See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 24, Issue 5

Pride: It Brings Out the Best—and Worst—in Humans

This two-faced emotion motivates us to achieve, intimidate others and climb the social ladder
opener illustration, man climbing over bodies for the crown.

I love dust

Mark Zuckerberg did not invent Facebook because he wanted to find a new way of connecting millions of people all over the world. Nor did he found his multibillion-dollar company solely for the money, judging by his trademark jeans and hoodie sweatshirt. He did it, author Ben Mezrich implies in The Accidental Billionaires, because he wanted to show up a girl who dumped him and the guys in Harvard's most elitist social club. The desire to prove he was smarter than them gave Zuckerberg the motivation he needed to start on a path toward becoming one of the world's preeminent innovators.

Many successful people—Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher and physicist Murray Gell-Mann come to mind—are driven not simply by wealth or a desire to solve a particular problem but rather by a need to be the person who did it. They want to feel pride.

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