1/14/17

Most of you are college educated here or perhaps all of you from results on the recent forum polls. Before that, let me start by saying I hate school. Yes, I hate school. I thought it was a waste of time and I slept through most classes or skipped them. In grad school, I spent more time kayaking on the Lake by the campus than I ever did in the lab or classroom. My learning style isn't suitable for a classroom setting and I do much better working on projects not studying for mid-terms or final exams.

School/Alumni network does afford everyone here the opportunity to have a shot at WallSt. Good luck without the paper for the future Gekko aspiring.

In recent times, there has been an overtone of college and education bashing. Lots of angry people with degrees and no jobs makes it really easy for these marketers to take advantage of this angst and make a name for themselves. Here are some of the prominent traditional education hating heroes of our times.

Let me first introduce fictional VC Peter Gregory from the hit HBO Series Silicon Valley. Here is his infamous TED Talk on the subject:

Peter hates college; you would be better off working at Burger King (which he conveniently forgot later on in the series...)

Then we have someone who loves to hear himself talk, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary dropped out of college and now makes a lot of FB, IG, YT, etc videos hating on college and how starting your own business is the de facto route to go in life.

Next we have my favorite candidate Mr.Tai Lopez aka "Here in my Garage." He's all about that:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Love
  • Happiness

Let's first hear his words of wisdom bestowed upon us lowly apes in his elegant TEDx Talk:

This is his famous "knowledge" and "wisdom" on "fuel units" utilized to find "mentors" in his profound video:

Remember apes... KNOWLEDGE!!! Screw knowledge man, I'd rather take a warehouse full of those Lambos and sell it to some unsuspecting folks in the Hollywood Hills.

Finally, we have a new kid on the block spending a ton of money advertising on Facebook. His name? Billy Gene is Marketing, Inc. (BGIM)

https://www.facebook.com/pg/billygeneismarketing/h...
https://www.youtube.com/user/BillyGeneIsMarketing
3.5 years as of JAN17 and sub 75,000 views on YouTube with the average view per video below 100... I'm wondering if his propaganda holds water.

My favorite Billy Gene promo video:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=7063724...
Lovely Video Testimonials. He should have paid his actors a little more to look authentic:

https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=5650074...
Apparently, according to BGIM, we've all been scammed for those of us who are going to or have gone to college. Our high costs and feeble minds cannot come up with a marketing strategy that can rival that of the great Billy Gene. Dammit! With how people are so uptight about their salaries and income, I am shocked that these "students" cough, cough, stage actors, #socialexperimentsarereal, #itsaprankmanitsaprank so readily disclose their debt load. BIGM also forgot his lines in his promo video and said the wrong number, oops!

Feedback:

Who would win in a HBO PPV Live Marketing duel if we squared off some of these fine individuals?

I would want to see at minimum:

  • Gary V vs. Billy Gene
  • Gary V vs. Peter Gregory
  • Gary V vs. Tai Lopez
  • Billy Gene vs. Peter Gregory
  • Peter Gregory vs. Tai Lopez

Comments (56)

1/7/17

Hahaha Tai Lopez is a joke man.

Financial Modeling

1/14/17

Ethan Klein over at H3H3Productions had a go at Tai Lopez and it was fucking hilarious! LOL...

H3H3's #1: Here in my Garage

H3H3's #2: Here in my Backyard

@differentialequations12 I know you love that "internet marketing" stuff! Thoughts? :)

1/14/17

His evidence is that his house is listed on Zillow? Is he trying to sell his house?

...

Not the most convincing video on a finance site.

1/15/17

It's comedy.

1/9/17

For me life is all about who you know not what you know. I view going to college as one of the best ways to increase your network and therefore chances of success in life if you can't partake in nepotism. The tuition paid is essentially a fee to engage in cronyism.

As for the angst amongst job-less degree holders....maybe they should have checked the Occupational Outlook Handbook and realized that a major in humanities would result in a minimal job prospects. These rising marketers are successful because misery loves company. Nonetheless, these videos are extremely entertaining. Thanks for the compilation.

1/9/17
1/14/17

Here a lot of morons says this. It doesn't matter who you know if you can't perform.

Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

1/9/17

Goodness... Just take a second and forget about these fucking noises bashing college.

A person graduating from highschool should simply ask himself what he wants to do with his life and what it would take to get there.

Most fucking kids from highschool don't have a clue what they want to do with their life after graduation, let a alone starting a business (are you fucking kidding me?) At least college experiences might help them find where their passion is.

I wasn't certain what I wanted to do with my life, but I was certain what I didn't like so I used process of elimination. In end the I picked a relatively technical field which likely offered decent amount of opportunities upon graduation.

If you simply choose the safe route, take easy courses during undergrad, and graduate with no marketable skills, it's your fucking fault for being a dumbass in the first place. These types of people would have not succeeded whether they had gone to college or not.

Gotta love all these schools of thoughts about college education when all a person has to do is really to sit the fuck down and lay out the plan so you will have a clear picture of whether college makes sense for you or not.

1/9/17

100% raw truth.

1/9/17

Preach

1/9/17

Lots of people who go to college really shouldn't be spending all that money, but they literally have nothing better to do.

