Posts tagged with "New York University"

Single-minded entrepreneurs who ‘go it alone’ usually are the most successful

May 6, 2019

Surprising research findings from New York University and the The Wharton School indicate that entrepreneurs who start a business on their own are more likely to succeed than those who do so with one or more partners, Inc. magazine reports.

That’s pretty much the opposite of what most aspiring founders would guess. After all, you can’t be good at everything—-so you would assume that, by teaming up with a partner who is strong in areas in which you are weak, you would be more apt to prosper.

In fact, it’s such an ingrained belief that VCs and other investors routinely choose to fund companies founded by teams rather than those with a solo founder. But it’s also dead wrong.

In an intriguing research project, Jason Greenberg of the Stern School of Business at NYU and Ethan Mollick of Wharton sent surveys to more than 65,000 businesses that had launched on Kickstarter over a seven-year period.

More than 10,000 respondents completed the survey, according to the Inc. report. The researchers narrowed their focus to projects seeking a meaningful amount of funding—the kind that could be used to start a real business, and wound up with 3,526 businesses started with either a single founder or two or more partners.

Consistent with investors’ bias toward teams rather than solo founders (and perhaps the fact that most people have more than one friend or family member), they found that companies with multiple founders were able to raise more money than those headed by a solo entrepreneur.

But that still didn’t give them a leg up. Despite starting off with a smaller stake, companies with a single founder stayed in business longer than those with two or more at the helm—and also enjoyed higher revenues.

Why are companies with single founders more likely to survive? Two or more people cost more than one, especially if the founders are drawing salaries. Even if they aren’t, office space, phone service, travel, and so on cost more for two founders than they do for one.

The researchers also pointed to some truths about leadership dynamics. Starting a company with multiple founders may bring an advantage in terms of wider expertise—but a solo founder can also hire others to provide the expertise he or she lacks.

On the other hand, it’s much easier and quicker for a single founder to think things through and arrive at a decision than it is for two people to discuss a problem or opportunity and agree on a course of action. With three or more founders, decision-making can take even longer.

And then there’s risk, Inc. reports. Starting a company is a risky undertaking to begin with. But once they’ve made that leap, many founders prefer to be conservative and hedge their bets. Two or more people making decisions together are less likely to make bold moves and take chances than one person acting independently.

Research source: @Inc

Tweets using moral-emotional messaging are more likely to go viral

February 27, 2018

Do you want your tweets to go viral? A team of researchers at New York University’s Department of Psychology has found that posts on Twitter are most likely to “trend” if they discuss political topics in the context of morality, using language that resonates emotionally with the reader.

The recent study, Emotion shapes the diffusion of moralized content in social networks—which examined Twitter messages related to gun control, climate change and same-sex marriage—examines both the potential and limits of communicating on social media.

“The content that spreads the most may have the biggest impact on social media, so individuals, community leaders, and even political elites could see their influence enhanced by emphasizing morality and emotion in their online messaging,” explains William Brady, the lead author of the study and a doctoral candidate in NYU’s of Psychology. “However, while using this type of language may help content proliferate within your own social or ideological group, it may find little currency among those who have a different world view.”

The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study involved the analysis of more than 560,000 tweets pertaining to an array of contentious political issues.  In reviewing each tweet, the research team separated posts containing words that were:

  • Both moral and emotional (e.g., “greed”),
  • Emotional only (e.g., “fear”), and
  • Moral only (e.g., “duty”).

They relied on previously established language dictionaries to identify them.

The researchers then examined how many times each category of messages was retweeted—as well as the political ideology of both the sender of the original messages and of the retweeted ones. Ideology was calculated using an algorithm—based on previous research that shows users tend to follow those with a similar ideology—that analyzed the follower network of each user.

They found that—across the topics of gun control, climate change and same-sex marriage— the presence of language defined as being both moral and emotional increased retweets by 20% per moral-emotional word.

By contrast, the impact of exclusively moral or exclusively emotional language was not as consistently associated with an increase in retweets. In addition, the uptick in retweets was limited to like-minded networks—a much smaller effect was established among accounts with an ideology conflicting with the sender’s.

There were also some differences among the three issues in the types of moral-emotional messages that were retweeted. For example, in contrast to same-sex marriage, in which people were more likely to retweet positive messages (e.g., tweets using the hashtag “#lovewins”), when discussing climate change people were more likely to retweet negative messages, such as those referring to environmental harms caused by climate change.

“In the context of moral and political discourse in online social networks, subtle features of the content of your posts are associated with how much your content spreads socially,” observes Jay Van Bavel, an associate professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology and one of the study’s co-authors. “However, these results also highlight one process that may partly explain increased differences between liberals and conservatives—communications fusing morality and emotion are more likely to resemble echo chambers and may exacerbate ideological polarization.”

The study’s other authors were: Julian Wills, a doctoral candidate in NYU’s Department of Psychology, Joshua Tucker, a professor in NYU’s Department of Politics, and John Jost, a professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology.

The research was supported, in part, by grants from the National Science Foundation (1349089, SES-1248077, SES-1248077-001).

Research contact: williambrady@nyu.edu

Will Trump’s fitness be revealed by medical exam on Friday?

January 9, 2018

Only 40% of registered U.S. voters think that Trump is fit to be president, while 57% think he is not, based on findings of a poll by Quinnipiac University released in mid-November. But what will the doctors say on Friday when the POTUS gets his first physical exam since taking office?

Like all Americans, Trump has the right under HIPPA to protect his health information from public disclosure. However, the White House has promised that the physician to the president, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, will issue a public report on the exam, to be conducted at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The question of Trump’s mental and physical capabilities has come under increased, critical scrutiny since the release this month of  a book on the president’s first few months in the Oval Office by Michael Wolff. Indeed, White House top staff is quoted in Fire and Fury, citing incidents that indicate that the POTUS may not be mentally fit.

Trump hit back against the claims on January 9, describing himself as a “very stable genius.”  He then dispersed “an army of surrogates,” according to Bloomberg, “to forcefully denounce the book” on the Sunday morning political talk shows.

What’s more, the results that are offered to the American electorate may not provide much insight: Presidential medical reports are often short and to the point, featuring only such basic metrics as cholesterol levels, weight, and blood pressure, Bloomberg reports, as well as a smattering of idiosyncracies. After George W. Bush’s first physical exam, his physician said he smoked cigars and jogged 12 miles a week.

Most would guess that the president’s cholesterol could be off the charts, due to his affinity for the McDonald’s menu, including shakes, Big Macs and Filets-O-Fish.

Art Caplan, a professor of Bioethics at New York University told Bloomberg that the only way in which Jackson could legally and ethically release information about Trump’s mental state without the president’s consent is if he determined Trump posed a direct, imminent threat to another person, but that is an extremely difficult standard to meet.

“The standard is so tough to meet in a physical, I can’t imagine that happening,” Caplan said.

Research contact: @spettypi