A recent article by Peter Hinssen on LinkedIn makes the argument that fear is the engine of a startup.
"Fear is not a bad thing. It's what keeps you focused in a startup. I've always thrived on fear, because it can bring out the best in you. " - Peter Hinssen
Ok, sure, it's healthy to have a good dose of paranoia, to stay on the look out, watching for possible disrupters, but I feel it is much more important to remain curious and open. In my opinion, curiosity trumps fear 9 times out of 10.
Fear causes our minds to contract. We go into fight or flight mode. Our higher mind shuts down and we become very defensive. Our ability to clearly reason and think fades. Being in a constant state of fear- which is what Peter Hinssen is advocating- will create a reactive organization, one that isn't innovative and disruptive. We all know these businesses, they are focused on protecting the fortress and putting out fires, not building highways and sharing knowledge.
As we become more connected and open we must learn to compartmentalize our natural instincts that served our ancestors well but often blind us from realizing our true human potential. Fear has a place but it cannot be the primary driver of how we live and work, it must be a tool we utilize intelligently when needed.