1/10/17

Vaynerchuk said the same thing in the video that @Ebolamonkey shared in his original post, that people were using college as a status symbol/to please their parents. Yet seconds after he said that, he went off the deep end and bragged to a bunch of Internet viewers about living "on the UES and sending his kids to private schools [that costs the same as college]."

Talk about status anxiety. He'll be the father with 7 "MY CHILD IS AN HONORS STUDENT AT [#1 SOCIAL STRIVER SCHOOL IN THE TRI-STATE AREA]" stickers on his car and 12 college pennants hanging from the rearview mirror.

1/11/17

The Watchmen Dilemma. He has become the beast for which he is to slay.

Gary V (and those alike):
oro

Watchmen:
Watchmen

1/9/17

Tai Lopez - the best way to make money on the internet is to sell courses to others on how to make money on the internet. He's a scam and creepy.

26 Broadway
where's your sense of humor?

1/11/17

Aside from his paid advertisements, his organic views for videos on his channel are pathetic.

H3H3 gets more views by mocking him than he does himself! Now that's just sad when people dig the counter-culture more than the culture itself.

1/10/17

The issue is that in today's society college is viewed as a necessity and not an investment. High schoolers are too young and dumb to do a simple cost vs benefits analysis and parents want to tell their kids that they can do whatever they want.

Should you pay $120000 to party for four years and graduate with a sports marketing degree?

Should you take on a similar debt load for a degree in dance?

Meanwhile, manufacturing has a shortage of qualified workers because today's manufacturing jobs require a tech degree/skills. Manufacturing job openings are at 15 year highs while the number of manufacturing employees are still 11% below the pre-recession high. Yet, tech schools are frowned upon in society.

Where everything goes wrong is when the social stigma of society pushes the very marginal student to college when they could have had a much more productive life with much less debt in a trade.

1/10/17

My wife is a high school teacher and involved with their post-secondary prep courses. She toured a local tech school and was amazed. They had the up to date technology and about 99% placement rate. She inquired with one of the counselors about the prerequisites and most of the programs included introductory physics and programming courses. I thought it would be great for just about everyone out of high-school. They end up leaving with a job that has descent pay, transferable credits and low debt.
I think it helps when you have some life experience heading into uni. and at a minimum today's high school students should take a year to experience life. Not backpacking in Europe but working and covering their own way. This would help them make better decisions when it comes to looking at different majors and job prospects.

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.

1/11/17

Great inputs. This is why I took the military route after finishing my Masters in Engineering.

The four walls of an academic institution are often bars to a jail cell preventing true development as a human being vice a pupil of an archaic institution.

Financial Modeling

1/9/17

Darren Hardy is another College basher. Also, you know what's funny? I mean, apart from these scam artists that were already stated (TED is a haven for those who have nothing better to do with themselves--I mean who in their right mind gives Monica Lewinsky the chance to give a lecture--yes she gave a TED talk if you don't believe me look it up on Youtube), most of these college bashers are somehow or other tied into the multi-level marketing movement that is sweeping certain industries. (I'm looking at you, PrimericaFinancial Services, Vemma--which was not so long ago in a legal battle with the FTC and Amway Inc.) There is a corolation between college bashers and the MLM movement in general, and this whole "drop-out to have your own business" movement. Its basically nothing less than a very clever marketing plot, which, unfortunately, has convinced a lot of people. One thing I do agree with that was posted above, is the terrible state of highschool graduates--the fact that people change majors 2 or 3 times (sometimes even in their senior year--which means they have to spend even more time in college) and then they complain about the debt--or else choose to study "Lesbian literature", (yes that exists), "Women's/gender studies" or some other crazy major like that and then complain about no jobs and barely making it. Its all because this whole thing is emotions driven--this whole idea of be whatever you want to be, and college is not necessary (on both ends of the spectrum), etc. and people forgetting that college is a business, and that academic advisors are not their friends--moreover, that if you don't have a plan college will just be happy to keep plying you with classes until you choose or you drop out, and then they complain. I'm sorry but 99% of people just don't make any sense, have no plans for their lives and who knows where they're even going--I've met college students who don't even know what they want to do--and are already at their junior year of college and of course the savvy marketers in the MLM and drop-out-of-college movements feed that and take advantage of them. (oh yeah and to comment on someone else's post above--Lopez isn't the only one I've seen doing that--there are tons of the best way to become rich is to sell courses about how you can become rich by selling courses about how you can become rich by selling courses about how to become rich.) (That's the basic MLM structure right there basically) Ironic isn't it, when those are the same people screaming about how greedy wallstreet people are and how we're all terrible greedy people making their lives terrible? They mess their own lives up, and then try to blame it on someone else and keep on doing the same terrible choices and falling into the same trap, and the cycle just goes on from there.

1/9/17

Could not agree more. 95% of people who know how to run a successful, highly lucrative business do just that, and don't teach others how to do it because of that pesky competition thing we monkeys are all too familiar with. If you can make more money teaching people how do run a certain type of business than actually running it, it's probably not the most profitable endeavor.

It's amazing how many people don't realize this. I have a buddy who's dad, after having some decent success in the dot com tech boom and not needing to work for a while, got caught up with one of these guys and even tried to get me to attend a conference call with him.

