Understand your ‘dopamine system’ for entrepreneurial success: Perplexity CEO - Hindustan Times
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Understand your ‘dopamine system’ for entrepreneurial success: Perplexity CEO

By | Edited by Abhyjith K. Ashokan
Jun 23, 2024 03:00 PM IST

Perplexity CEO Aravind Srinivas emphasizes on creating products based on personal passion over market trends to find success in entrepreneurship.

AI search engine Perplexity's CEO Aravind Srinivas has some advice for people starting their own company. It involves understanding your "dopamine system," Business Insider wrote.

Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity, speaks during the Semafor 2024 World Economy Summit in Washington, DC in Washington. (Saul Loeb/AFP)
Aravind Srinivas, CEO of Perplexity, speaks during the Semafor 2024 World Economy Summit in Washington, DC in Washington. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

What does he mean?

Srinivas, who is weathering a current controversy over the way his startup's AI product produces content online, stressed working on ideas you are passionate about, and not just what the market wants, or what you think will get you VC funding, in an interview with podcaster Lex Fridman, published on Wednesday.

If you mold your interests into what you think will be lucrative, he said, “eventually you'll give up, or you'll be supplanted by someone who actually has a genuine passion for that thing.”

"If you work from that perspective, I think you'll give up beyond a point because it's very hard to work toward something that isn't truly important to you," Srinivas said. "Like, do you really care?"

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Recipe for success

Srinivas said he and his Perplexity cofounders, Denis Yarats and Johnny Ho, were already "obsessed" with search and knowledge-based products even prior to starting Perplexity, including work at Quora, the article read.

"If you're not a person who gets that and you're really only getting dopamine hits from making money, then it's hard to work on hard problems," he said.

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What else is required?

Despite this, he did acknowledge that traditional values such as relentless determination, grit, and believing in yourself still applies, according to the article.

As most startups fail, Srinivas said support systems are necessary to avoid getting discouraged. He encouraged people, especially in their late teens to mid-twenties, to relentlessly pursue their passions while they have the time and energy, the article read.

"If there is a certain idea that really just occupies your mind all the time," Srinivas said. "It's worth making your life about that idea."

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