Research Assessment #2

Date:   October 20, 2016

Subject:  Entrepreneurship

MLA citation:  

Chua, Amy, and Jed Rubenfeld. “What Drives Success?” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25     Jan. 2014. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <>.



After delving deep into the technical aspects of business in my last research, I decided to step back and observe what makes an individual successful in a broader sense in this research. This will hopefully provide me a sense of direction on what I should focus on developing in order to not only be successful as an entrepreneur, but successful as a student of life.

First off, the perspectives presented in this article is quite shocking, as the authors claimed that three key characteristics of successful people (particularly groups that exerts upward mobility and achieve the American Dream) are “superiority complex”, “deep sense of inferiority”, and “impulse control“; otherwise referred to as the “triple package”. These characteristics, according to the two authors, have existed consistently in the history of groups of successful racial groups in America, through various census and data. One thing worth noting is that the triple package exists in a triangular relationship, in which any characteristic by itself cannot be stable nor beneficial; it is only with the coexistence of the three, can one take advantage of the positive effects it brings.

The takeaway after carefully analyzing this article is what I can do to grow my qualities in believing in the high value of my own worth; turning the pressure of uncertainty of my worth in society to motivations of achieving something higher; and most importantly, having the self-control to sacrifice short-term comfort and pleasures for long-term payoff. I think a good way to develop these skills is to surround myself with highly-achieving and highly-motivated people, such as ISM students, that often grow at a fast rate. In addition, by surrounding myself with these people, we can form mastermind groups to keep each other accountable – thus promote discipline in the long-run. This overall allows me to take on the pressure of uncertainty of my worth (if I don’t advance then I will be behind), adapt, and grow constantly. This ability, when applied in a business setting, should be quite beneficial. Furthermore, I need to have the mindset that I am worthy, regardless of my circumstances or others’ opinions, to cope with failures I encounter. After I came to this conclusion, I find it to be encouraging as I now have a better sense of the direction I want to go with a tangible game plan to approach to these directions.

After reading this rather controversial concept of the traits of successful people, I raised a question toward their assumption: as helpful as the “triple package”, could the individuals’ pre-existing advantage in their class, education, and social advantages be more a cause of their success in large? Additionally, I made after reading this article is whether the combination of feeling “superior”, “insecure”, having discipline combined with having grit/growth mindset are the key characteristics of being successful in the long run. I’d like to ask Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld about their opinions on this hypothesis.