That being said, pretty sure I'm just preaching to the choir here.

1/10/17

I smell a wiff of Tim Skyes, Tim Grittani, "Superman" Paul Scolardi, "Triforce Trader" Matthew Owens, or anything associately with Profit.ly... Alert service/sub/private-chatroom wheelers and dealers.

Tim Sykes (aka Bar Mitzvah Hedge Fund blowout, current subscription seller):

Paul Scolardi (sub seller) and his 'student' Matthew Owens (sub seller):

Tim Grittani (sub seller) with his Daddy Tim Skyes (Because Fox News gives you hyper creds):

Arguably, I put things like TastyTrades, Dough, Sasha Edvakov, PennyStock Alert Service XYZ, Sang Lucci (WallSt Jesus, really?? All just selling Level 2 reading and Chart Patterns, and Chatroom), etc here as well. Again, if they are so good, how can they possibly make time to educate the up and coming?

Sasha Edvakov (Never traded a day in his life and probably couldn't trade to save his life. Reads Fool.com and Investopedia, makes YouTube videos, rinse and repeat, gain clout, sell trade 'coaching' services. Subscribe to Audibles, you get more bang for your $$$)

Sang Lucci (Latest is getting a gang of subscription sellers who aren't making it anymore and bundling [CDO much?] to then upvote each others LinkedIn creds so as to win more subscribers... Good luck. Had a few interesting episodes with Haim Bodek and Dave Lauer):

Moment of Clarity (On a Serious Note): Check these two documentaries below out now that I've mentioned Haim Bodek and Dave Lauer from VPRO:

Wall Street Code (has Haim, Dave, and Sang Lucci):

Quants - The Alchemists of Wall Street:

Back to Sarcasm and Truths

TastyTrades/Dough's Millennial Pitch for a good laugh:

TastyTrades and Dough operate on the principle of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and cheating their users by taking their money via commissions. Trading often and small ensures the house wins on commissions and you thin out your profit margins on every trade, "research" episodes are not fact checked by third-party and verified by their in-house "research" team with selective backtesting with prejudice for successful outcomes, and their customer base are uneducated and unintelligent enough to call out their many errors made on their shows by in-house or guest subject matter "experts." Only two videos took off were about Karen the "Super" Trader and another character above, Tim Skyes. Their lineup of child prodigies can't stand to even make the prelims to Math Olympiad let along get Gold Medal, they recruit jailbait actresses for marketing, their 'students' on the show get recycled because they blow out their accounts after one small trade goes wrong and wipes out their 'trade often' strategies. What's funny is how they snuff episodes where their research clearly contradicts their hypothesis of "Trade small, trade often." Ex-ThinkorSwim pre-decimalisation Chicago Futures/Options traders living off interest and dividends, deluding youngsters who lack education, and collecting pennies in their twilight years heading towards indefinite retirement.

Most of these scammers operate on variations of the above strategies or worse.

Anyone who might be tempted by these services should first check: https://www.tradingschools.org/or Quora/Reddit/EliteTrader/etc.

Question: If "Superman" or any of these cats are so great, why aren't they on the cover of Fortune Mag working at the best Prop firms? How come they cannot work for Renaissance Technologies?

Answer: Because they suck and can't! They only way they can make a living is knowing enough to rip-off those who know nothing.

People get royally screwed by failing to educate themselves. Education bashers pray on the ignorant by acting as their Savior and Teacher while draining the liquidity pool dry lining up their own banks with dough! Billy Gene has yet to respond to the challenge and call out to go toe-to-toe with Gary V and other top-tier bashers. Why? Fear of Losing Face (FOLF).

Resources: Anyone who took the free Caltech course from Edx on Options, read John Hull's classic and the modern treatise by Al Sherbin, or prepared for CFA Level 1 can swipe left to these punks.

Conclusion: Proper education makes you rational. Being rational is dangerous because you can weed out hacks, cut through their bullshit, thin out their margins, eat their lunch, and destroy their markets.

1/10/17

Dude take it easy on the links. It's painful

1/10/17

Divide and conquer. :)

1/11/17

I got blocked by Tim Sykes Instagram last year after I called him out on his process and he took the bait and started tripping over his own value proposition. Scum bag and slimy opportunist in the worst sense.

1/11/17

Grandfather say: "Mou Ji Ge Suan Ji Ge "

Which translates to "take a few, count a few."

Classic motto of Ponzi and pyramid scheme artists drinking the blood of the innocent.

1/11/17

Many of the people mentioned by OP are shysters trying to get more views on their YouTube channels and blogs and sell eBooks. On the whole, their advice shouldn't be trusted. However, they are on to something, in a sense.

For many people on this forum, it's difficult to imagine that not going to school would be better than going to school. If you're going into finance, even if you don't make it into IB, you're going to be making, at minimum, $50k a year, regardless of where you are working. In that case, it makes sense to go to school. However, I'd say at least 50% of kids who go to college have no clue what they want to do and never really figures things out. That's a problem. If your reason for going to college is that "it's the natural next step to take" and you aren't working toward some specific goal, there's a solid chance college will be an expensive waste of time for you.

