Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America

Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America Hardcover

by Andrew Yang  (Author)

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Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America, offers a unique solution to our country’s economic and social problems—our smart people should be building things. Smart People Should Build Thingsoffers a stark picture of the current culture and a revolutionary model that will redirect a generation of ambitious young people to the critical job of innovating and building new businesses.

As the Founder and CEO of Venture for America, Andrew Yang places top college graduates in start-ups for two years in emerging U.S. cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. He knows firsthand how our current view of education is broken. Many college graduates aspire to finance, consulting, law school, grad school, or medical school out of a vague desire for additional status and progress rather than from a genuine passion or fit.

In Smart People Should Build Things, this self-described “recovering lawyer” and entrepreneur weaves together a compelling narrative of success stories (including his own), offering observations about the flow of talent in the United States and explanations of why current trends are leading to economic distress and cultural decline. He also presents recommendations for both policy makers and job seekers to make entrepreneurship more realistic and achievable.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Yang’s pitch for entrepreneurship as a viable alternative to more structured careers is enticing.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Andrew Yang lays out a solution that is a proven winner for not only the young generation coming of age, but for the nation as a whole.” (Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Rock Ventures)
“I have great respect for the foresight Andrew brought to his groundbreaking start-up, Venture for America, and Andrew has become living proof that it’s possible to create a platform that makes it easier than ever for the country’s best and brightest to help others succeed.” (Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn)
“Andrew is one of those rare visionaries who puts dreams into action. This book is a roadmap for young people in designing their careers, a playbook for policy makers for rebuilding our cities, and a path forward to moving entrepreneurship back to the center of the American economy.” (Arianna Huffington, founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post)
“I wish this book and Venture for America had existed when I graduated from college and wanted to make the world a better place but didn’t know where to turn. This book details how we can channel our top graduates into impactful entrepreneurial opportunities while addressing our economy’s biggest problems.” (Dave Gilboa, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker)
“A lot of people in the world are chasing the money, not the passion. Smart People Should Build Things shows them a way out — and has the potential to change the way we define success in business.” (Tony Hsieh, NY Times bestselling author of “Delivering Happiness” and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.)
“Enlightening and frequently surprising and moves much of the author’s pro-entrepreneurship slant from conventional wisdom into fact-based guidance for the “young, hungry talent” he hopes will help rebuild the American economy. A galvanizing amalgam of personal history, acquired business wisdom and mentorship.” (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

We’ve got a problem—our most talented and educated young people aren’t building things. They’re not starting or joining innovative companies that are addressing crises in education, energy, or transportation. Meanwhile, in recovering cities such as Detroit, New Orleans, and Baltimore, promising startups and growth companies representing the next generation of job creation are desperate to attract the talent they need to expand and thrive.

Imagine if the same people who are currently heading to Wall Street were instead joining startups and early-stage companies throughout the United States. How long would it take before they positively impacted job creation and economic competitiveness?

Knowing firsthand why the current vision of education and career paths isn’t functioning properly, Andrew Yang has set out to fix this problem. As the founder and CEO of Venture for America, he places top college graduates in startups for two years in emerging U.S. cities to generate job growth and train a new generation of entrepreneurs. In Smart People Should Build Things, this self-described “recovering lawyer” and entrepreneur has woven together a compelling narrative of success stories (including his own), offering observations about the flow of talent in the United States, and explaining why current trends are leading to economic distress and cultural decline. He also presents recommendations for both policy makers and job seekers that will make entrepreneurship more realistic and attainable. The country needs teams of committed builders to create value and restore the culture, and Smart People Should Build Things is about how we can get there.

About the Author

Andrew Yang is the founder and CEO of Venture for America, a national nonprofit that is regarded as one of the country’s leading social innovation organizations. He has worked in startups and early-stage growth companies as a founder or executive for more than twelve years, including as the CEO of a national education company that was acquired by Kaplan. Yang was named a Champion of Change by the White House and one of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business.” He lives in New York City.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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