Comments (45)

Feb 3, 2019

physicists tend to be smart

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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Feb 4, 2019

yes, unbelievable people are saying entrepreneurs and PE.

Oh yeah, the middle market PE MD that took 50 years to climb the ladder has way more cognitive ability than those discovering new elements or those studying the fabric of the universe.

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Feb 4, 2019

Oh wait, you've discovered how to alter the genetic code in humans to determine physical characteristics like a video game? nahhh i think I'll go with the guy selling mattresses through an app.

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Feb 4, 2019

0

Feb 4, 2019

For sure, physics hardos seem to have a different understanding of the world.

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Feb 4, 2019

0

Feb 5, 2019

I feel like Shkreli falls into the latter camp.

Feb 6, 2019

I second this. Some of these biotech VC's are not only investing in winners but cranking out billion dollar companies like they're fuckin goin out of style.

Dayman?

Most Helpful
Feb 3, 2019

The top tier entrepreneurs I've dealt with are by far the brightest...but the majority of entrepreneurs are completely stupid. The only way I've managed to find quality entrepreneurs to hang around is by reaching out to them directly. I'm in EO ($1M floor) and soon YPO ($10M floor) but I found EO is full of luckier than smart entrepreneurs. The YPO guys are more impressive but the family money douche bags are really lame and kind of drag the organization down because any fucking moron can invest their daddy's money in real estate.

I deal with a fair amount of well known VCs and they are definitely dumber than PE guys. This is reflected in their returns. There are some exceptions, but as a group, I'm impressed far more frequently with the PE guys than VCs I deal with.

One of our potential investors is a PE higher up @ a fairly large fund and I was shocked by the level of tactical knowledge he had in the eCommerce space. He was asking me incredibly detailed questions that I know for a fact most people in the space would not know the answers to. This was mind blowing to me because his day to day does not involve tactical work and he has no background at all in the space. His questions were deep and demonstrated a true understanding of how things mesh together. All the ex-PE guys I've hired too have the ability quickly adapt/learn and always deliver quality work.

On the VC side...I've met literally one that I've been impressed by. The others are luckier than they are smart in my experience and I've met a ton of VCs.

My original plan after installing management in my first successful company was to get into VC and I was even willing to take a pay cut to do it because I wanted to learn from the smartest people possible so I ended up talking to a lot of them, but...not really impressive. A lot of academic/engineer types that are full of themselves.

Re: doctors/lawyers/etc... I don't think they're intelligent at all. Most of the time they're a by-product of their environment. It's really not hard to get good grades and go to school like you're told to if you come from a solid family. The reason I know this is because when I was doing angel deals, a lot of the guys I'd hang around were doctors and lawyers or other white collar professionals and I think I met two or three guys out of 200/300 people that I felt were smart. Both were doctors but they were doing biotech deals and structuring them well.

Sorry about the rant and if anything comes across and condescending in any way, just something I put a TON of time into thinking about and executing when I wrapped up my first co since I personally find I'm the most motivated and happiest when working with smart people. I hope that helps at the very least.

Feb 3, 2019

Entrepreneurs often too narrow minded/have a very specific focus, while this can be impressive at first, I prefer PE guys that have the ability to understand the depth of every industry from TMT to FIG and O&G. The majority of 'entrepreneurs' are just glorified unemployed people - especially when they mention deep tech and it relates to Blockchain/AI or machine learning (read data analytics/statistics)/big data(although this trend seem to be gone now).

Completely agree with VC/PE types of people. VCs usually tend to have a great network and a great social intelligence and as entrepreneurs a narrow focus on a specific segment. while PE guys have a more hands on, practical intelligence. I think that you can learn from anyone but differently.

I agree for Doctors/lawyers - my brother is a doctor, dumb (lack of logical, critical thinking...) as fuck but was able to memorise thousands of pages.

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Feb 3, 2019

Nailed it!

Feb 8, 2019

Too narrow of a focus? VC/Ent. type of people are thinking about markets and concepts that haven't even been created yet. In relation to tech, they're often researchers or kid-genius'.