Nevertheless, the biggest flaw with the "anti-college movement" is the surfeit of reasonable alternatives. Many talk about starting a business, but that's not a viable option for most people. Doing some generic internet marketing, dropshipping, lead-generation, etc. business is a crapshoot and many of those industries are filled to the brim with fraudsters and con-artists. Becoming a tech entrepreneur also isn't possible for most due to a lack of knowledge, connections, and family money (the last is especially important; notice how most successful young tech entrepreneurs came from wealthy families that provided them with a large safety net in case their business didn't succeed.) Starting a service-based business (consultancy, financial services, etc.) is impossible for most due to a lack of needed skills, and starting a more traditional business (restaurant, laundromat, franchise, etc.) is impossible due to the large upfront capital requirements. Trade school is a viable possibility that more should consider. However, the trade school system is weaker in the US compared to many other developed countries.

1/11/17

@Gangster Putin I floated a feeler over at Quora to see what they think but I believe that audience will be in almost total agreement with what you've stated above.

Most people look for solutions which is why they can be easily persuaded by snakeoil salesman. Robert Cialdini's book on influence and pre-suasion (making up someone's mind for them) spells out the tactics used by aggressive salesman to earn their commission.

Education was supposed to provide people with tools to:

  • Think for themselves
  • Find their own direction or know who and what to ask when lost

Education is not panacea for all of life's problems. Resolving one's problems and overcoming challenges is life itself or drink the $199.95 snakeoil.

The best way to dissect a snakeoil sales man is by asking intelligent questions. Conman knows how to pitch but lacks depth of thought to do Q&A. @AndyLouis referred to this when the WSO community gutted a con artist selling indicators.

1/10/17

Now we got a new flavor of school bashing... Prince Ea, House of Evangelical Bashers (Dude's doing alright view-count wise because he uses professional production and YouTube edit screen hopping to appeal to the frustrated and angry millennial audience. Offers no solutions though besides 'buy my stuff'):

This is what happens to Fishbowls on WallStreet (Wolf of WallStreet with cameo from Richard Hendricks [Silicon Valley - HBO]):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaPbhFcoGK4

1/10/17

Holy fuck do TED talks make me want to stab motherfuckers. Shit is the worst.

1/10/17

Even worse are the Ted talks from some 25 year olds that sold their start up for $150k who then go on to preach about their successes in life.

1/10/17

Pump and dump man, pump and dump!

You know what ROI stands for? It's not return on investments...

Radio.on.Internet.

Cuban's sitting pretty happy in Dallas, TX right now and rest of the Gold miners eyes lite up and went Westward...

1/10/17

we interviewed one of these "teachers" on WSO awhile back, before I knew better. wso sniffed him out pretty quick http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/interview-with...

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

1/10/17

How to bash your alma mater (Georgia 'fucking' Tech) for realizing universal truths:

https://centralparadise.net/2017/01/10/fk-georgia-...
Gatech could do better but they choose not to. Margins are fat just like the administrators, why bother?

Best Response
1/10/17

I'll say this up front: I find "Gary Vee" and TED Talks overrated and annoying. 90% of what they and the other hucksters espouse is self-glorification at its most extreme.

Not because they preach "unconventional" ideas like "college isn't for everyone" (which is, surprisingly, a common answer to Peter Thiel's famous interview question, "What is something that you think is true that most people disagree with you on?"; color me shocked with such out-of-the-box thinking). Instead, they're more or less saying the same thing, namely that people should start companies instead of going to college (you just switch the word "college" for the sexier-sounding "founding a start-up"). This gets the aforementioned "unconventional thinkers" riled up, nodding their heads in agreement and getting pumped about "sticking it to the man."

"I don't need stupid college, Mom," they say, staring at their XBOX Live (or 4Chan or whatever), usually between the ages of 18-25, "I'mma start a company!"

In college, I was involved with a number of entrepreneurship groups for a bit. They weren't all bad -- I met some terrific people through them, including some amazing mentors, but the ratio of terrific:wacky was 1:25. These peoples' ideas were a bit silly, even to a naive college freshman (yours truly). The types of people in these entrepreneurship groups were of the "I'mma start a company!" variety, but with more education and social skills than our aforementioned XBOX player. They jumped from one half-baked idea to another in a process of minutes, patenting everything they could and leaving the remains trashed behind, reeking like a bad college party at the frat house that no one has cleaned in weeks while moving on to the next shiny toy (ahem, "invention"). And boy, did these guys feel good about themselves afterwards! They thought they were changing the world! They were going to "make a difference!"(tm) They were going to give TED Talks and be "thought leaders" and espouse corporate guff (and genuinely believe it, "it" being the guff ... and the TED Talk fantasy)!

Instead, these guys didn't have a clue. Their ideas were awful precisely because they didn't know what they wanted, nor what the public/customers wanted, nor what to expect of their co-creators. This led to in-fights, friendships being broken and new alliances formed within their "start-ups" before the whole thing fell down in flames and wasted the time and energy of everyone involved. By the time this was over, idea A had come so far from its original mission that no one even knew where the starting point was. And this is precisely the "entrepreneurship" market we see today.

