Are you curious?

If not, you are missing out, at least according to Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur and Stanford consulting associate professor. Devote 1 minute to listening to him explaining the importance of curiosity:

Want to succeed as an entrepreneur? Then you need to have curiosity into industries and issues not even related to what you do. Really be curious and want to know more about everything.

A constant stream of data flowing in is crucial in order to think outside the box. When all is put together by your subconcious you will come up with innovative ideas you would not otherwise have had.

Curiosity killed the cat?

No that’s not the way it works if you want to develop in life.

How can you grow as a person and/or entrepreneur if you don’t want to know about everything under the sun? Almost all children are curious, but many lose that ability as they grow older. So if you have, maybe it’s time to start asking questions again and find out information about new areas and issues to enable your creativity to flow?

Do you agree with Steve Blank that curiosity is an important attribute for entrepreneurs who want to have more eye openers? Do you want to find out and learn on a continouos basis? Are you able to mix all kinds of information and come up with something you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of? Is asking questions your way of finding out how things work and why? Is internet helpful to you? Or are you of the opinion that curiosity killed the cat and that you have enough information? 

Video: Stanforbusiness – You Tube

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42 Responses to “Are you curious?”

  1. Marcos Says:

    Your articles are just amazing Catarina!! take care! Marcos

  2. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Marcos. Glad you like them!

  3. Marcos Says:

    I always do!! You're such an intelligent woman!! take care!

  4. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you for your kind comment, Marcos.

  5. Doreen Pendgracs Says:

    Hi Catarina: As a journalist, it is my business to be curious. I am constantly asking questions and have a deep desire to expand my world (and my perspective of it) by engaging with people from other cultures and backgrounds. That's what I love so much about travel. It enable me to see different cultures and religions in operation from a firsthand perspective. And by seeing it and becoming somewhat immersed in it, I can better understand it.
    My recent post musing about my muse

  6. Lubna Says:

    Curiosity in the right measure and in the right direction is important. It helps improve one's own knowledge and also share knowledge. After all knowledge is power. Yet, it is also possible to drown in information overload. One should know the difference between useful information and and endless bout of information and be able to sift through and aim at obtaining only the useful information from reliable and right sources.
    My recent post The Living Room

  7. Jon Jefferson Says:

    I remember hearing some time ago, the day you stop learning is the day you die. I know for me, I endeavor to learn as much as possible from many different sources.
    My recent post Questions of Note: Amy Sherman

  8. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good for you Doreen. Started my career as a journalist and, I suppose, that made me even more curious:-) Without curiosity would I have lived, worked and integrated all over the world?

  9. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good points Lubna.

  10. catarinaalexon Says:

    Yes Jon. As far as I'm concerned the day I stop learning I'm dead. Seriously I mean it:-)

  11. Geek Girl Says:

    I must agree. I think curiosity is an essential element in how you approach anything. What you learn in one area may possibly apply in another. Not only that but curiosity will keep your mind active as you age. Very important in combating age associated brain issues.
    My recent post Fun Friday

  12. Susan Oakes Says:

    I love being curious and it brings out the inner child in you. To not drown in information over load I combine the curiosity with simple questions to make sure it is relevant to my business and customers. I also think if you are not curious then you can miss out on opportunities.
    My recent post How A Simple Marketing Idea Grew Sales

  13. findingourwaynow Says:

    I must agree that curiosity is an essential part of successful entrepreneurship. One cannot be confined to a box and continue to move forward. Curiosity fosters new ideas and concepts. New ideas and concepts lead to innovation. Innovation leads to new opportunities, growth, and success.

    Love the post :-)
    My recent post Gently Falling Leaves: Story

  14. becc03 Says:

    I honestly had not thought about it before, but I agree. It is a great reminder to me. I think I have stopped asking questions and bliss out too often. This may well be why I have felt stunted of late. Thank you for the timely reminder :)
    My recent post Christmas Gratitude

  15. agstorm Says:

    Nice points made. I'm a teacher, and people should never stop learning.

  16. Jeannette Paladino Says:

    I totally agree. When I decided to go back to writing full time, I became curious about social media. I took a blogging course and starting blogging. Then I took courses to learn about LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media. Before I knew it I had a business. It wasn't intentional but as the result of the constant inflow of data that Steve Blank mentions. All of a sudden a good idea pops into your head without you're even thinking about it.
    My recent post EMC Promotes Employee Engagement on Social Media as Good for Business

  17. Shawn Hessinger Says:

    Hi Catarina,
    I've always put a great deal of stock in both creativity and curiosity…and, as Blank says, I've always believed the most creative and innovative people have a curiosity ranging far beyond their own fields. Steve Jobs' oft publicized interest in typography, for example, gave us personal computers with beautiful fonts and a totally different publishing model. Who would have expected this from a computer, often thought of before the Apple as a glorified calculator or a giant file cabinet for storing and retrieving data? There are many other examples from inside and outside entrepreneurship, but one basic principle is this: Little innovation comes from those who lack the ability to ask "what if…?" and who stay within the confines of what is standard practice for their industry or field.
    My recent post Creating Your Own Content for Your Blog

  18. Sandrine RAKOTOVAO Says:

    Thank you for your post, I have just discovered it. I shall also remind to my teenager kids to be always curious because life will be more interesting for them. Fortunately, they have today Internet to find informations of everything they wish to know about. Yes, curiosity is something we have to always keep in mind, either children or adults. Have a nice day, all! Sandrine

  19. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Cheryl!

