klenk, working with the student consultancy Academy Consult undertook a project with Bayerischer Rundfunk to optimize their internal IT processes. In the same year, they founded Celonis. — It started with an academic project.
• In 2011, Celonis worked with early customers such as Siemens, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and Bayerischer Rundfunk, to turn process mining technology, invented by academics at Eindhoven University, into a scalable product offering for businesses.

Company: StockX | Industry: E-Commerce | Founders: Dan Gilbert and Greg Schwartz

• StockX was founded in 2016 by self-proclaimed sneakerhead Luber, Quicken Loans’ billionaire founder Dan Gilbert, and Greg Schwartz
Company: Devoted| Industry: Health | Founders: Todd and Ed Park
• Todd Park, a cofounder of Devoted Health, was previously the Chief Technology Officer of the United States
• Ed Park co-founder of Devoted. Previously COO of Athenahealth which is a leading provider of cloud-based software and services for doctors and other healthcare professionals

Company: Opendoor Lab| Industry: Real State| Founders: Eric Wu

• CEO and co-founder Eric Wu is a self-made millionaire who has been in the industry for more than 16 years. He was a software engineer.
• Wu’s previous projects were all related to the real estate industry including data analytics

These were just some examples. Based on our observations so far, I have found 31 out of 45 companies have well-experienced and well-networked founders.
Now, let’s explain the third point a bit more.

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By Wikipedia,
Mindfulness is the psychological process of purposely bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, which one develops through the practice of meditation and through other training. Which simply means being calm in a way that you are aware of the situation you are in.
Have you wondered how there are some people who see the opportunities when others don’t? Well here is the scientific explanation:
The study of the connection between Mindfulness and Entrepreneurial Opportunity recognition is pretty new. Louise Kelly and Marina Dorian in the “Doing Well and Good” paper published in 2017, did a nice literature review over the topic and explained some connections between these two subjects. The main topics discussed in the article are:
1- There is a positive relationship between mindfulness and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and evaluation.
2- Metacognition mediates the relationship between mindfulness and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and evaluation.
3- Emotional self-regulation positively moderates the relationship between mindfulness and entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and evaluation.
4- There is a positive relationship between mindfulness and ethical decision-making in the opportunity recognition process and evaluation.

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Now let’s talk a bit about “Self-Awareness”. Again, by the dear Wikipedia:
Self-awareness is “an awareness of one’s own personality or individuality”. It is not to be confused with consciousness in the sense of qualia. While consciousness is being aware of one’s environment and body and lifestyle, self-awareness is the recognition of that awareness.
Meaning that you are aware of your acts, thoughts, and emotions in contraction between you and the environment around.
Daniel Goleman wrote in his article that Emotional Intelligence capabilities like: “Self-Awareness”, “Self-Regulation”, “Motivation”, “Empathy”, and “Social Skills”, make a good leader. This article is well-known and is part of the “HBR’s top 10 in Leadership” and he analyzed more than 200 successful companies to come up with these topics. Furthermore, it is known that “Self-Awareness” reduces Cognitive-Errors and gives us a better understanding of our future. But how these relate?
Our brains work toward the optimization due to the fact that its storage and calculation power is limited. Unlike machines that save literally everything, human brains don’t have such capability. Thus, it creates “abstracts” from events, objects, and memories. That’s why when you look back at a memory, and accident you had in the past, for instance, you remember a “car” hit you. If you were a machine, you remembered a “Blue BMW X6 with plate number *****”. This form of data storage also leads to minor modifications to our past. Whether it is a memory, a feeling, an experience, or a trait. Which means, you definitely not a person you used to be 20, 10 years ago. This is one of the main causes of Cognitive-Errors and “Self-Awareness” is a practice to reduce this one by the suggestion of scientists.


As an Entrepreneur, Whenever I want to start a new business, I do lots of research to estimate the market, team, product, and many other things. But now I know, If I want to develop a successful billion-dollar company, along with the company, I have to build myself.
Peace and love!