These people don't need "entrepreneurship workshops" or to skip out on college. They need skills, ANY TYPE OF SKILLS, that they can leverage into a next position or into new skills that build upon old ones. Whether they get it through starting some sort of venture (and I've seen a handful of kids succeed wildly in this, though ironically, none came from the "I'mma start a company" camp, but instead, they used their prior skills and interests to build something small that eventually became great), trade school or college (whose education value relative to its expenses has been grossly diluted, IMO), they need to learn how to do something, anything, before they fritter away other people's money, lives and time on some needlessly complicated venture that can't and won't go anywhere. You can't become an entrepreneur by wanting to be an entrepreneur; you became a successful entrepreneur by wanting to be a journalist, a banker, a trapeze artist, whatever lets you gain sought-after and valuable skills.

In the end, it's "all talk, no action," to quote our President-Elect, on the part of this growing entrepreneurship racket. And Vaynerchuk et al. have done a brilliant job of monetizing this misguided sentiment.

1/14/17

Solid post @dcrowoar ! Modern narcissism with leverage via technology and validation by other clueless automatons. Gary V's serving up some cool-aide, who's ready to drink first?

As I sit here I begin to realize what TED/TEDx Talks are behind the facade...

Purgatory!!! (Dante's Inferno) @AndyLouis @WallStreetOasis.com

dante

Some Examples:

  • The weirdos and Xbox/4Chan types are in Hell.
  • The ones' who've made it are in Heaven and they rarely if ever show up in TED talks. Why? They are too busy enjoying life (Heaven) and don't need to go to Purgatory to crowd-validate and atone for their Sins; they've got real work to do or they are chilling.
  • $150K Exit Startup Demi-Gods (dogs) are the ones that need the extra "Boost" (bone) to go up to the next level of Purgatory and maybe even Heaven after they've atoned for their Sins. Go Fetch. @MonopolyMoney loves these types, haha... :)

TED Talk is Dante's Divine Comedy reincarnated. It's where all the characters with the slew of the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride. Envy. Wrath, Gluttony and Lust. Sloth and Greed) and other evils congregate. All TED Talk speakers can be readily assigned any combinations of the Seven Deadly Sins and the enlightened audience can tell exactly why it is they are still on stage telling their tales of being in Purgatory. All aboard to explore the various tranches of Sinners!

1/12/17

I agree with almost everything you said. In university, I didn't see a single solid business idea from any undergraduate students (graduate students were a little better.) Many seemed enamored with the concept of being an entrepreneur but were either unwilling or unsure of how to actually build a successful business. Compounding this problem is the host of entrepreneurial clubs, info sessions, "mentors", etc. who had no clue what they were talking about and had a cheerleader mentality that wasn't conducive to serious entrepreneurship. I honestly think universities spend money on entrepreneurial certificates, programs, and centers as part of a marketing budget, not because they think they're going to find the next Zuckerberg.

(Note: If you are a serious college-aged entrepreneur, you would do best to be extremely wary of university VC funds and similar organizations, unless you go to Stanford. Many will take control of your IP, give you onerous financing terms that will screw you over in later rounds, provide you with ineffectual mentorship (or worse, give you outright terrible advice), and won't do much to help you build a great business. If you're serious about raising money, leverage alumni connections and reach out to VCs, angels, and family offices through that avenue.)

The part I don't fully agree with you on is regarding becoming a successful entrepreneur. I've seen quite a few people build businesses without having management, marketing, and/or sales experience themselves (this is where leveraging your network to find complementary co-founders becomes a vital factor) and/or without having domain-specific expertise in the industry their company is in. Though I've seen more seasoned bankers and consultants become successful entrepreneurs than undergraduates, most are still pretty terrible at coming up with good ideas and executing properly. Point is, no job will fully prepare you for entrepreneurship and you don't need a job to learn entrepreneurship skills. Rather, the real value that lies in getting a job before starting a business is the networking it provides and the maturation process is goes through. Both are self-explanatory. A network allows you to find people who can help build your business, be it co-founders, financiers, or board members. The maturation process allows you to go outside your own bubble, learn more about how the world works, and become more realistic about building a great business.

Success in entrepreneurship seems to require a blend of business sense, imagination and creativity, hustle, an ability to solve viable problems, networking, and some luck (among a few other factors). Certain careers will help you with some of these things but no one career will necessarily turn you into an entrepreneur. However, I think most people with at least average intelligence and sufficient dedication can become successful entrepreneurs. The majority of people simply lack the willpower and/or the humbleness necessary to listen to advice and fix the flaws that prevent most businesses from being successful.

1/12/17

Mr. Putin,

I actually agree with you where you think we disagree (and not because I fear you and your dolphin army; not at all). It's important to leverage your network and you're right, there are several successful examples of when this was done (Carlyle comes to mind, as does Blackstone, to focus solely on the finance world).

For the vast majority of college students, though, the founders' network is equally as clueless as their non-entrepreneurial peers when it comes to this stuff. However, this doesn't prevent the students from coming together and creating a great company several years after graduation with a better idea of the limitations and opportunities in the working world and some maturity.

