The 3 Types of Intelligence: Why the “Creator Brain”​ is Different

Elizabeth Bailey Weil
3 min readOct 25, 2021


by Elizabeth Weil, Managing Partner, Scribble VC

How would the Federal Reserve be conceived by a “Creator Brain”​? Here, a Rube Goldberg-inspired model of our monetary system. (credit: The New York Times)

(Reader Note: This is #1 of 8 “flash content drops” (< 3 min knowledge bombs from amazing people) in collaboration with MOMA artist & entrepreneur Paul Budnitz. We cover The 3 Types of Intelligence, the Future of NFTs, the “Creator Brain”, How to Stoke Risk-Taking, & more. You can follow me on twitter to get them.)

“Many people don’t realize that the part of our brains that create is not the same part that uses logic.” — Paul Budnitz, Founder & CEO, Superplastic

  • Simply put, you can’t create and think at the same time.
  • There was a Russian Philosopher in the 19th & 20th centuries named George Gurdjieff and his student P.D. Oupensky who said there were basically three fundamental types of intelligence:
  • First, intellectual intelligence. This is the kind of intelligence we mostly value in our society, it’s highly analytical.
  • Second, emotional intelligence.
  • Third, instinctual intelligence. This is rarely recognized in companies as a distinct type of intelligence. It is creative intelligence. You’ll look at something and say, that doesn’t feel right.
  • We each have all 3 types, but we have a tendency to lean toward one.
  • In startups, where by definition you are largely creating, you have to be very aware of these 3 intelligence types.
  • If you’re not, then what you get is a culture that “kills creativity”. What we’re actually talking about here is when people are using the wrong type of intelligence in the wrong situation.
  • It feels hurtful, when you’re trying to come up with a new idea and someone stops you from just creating something.
  • The knowledge of this for anyone building something new is a sharp tool. It’s knowing that in certain discussions, maybe we need to use a different type of language to talk about that right now.
  • It requires understanding the way language activates our brains and allows for different types of intelligence and different types of outcomes in startups.
  • As a founder, when you want a certain type of outcome, consider the type of intelligence needed and what you can do to create those conditions — in meetings, group projects, around the office.
  • How we think is what we produce.

Stay Tuned — Coming up at 2pm PT Today: The “Giant Mistake” Artists & Brands Are Making with NFTs (2 min read)



Elizabeth Bailey Weil

Founder and GP @ Scribble ( Prev. a16z, Twitter. Investor: SpaceX, Slack, Coinbase, Figma, Clubhouse, Calm, Grab. & more. Mom of 3. Ultra-runner.