How brain data can help entrepreneurs?

The brain is responsible for all of our behaviors. Understanding it helps us comprehend why we behave the way we do.

Unfair use this data to guide entrepreneurs in their quest for success. We are at the intersection between business strategy and people.

We identify two kinds of strategies to build a company:

  • Execution play: low product differentiation, high need for speed
  • Vision play: high product differentiation, high need for marketing creativity

In the 80s, Microsoft was an execution play, whereas Apple was a vision play.

According to your market and product, you will prefer one of the two strategies. However, to successfully execute it, you need to know if your hires match your strategy.

An execution play is one kind of brain, a vision play another.

To successfully execute your strategy, you need to hire accordingly. Unfair helps entrepreneurs do just that.

How we created the online brain analysis

Each person's brain has 18 major zones that we use with varying frequency and intensity. The zones we use the most explain our talents while the ones we use less reflect our limitations. Our brain usage affects our reflexes, as analyzed in Unfair.

The online brain analysis works with "stimuli words". Instead of asking direct questions like "Are you an ambitious startup founder?", we ask "How much do you freely follow your gut instincts and exciting physical impulses as they come up?". This question can seem awkward for some individuals, but very precise and exciting for others. That is how it works: according to the brain zones a person uses most, some words and sentences will resonate more to them while being incomprehensible for others.

The online brain analysis doesn't measure opinions on questions, but the brain reaction to the stimuli contained in the questions.

To validate which word appeal to which kind of behavior, we have evaluated the effect of each question on people brain “zones”. To do this, we used an EEG and a heart rate monitor to understand how the brain reacts for each of these words.With thousands of iterations we created the online brain analysis.

Sounds like bullshit? Here's how we validated the reliability of the OBA.

How Unfair supports entrepreneurs

Unfair mainly supports founders in their recruitment for key positions.

Based on analyzed neurological profiles, we identify 5 entrepreneurial reflexes. We compare the distribution of these 5 reflexes in your team to successful startup teams.

To do this, we analyzed +1500 profiles of entrepreneurs in +160 startups (scale-ups and unicorns) see dataset.

This data is very important to us because we often hear about the importance of having a "complementary" team without defining this term or the necessary proportion of complementarity.

At Unfair, all of our recommendations are based on proven data from successful startups.

We then refine these complementarity proportions based on the market and strategy desired by the entrepreneurs.

This allows us to recommend profiles to recruit and help founders identify them during recruitment.

How we've come up with these 5 entrepreneurial reflexes

In addition to the +1500 founder brains we've analyzed, we've partnered with 8 French VCs from top-tier funds (Alven, Arkéa Capital, Kima Ventures, Iris Capital, Newfund, New Wave, Partech, Xange).
During 8 months, we've worked together to better understand what made some of their startup successful according to their experience and our data.

We've focused our work on founders and built 12 categories of behaviors (Focus, Ambition, Management...) with 4 level of intensity each (ex: Ambition level 1 to level 4).

Dans un premier temps, chaque investisseur a établit une liste des critères et de leur intensité qui ont permis à leur startups de réussir. Ils ont chacun créé une grille de notation de manière empirique sur base de leur expérience.

Then, we linked each of those 12 behaviors to the brain data we've collected on their portfolio companies (+1500 founders), to identify correlations between a startup's internal limitations (management issues for example) and our list of 12 behaviors.

Through data we identified that only 5 behaviors had a strong impact on the company success :

  1. Executing fast
  2. Iterate ongoingly
  3. Manage continuously
  4. Maintaining processes
  5. Structuring the long-term vision

How did you determined the OBA of well known founders?

You will notice that in our presentations we often mention the OBA profiles of successful entrepreneurs. Some have completed the analysis and have given us permission to share their profile.

For other entrepreneurs who have not completed the analysis, we have determined their profile using the following method.

In order to obtain a person's profile, the only reliable method remains the completion of the OBA by the person himself/herself.

However, it is possible to estimate a person's profile by analyzing the semantics they use.

The brain is composed of 18 areas, some of which we use more often (our natural talents) and some others less (our limits). Individually, these areas are sensitive to certain words.

The OBA uses stimuli words to test the responsiveness of each area of the brain and then define the profile of the person.

It is possible to use this process in reverse: instead of presenting words to see the person's reaction, we analyze the words that the person uses the most frequently to determine the most active areas in their brain. Thus, it is possible to determine the potential profile of the person.

We used this method to determine the profiles of well-known entrepreneurs, in particular through rigorous analyzes of their interviews or their writings over a course of multiple years.


  • How will the OBA be useful to me?
    If you are a founder
    : Unfair uses the OBAs of entrepreneurs to help them avoid their startup killers: 20 reasons that kill startups, based on Unfair’s research on the successes/failures of over 1000 founders.
    If you are applying for a position: Unfair uses the OBA to determine the job positions and teams that will fit you the best in a startup, based on your natural behaviors and profound motivations.
    If you are just curious: the OBA helps you to better understand where your entrepreneurial potential lies. You can also choose to be put in touch with VCs or startups that are recruiting.
  • Can we manipulate the OBA’s responses?
    You can always select random answers to the OBA’s questions. However, those are designed to make your brain react to stimuli words, not to assess your direct opinion on a subject. The OBA measures your brain electrical activity. To guarantee the reliability of the analysis, Unfair has a 2-step checking process:
    1/ A confidence index measures the time spent to take the OBA, as well as the gaps in response coherences.
    2/ If this confidence index is too low, Unfair will manually check the answers. If this method is insufficient, a 10-minute call will be scheduled to check the consistency of the results.
  • Can my OBA change over time?
    People don't change, they evolve. This slight difference might seem tiny, yet it is crucial. Learn more
  • Why put people into boxes?
    The brain naturally needs to categorize information into boxes in order to apprehend novelty
    (ex: gender, car models, type of tech gadget...). At Unfair we use this principle to help everyone
    quickly adopt the OBA model and compare one another, and we are already seeing the benefits. Learn more
  • What will you do with my data?
    The OBA meets the specifications of the GDPR. Only you have access to your results and you are asked for confirmation so that someone else can access them. You can request the deletion of your data at any time by sending a request by email at