And I wholeheartedly agree on the cheerleader/ineffectual mentorship thing, the idea of going straight to VCs instead of your local college incubator (although this can be used as good testing ground before you pitch to VCs and some of these college incubators can be quite helpful) and the part states that entrepreneurship can't be replicated through a step-by-step process in each and every scenario (e.g., if you follow steps A-Q, you too can start a $1M+ business!). Re: bankers and consultants coming up with start-up ideas -- some of the worst cases of the entrepreneurship craze run amok that I've seen were started by former consultants. But there are successful bankers and consultants in this realm, too, so I can't be too harsh. There's no straight and well-worn path to successful entrepreneurship, that's for sure.

1/11/17

Agree wholeheartedly with @dcrowoar and @Gangster Putin.

99.9% of people are talented enough to do anything useful straight out of high school and ought to go to college and learn some things
95% of people are not talented enough to build something useful straight out of college and ought to join a company and learn some things
90% of people are not talented enough to run their own fund and ought to remain analysts and learn some things

On and on it goes...

Also, remember that for all the "Zuckerburg, Gates, Page/Brin" dropped out stuff, many of these people would not have stumbled across their brilliant ideas if not for the influence of college. The Harvard Connect stuff was what got Zuckerburg thinking about social media. Google started as a PHD project (which means, btw, that Page/Brin actually did more college than 95% of the population).

1/11/17

A college degree proves many things about you, including your persistence, work ethic and willingness to excel in a system. Obviously not everything you learn in college is directly applicable to being a top tier PE brah with More Money Than God, but it's still a necessary prerequisite to proving you aren't a complete fuck.

1/11/17

For what it's worth, I didn't bother with college and I run this motherfucker, so...

Seriously, though, I'm giving my kids the advice (ages 12 & 13) that they don't have to go to college. At the rate I see automation taking over it seems like a ridiculous waste for all but a handful of professions (and finance, by and large, ain't one of them).

My 13 year old finds school easy, has elected to take all the honors classes offered to him, and plans to go to college and realizes he needs to set himself up for a good one. My 12 year old, on the other hand, couldn't give a good shit and would be perfectly happy as a cook or a firefighter or an HVAC repair guy. His passion (at least now) is cooking, and our local JuCo is one of the best in the nation for that. Why would I waste ~$120,000 of my money and 4 years of his life pushing him in a different direction?

1/12/17

I hate anyone who calls themselves an "entrepreneur". Talking about all those tools with social media presence mentioned above. Those moronic motivational pictures of some stupid buzzword phrase (oh let's see, here's the first one that showed up when I Googled it: "Eat shit for 24 months and eat caviar for the rest of your life") imposed over a muted photo of a guy in a suit with a gaudy/tacky watch trigger me beyond belief.

I'm not completely dumb and I'm pretty sure all these guys know how dumb the stuff they spread around is - they're just there for the money. But like reality TV, it's so obnoxious it bothers me.

While I'd associate this more with hustling idiots than startups, startup culture (with actual VCs and people who know how to code) is just as bad.

I used to think that finance culture was dumb and that startups were the holy land. Then I went to an event hosted by Sequoia where they spent the whole time bashing everything that wasn't a 5-person "disruptor". Even Google wasn't spared from the mocking. If you didn't join a tiny firm, you were a risk-adverse loser who would never change the world. Never mind that most of these ideas revolved around "Uber for X"... wow man I can push a button on an app and someone will clean my loft??? DISRUPTION!!! I mean at least the guys pushing CDOs knew they were full of shit.

Anyhow, all those stereotypes you see in the media were in full force at the Sequoia thing. You ever watch Silicon Valley on HBO, or that episode of Parks and Rec where Aziz Ansari has his startup? It felt like I was walking onto the casting of it. Loft with funky lighting, check. DJ playing house music, check. Ping pong tables, check. Endless amounts of company "swag" from places that wouldn't exist in 8 months, check. An endless supply of self-important tools pitching how they're changing the world, check.

That brought my "tech startup" misconcpetions down to Earth real fast. And from that point forward, I decided a few things. If something or someone has hype, they're probably full of it. Travis Kalanick, Elon Musk, Zuckerberg, they don't call themselves "entrepreneurs". Grown men don't need motivational Instagram photos to work on something they want. Very few people ever change the world, and those who do don't need to convince you they are. And probably the most important lesson of all: if people really want to believe something, they will lie to themselves, their parents, and the world about it to convince themselves.

1/12/17

Producers Market:

1) People who go backwards in life:
One step forward, two steps back, etc

2) People who make it in life:
One step forward, one hop forward, one leap forward, learn to fly, learn to use warp drive. A couple of miss steps in here but the fact that they consistently push forward is why they make it.

3) People who want you to think they made it in life:
One step forward, one step back to market to those at start line about their grand journey via aforementioned social media tools, two steps forward, two steps back, ditto. Cost of reaching step 10 means losing customer base and falling out of current biz model (alluded to by @Xiiixiii on Sykes) stays within steps 1-5 to Ponzi and Pyramid the market at the starting line.

All movements take time, time is finite.

Advertisers (journalists, etc) market:

Promotes #2 because #2 doesn't have time to do shameless plugs because they actually work as pointed out by @lebron

Skips #1 because there are too many of them and the story of one step forward, two step back gets old unless it is #2 type who got knocked back to starting line (ie Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos). If it bleeds, it leads. Just don't send that blood to Theranos for testing as they sit now in purgatory for timeout.

