a : deviating from an established or usual pattern or style

I have a neighbor that not only takes her chickens for walks, she talks to them as if they were her children too. I gather that for a living she writes romance novels: no kidding. For exercise, her husband, all 250+ pounds of him, rides his bicycle up and down a level and tiny street at barely a walking pace, dressed in overall shorts. This couple is REALLY eccentric.

While we live in the Santa Cruz Mountains, we’re not exactly in the middle of nowhere. In fact, we’re less than 19 miles from the airport in San Jose. Their behavior is odd even for where we live…

Entrepreneurs are eccentric too. Successful ones however, are just eccentric enough. They see and behave in ways that are unusual and it is a good thing that they do. The economic underpinnings of the United States is based upon eccentrics, er, entrepreneurs, seeing and doing things differently, and having the force of will to alter the behaviors and actions of others. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison are all eccentrics that have made fortunes for themselves as well as millions of others. David Segal published an article in the New York Times recently on the subject:

Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was an eccentric and brilliant general whose death many believe led to the South ultimately losing the civil war. At first, the focus was on his eccentricities. When Jackson starting winning battles against armies with considerably more resources he quickly morphed into a brilliant strategist and tactician. Oh, and he did this without the internet or a PR machine; imagine how he would have been perceived today.

Likewise, successful entrepreneurs all appear to undergo the same amazing and rapid metamorphosis. When their visions become valuable to someone else they suddenly transform from crackpots into visionaries. When fighting an unconventional war, eccentrics often make the best generals.

Going to Market is Like Going to War