Smart People Should Build Things – Andrew Yang Book Summary

Smart People Should Build Things – Andrew Yang | Free Book Summary

Smart People Should Build Things – Andrew Yang

This book explains that the existing education system stunts the economy. Instead of talented students blazing new paths and building new ventures, they are led to follow existing paths that are well paved and require little ingenuity.

We’ve let the market dictate what our smart kids do, and they’re being systematically funneled into obvious, structured paths that don’t serve them or the economy terribly well.

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Top students often end up in the same industries

Our most talented and educated young people are doing the wrong things. Our smart people are heading to finance or law school or management consulting instead of building or developing companies. We need to get our smart people to do things again. They’d like to, but are often led to seek jobs with status and progress rather than a genuine desire or natural fit. 

Meanwhile, there are huge needs in other sectors for smart people who can manage, operate, improve, and innovate.

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Big firms don’t add to job growth

Companies less than five years old used to make up half of all companies. Now it is less than a third. Since 2008, most US workers are employed at companies with 500+ employees.

However, big companies don’t create jobs. They don’t move the economy forward.  The bigger companies get, the more they try to automate as much as they can and then reduce the number of employees, not increase it.

Big banks and consulting firms give advice around cutting costs, firing people and outsourcing work that can be done cheaper elsewhere.

How students can take an entrepreneurial exit

Countries need jobs, especially jobs in healthy, growing companies. Without it, there are no complex transactions to support the bankers, lawyers, and consultants already in the graduate school pipeline.

Innovation happens in startups. Pairing young, smart, hardworking people with startup teams and mentors can lead to a meaningful contribution, leading to more jobs and new ventures in the future. After two years of working at a startup or growth company, the desire to build things will drive you to bring more jobs to your neighborhood.

Much has been made of the extraordinary degree of independence and responsibility that you have at a startup, even as a fresh-faced graduate…you can matter at a startup in a way you can’t at a big company—not unless you spend years slaving your way up the PowerPoint hierarchy.

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