Encourages #3. #3 is invited to cause media circus with little effort because #3 already loves themselves daily by spending the entire day looking at the mirror. We now call that Gary V (narcissist) and ABC app Live syndrome. #3 types are the funniest of all groups because they can only prey on #1 and can only get attention via things like ABC social media and TED Talks. #3 are typically hypocrites because they are dogs who claim they moved around a lot but in fact they've been chasing their tails near or around the starting line.

Someone I knew in college remarked that "it doesn't matter if you are going in circles, you are still going somewhere!" That person is still going in circles today. I guess they are going somewhere (nowhere).

1/12/17

Best post on this thread, +SB

1/12/17

This is an Australian-centric point of view.
College here is paid for by government however the total cost is relatively low and you start paying back after you earn around $56,000.

When i was in School, there was a mining boom in town. I had friends who would go and receive a scaffolding or carpentry certificate after 2 months and repeatedly pull in around 15k a month for doing manual labour work.

One of my friends continued this while I was at college for 4 years studying and barely paying off my dues. He worked hard and eventually started his own construction firm (small at first) but through his connections at the respective mining company was able to secure contracts. It's quite funny because now he employs a mid-tier accounting firm which many of my colleagues would probably love an internship at.

I guess what I'm trying to say is it really depends on your alternative options, and what you want in life.
A-lot of individuals that go into high paying low-skill jobs (I'm sure these exist in the US as-well) could technically do better than college graduates if they are careful with their finances. However the benefit with a college degree has traditionally been that you had a "back-up" incase something goes wrong.

However gone are the days when you could walk in and grab a job. My Neighbour literally got his job at Macquarie Bank by walking down to the office and asking if they had a position. He went the next day for an interview and was hired soon after. He barely had a 2 or 3/4 GPA however back then in Australia education was limited for generally the wealthy/upper classes.

So again it depends on your best alternatives and where you live. If you have an idea for something you want to pursue and if working at Maccas getting paid ($50k-60k, Yes our labour wages are high p.a) helps you reach that 150k required in saving for a deposit to open up your first franchised Maccas then that's a better option than going to University. You'll learn skills relevant for your goal working the ropes, and if it's accounting and business acumen you need well I'm pretty sure with all the stuff of on the internet you can get that for free.

However for someone who has no idea, It's a lot tougher question especially with the de-regulation of previously government funded degrees and high-costing degrees. I think the harsh reality but clear answer is to try preparing or having an idea of where you want to be as soon as you can.

P.S What the fuck is it that Entrepreneurship has to be Tech?
I have quite a few friends who've been successful with Entrepreneurship but their businesses are retail/bricks & mortar/restaurants.

I think the main message here is that college isn't your ONLY option. You should look and see what OTHER OPPORTUNITIES are available to you. However these guys go the extreme saying COLLEGE BAD I BIG FAT MAN GAGA LOOK AT ME; Hell not to mention once you start considering colleges, in the US and Australia there are so many "Mickey-Mouse" Universities that won't give you a good education let a reputable degree, but that's another discussion.

Quand on veut, on peut.

1/14/17

We are spinning up old terms into new buzzwords.

Entrepreneur (definition):

A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.

synonyms: businessman/businesswoman,** enterpriser, speculator, tycoon, magnate, mogul**; dealer, trader, dealmaker; promoter, impresario; informalwheeler-dealer, whiz kid, mover and shaker, go-getter, high flyer, hustler, idea man/person

Examples: "a newsletter for young entrepreneurs", "Gary V has daily heart attacks on Facebook Live to motivate his crowd of Instagram inspired entrepreneurs out of bed."

Graph of Word Count through History (Google Books Data-mining):

Google Books has a Word usage in books through time tracker. Found in recently when looking up definitions and thought it was neat. This is the market for language usage and the hashtagging before the hastag. Welcome to the origins of our mind and communication of thought via words.

Check entrepreneur for instance:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1...
Entrepreneur has been on the rise as the latest buzzword to describe the sum of its definition such as:

Enterprise:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?year_start=1...
Speculator:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=spec...
Tycoon:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=tyco...
Mogul:
https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=mogu...
Final Thoughts:

Certain markets for words were bearish and others bullish. Some words now have a negative connotation when describing enterprise. So what to do if journalist and economist want to promote the market, dissemination of cheap credit, and win over the general public consensus to be more consumer than producer? Change up the words, spice up the nasty English word (enterprise) with a lovely hint of French (entreprendre), and call it "entrepreneur!" (19th century invention but really took off in recent times).

Market dynamics of the English language.

1/14/17

Let me give a perspective from a bit older(not old, just older than you college kids).

My background is that I have a liberal arts degree from a highly specialized school. It's the kind of school that is a leader in a few specific fields(pre-med, military) but not that great outside of those areas.

The first thing I'd offer is that a lot of the "college bashers", while not particularly brilliant, have a point. I disagree strongly with the notion that college makes you smarter. While it may have been true at some previous point in time that college helped you learn how to think better that simply is not the case. We have moved away from any true liberal arts education that has a foundation in studying the great logical thinkers, then applying their lessons to the study of civilization by debating and analyzing the contemporary writings of different times. However I will say that some schools still do this well. some B-schools in particular preserve the essence of this method by providing some logical strategies(part of the core curriculum in my program) and forcing students to debate and defend their position during case discussions. My undergrad did NOT provide this in spite of a major that should have, nor do even most prestigious schools appear to judging by what I hear coming out of them and by the debating ability of their recent alumni(anecdotal, but even Ivy League econ/public policy/etc majors seem to think you can win a debate by just screaming louder and being more insulting than your opposition).