  20. catarinaalexon Says:

    Good points Susan. However, sometimes something that is not exactly what we do makes a difference when combined with the knowledge we have.

  21. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Susan. What would life be like if we didn't want to know more:-)

  22. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you got a reminder Becc.

  23. catarinaalexon Says:

    Definitely. The day I stop learning I'm dead, I sincerely hope:-)

  24. catarinaalexon Says:

    Great example Jeannette!

  25. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad you believe in the importance of curiosity, Shawn.

  26. catarinaalexon Says:

    Glad we agree Sandrine. Good idea to remind you kids.

  27. GuyW Says:

    I couldn't agree more, Catarina. The danger of focusing your knowledge/attention entirely on the environment in which you work is you miss the opportunities to make those leaps that will set your business apart from the rest. The wider your range of interests, the more easily you will "connect the dots" to make for a compelling and winning business. And it goes without saying that a wide range of interests makes for more interesting people, too…

  28. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thanks Guy for agreeing about the importance of focusing on a lot of issues in order to, as you say, "connect the dots" in innovative ways.

  29. Keyuri Joshi Says:

    What a brilliant concept to write about. So many people are naturally curious while others aren't. Do you think that they just put curiousity on the backburner to the easier option of complacency?
    My recent post Mom? Dad? Do You Have the Courage to Just Say No?

  30. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Keyuri. Don't you think the majority of children are curious? Then when they grow up they lose the ability due to upbringing, education, what society expects of us and so forth. And they opt for being complacent. It's easier so in a way it is a conciouos move. But mainly it happens without them noticing that curiosity has gone out the window. It's a pity though because it also means that innovation and creativity becomes much harder for them.

    Having said that I think maybe the most important thing said in the video is that we should be curious about everything under the sun. Not just what we normally pay attention to. That allows us to put the dots together and come up with innovative ways forward.

  31. patweber Says:

    When he talked about having a constant data stream flowing, I was reminded of the History Channel series my husband and I have been watching, The Men Who Built America. They have the commentators who are current day entrepreneurs commenting on the capitalist entrepreneurs like Vanderbilt, Carnegie, etc. One of the commentators mentioned what makes them unique, and entrepreneurs like them, is they are looking differently at things changing and looking all the time. Then they think, how can I make a business out of that. Very – curious.
    My recent post Are interruptions detrimental to our creativity? The true costs of helping our colleagues.

  32. catarinaalexon Says:

    Great points, Pat.

  33. A.K.Andrew Says:

    Curiosity is essential to life, never mind about being an entrepeneur. How boring would life be without it. New avenues and constant learning, to me are a must.

  34. catarinaalexon Says:

    Agree with you completely, AK.

  35. @RHBDaveHowlett Says:

    I enjoy curious people – they are unstuck in their ways.

  36. catarinaalexon Says:

    True:-)

  37. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you Bindhurani. That's very nice of you.

  38. JeriWB Says:

    Curiosity is at the heart of academic inquiry. Unfortunately, school systems and other social institutions tend to shut curiousity down rather than allow it to bloom.
    My recent post Writer’s Workout: Loop Writing

  39. catarinaalexon Says:

    True Jeri. However, most children are curious. So instead of being complacent due to upbringing we can all dust off curiosity and start finding out again. Just a question of really wanting to.

  40. @gaili Says:

    curiosity derives from the fact that you dont see teh whole picture and that you dont hold the truth in your pocket_

  41. keverett Says:

    Catrina, great article. I believe that constant learning, usually pushed by curiosity, is a integral ingredient to creativity. My most enjoyed activities are those that challenge me to pull from many different disciplines to create a valuable solution….. Then I feel happily justified in spending all that time reading and learning about off-career areas. I believe that the innovator with a broad background in many areas is better positioned to be a valuable crossfunctional creative force than any single subject "expert" engineer, scientist, or academic. I know broad ranging interests can appear to some to be dissipation, but it really is, in my opinion, one of the most life-enhancing journeys one can undertake.

  42. catarinaalexon Says:

    Thank you K. Everett. Glad you like it and are like Steve consider important when it comes to curiosity.

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