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Smart People Should Build Things

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Smart People Should Build Things

How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You would think that professional people create the most jobs, but they don’t.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


The US needs smart people in the workforce to create jobs. Yet after college, the best graduates seldom join growth firms responsible for most new jobs. They become consultants, financiers, lawyers or physicians – worthy professions that don’t generate employment. Andrew Yang wants top graduates to seek out and join entrepreneurial firms. He explains how his nonprofit organization, Venture for America, helps the best graduates land jobs at growth firms. Yang believes smart kids should help new companies grow so they can hire more smart kids and adults. getAbstract recommends this enthusiastic, unique perspective on career paths to human resource professionals, recent graduates, start-ups and investors who track large-scale business trends.



In 2000, Brown University senior Charlie Kroll was poised to graduate and become a New York City investment banker. While at Brown, Kroll studied economics and served as treasurer for the Brown Investment Group. Though Kroll worked at Morgan Stanley as an intern during summer break, the firm declined to hire him after graduation.

Kroll, while surprised and disappointed, didn’t sulk. From his dorm room, he started Andera, a website-development company. Before long, Kroll had $300,000 in working capital, and his company “grew from one to six employees.” Then 2001 brought the dot-com fiasco. While Andera managed to stay in business, it struggled.

After three years, Kroll approached a regional bank looking for work. The bank’s representatives said they’d hire Kroll’s firm if it could help the bank’s customers more easily open new accounts online. Kroll’s confident response was, “Sure, we can do that.”

The bank offered Andera a new niche: Enabling regional banks to offer customers the same Internet convenience as their largest competitors. Andera signed up hundreds of local banks for similar services. It took a few years, but Kroll’s firm eventually became...

About the Author

Andrew Yang, founder and CEO of Venture for America, was named by Fast Company as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business.”

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