Furthermore it simply IS NOT NECESSARY to go to college in order to have a great life and career. While in the Army one of the sergeants I worked with had cleared over six figures as a plumber, in a great mid-tier low COL city, as a partner in the business. He only quit for the military because his partner had left and needed immediate income. I've also met roofers who own their own (huge) houses, oil workers who made enough money that they were able to move into IT by living off their earnings while getting a CS degree, and road construction workers who live a decent lower middle-class lifestyle with their winters off.

There are two cases in which the situation changes. The first is if you know exactly what you want to do and need a degree to do it. Guess what? You will NEVER be a doctor, banker, engineer, etc. without a good GPA in a high quality degree program. For me it was necessary because there is absolutely no such thing as an armored officer (the guys who command tank units) without an accredited bachelor's degree. In this case college is a necessary step. The other situation is if you do not know for sure what you want to do and can earn a useful degree without the debt burden limiting your options. In this case a good business/STEM degree can open a good amount of opportunities and doesn't really close any, although I would specifically recommend that those who are truly on the fence take an extra year and dual-major in business/STEM(pick a discipline from STEM) with an internship in each area. That path gives you an enormous selection of high paying job opportunities afterwards.

edit: in my case, I still would have gone to college but not the way I did. My university was good for what I ended up doing but extremely limited my flexibility outside of that career path. It would have been better for me to go to a good engineering school, major in a generalist STEM degree, and get the social/leadership aspect by participating in a regular ROTC unit and greek life.

1/14/17

Greek life allows you to gain access to the archives to old HW, Quizzes, Mid-Terms, and Finals so it balances out the lack of studying from partying.

Yes... Good ole fucking Georgia Tech... This is exactly how it worked there!

1/14/17

Funny you should mention that school.

1/15/17

No way, ape, no way! Say it isn't so!!!

1/15/17

Kinda, Kinda not. I'm not an alumni but I have a relationship with the school and some family who just graduated last month.

1/14/17

It's funny, really. I can name three people off the top of my head who are successful millionaires I went to high school with. Only one actually finished college, the other two saw it as a waste of time because they were able to create success in their efforts (small/med business).

Being in an Asian community, you see this often, a lot. Entrepreneurship is something that is highly encouraged in my area, and my family does own a small business that has been around for about 16 years already. I know I am not going to be working for someone forever, and actually am planning to purchase and start another business while working full-time. It's quite exciting!

Point being, college is what you make of it. A lot of people I know who has less then a middle school education are banking in 300k-1m per year.

People are going to be PRO or AGAINST education (abortion, etc). Let them, it's their life and their time, not yours. We go to college so we can at least get the opportunity to live a higher standard of living instead of being broke. I wouldn't waste my time listening to these folks. They're not the ones paying my bills, are they?

1/14/17

Or don't go college and become an infomercial giant in the 80/90s, like Tony Robbins and less successful candidates like Paul Scheele + Pete Bissonette (Learning Strategies, 'Photoreading' or reading 10,000 words per minute), or become the new-age version like Gary V, Billy Gene is Marketing, Tim Sykes, etc etc.

Late infomercials are now the day time Instagram/FB/Twitter/YouTube personalities to some degree and running 24/7/365 without any FTC regulation (Infomercials particularly exploded in the mid-1990s with motivational and personal development products, and infamous "get-rich-quick scheme"s based on the premise that one could quickly become wealthy by either selling anything through classified ads or through real estate flipping. These were hawked by personalities such as Don Lapre and Carleton H. Sheets, among others.. [Wikipedia]

In the 1980s when Tony Robbins was up and coming, Paul Scheele (Learning Strategies - Photoreading) took a course in Subliminal Dynamics from Richard L. Welch. This is where he learned a bit of Neurolinguistics Programming (NLP) and how to apply that to reading books by so called mentally photographing pages of a book. Paul marries this idea with other 'new age' tools like Tony Buzan's Mind Mapping (which is actually pretty good but yet another buzzword for doodling and brainstorming ideas...) and other things, coined "Photoreading," and started to bomb late night infomercials much like our modern day heroes in our feeds.

For anyone who 'doubts or questions' the validity of a thing such as Photoreading... well, it's just say you have to first define reading:

1/14/17

Wtf did I just read?

If you aren't capable of looking at the overwhelming evidence in favor of having a degree...I don't know what to say. Also, show me the job postings that say: "HS diploma" or "HS diploma preferred"

This isn't even a question and let's just say for the sake of stereotypes that an unmarketable degree puts you as a barista...1) don't get an unmarketable degree and 2) that also means your HS graduate can't become a barista vs the degree holder. It's becoming table stakes.

There are also a lot of restaurants and other unsexy businesses that experience the same failure rate as startups. It's just business. You should understand the value you add of your company and where you fit into that in any company you join...especially a startup.

1/14/17
1/15/17
1/15/17

Life's is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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