The Importance of Intellectual Curiosity in the Tech Industry



Jun 26, 20232 min read


The Importance of Intellectual Curiosity in the Tech Industry

In today's tech industry, there is a battle between missionaries and mercenaries. The former are driven by a mission to change the world and create products that truly improve people's lives. The latter, on the other hand, are motivated solely by profit and are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. This attitude has led to a lack of intellectual curiosity, which is essential for innovation and progress.

One of the main issues with the mercenary mentality is that it discourages risk-taking. Instead of pursuing new and innovative ideas, many tech companies opt for copying what has already been successful. This approach may lead to short-term gains, but it ultimately stifles creativity and innovation.

In contrast, missionaries are not afraid to take risks and pursue unconventional ideas. They are motivated by a desire to create something truly unique and valuable, and they are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to achieve that goal. This requires a great deal of intellectual curiosity, as missionaries must constantly learn and adapt to new challenges.

Unfortunately, intellectual curiosity seems to be on the decline in the tech industry. As Sven Schnieders notes in his article "The Death of Intellectual Curiosity," many employees are more concerned with meeting deadlines and hitting metrics than with exploring new ideas. This focus on short-term results may lead to success in the short term, but it ultimately hinders long-term growth and innovation.

In conclusion, the tech industry needs more missionaries and fewer mercenaries. We need people who are motivated by a desire to create something truly valuable and unique, rather than those who are solely focused on profits. To foster this culture of innovation, we must prioritize intellectual curiosity and encourage risk-taking. Only then can we truly push the boundaries of what is possible and create products that change the world for the better.


  1. "Missionaries vs. Mercenaries - Silicon Valley Product Group", (Glasp)
  2. "The Death of Intellectual Curiosity | Sven Schnieders", (Glasp)

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