Pigheadedness. Defiance. Determination. Dress up those traits as "adversity quotient," or "AQ," assign them numerical values, and you might find you've got the makings of a successful entrepreneur. Gideon Markman, associate professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lally School of Management & Technology, measured the AQ of 203 patent holders. High-AQ patent holders earned more than the low-AQ crowd and were more likely to start businesses based on their patents.

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