I would also argue that the TMT banker has a surface level understanding of the technologies they cover. They understand what makes a successful business, not necessarily correlated with overall intelligence. At the end of the day, any professional services employee is just a trained seal.

Feb 20, 2019

The question is, are you informed enough to determine intelligence in a doctor? Lawyers I don't think are particularly intelligent, but we can include it too.

Of course people on this forum are going to think venture capitalists are the smartest. You're probably only exposed to the successful (read: intelligent) ones, who have also taken risk and succeeded in a difficult field. It's also one which is within the general purview of most people on this forum, so it's easy to understand what makes folks in that profession smart.

By contrast, if a physicist started talking to any of us, we'd be lost almost immediately. Most of us, I'd hazard, have absolutely no field of reference to distinguish which physicist is smarter than the other. If a philologist announced on this board that they just deciphered Linear A, which would be one of the most spectacularly difficult tasks accomplished in the history of linguistics, I'd bet 99.99% of users here would say "what's Linear A?" and not appreciate the enormity of the intelligence needed to figure that shit out.

    • 1
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Feb 3, 2019

Is this a trick question? All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind. Sure, PE guys might be smart compared to the other slaves. But they are still just slaves. Nothing compares to the intellectual mind of the bum or the independently wealthy

excel is my canvas, and data is my paint - new york - brunch conesseiour - atheist - centrist - ENFP - TCU alum

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Feb 4, 2019

0

Feb 3, 2019

Impressive troll job

    • 1
Feb 4, 2019

not sure if this is a troll, but getting people to work for 40 or 50 years at 50 hours a week is a massive con job and is basically slavery.

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Feb 3, 2019

This is a naive question. The world is full of smart men and women in different jobs and I dont think smart people classify themselves and tend to work in something specific. Most of the smartest people I have known have completely random and "non-elite" jobs while a minority are doctors and entrepreneurs. Truth is that it takes some intellectual curiosity and rigor to get to be a doctor or start a company successfully, but it is an error to assume smart people look forward to do these things because people have different circumstances (luck, preferences, dreams...), actually, the smartest man I have ever known is a musician

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Feb 3, 2019

Anything related to aerospace engineering or neuroscience

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Feb 22, 2019

Smartest guy I know is an aero space engineer. The dude fucks. Like really fucks. A lot.

You would not be able to tell that he is one of the smartest minds to come out of the middle east by talking to him. Second funnies guy I know we were in an Uber together and he was telling our driver about banging this chick while he was in a club.

We called him big daddy. (His birth name translated to father in one of the six languages he speaks)

Feb 3, 2019

FOOD SERVICE

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Feb 4, 2019

.

Funniest
Feb 4, 2019

If we're judging by money/effort, I'd say a regular whore. But, if we're saying money x effort, probably an entrepreneur.

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Feb 4, 2019

Am i crazy? How can everyone think people in business are the 'smartest'? Define smart i guess, but if we're going by pure cognitive ability (maybe even measured by IQ) there is no way business people are the smartest. It's definitely people in the sciences, maybe hard maybe soft, I'm not sure.

http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/occupations.aspx
Maybe you'll like this link

    • 1
Feb 3, 2019

IQ isn't a measure of intelligence.

Feb 16, 2019

Yes, it is. I was dating this girl for 4 years... One night, we were watching shark tank and you know these entrepreneurs seek to raise capital (ex: Seeking 20% for $100,000) and out of no where, I asked her how much do you think he/she is valuing their company and she didn't know. Fine so I showed her math and she was still lost... I couldn't really blame her, she didn't grow up in a good area or an decent area but it still kind of bothered me, just a little...

Feb 5, 2019

Or look at average ACT/SAT and compare them for undergrad business programs vs science vs engineering...tends to favor the latter two.

Feb 7, 2019

Yeah but they all the dumb business people get filtered out in HR roles.

I work with a ton of engineers, and I can tell you that they are good at regurgitation and focusing on narrow problems. Don't get me wrong, there are a ton of absolutely brilliant engineers out there, but they're all geared towards simple goals with few variables-
Want: highest grade, not to look like a fool at work
Action: study more, make flashcards, don't party

Top business people have to juggle way more variables and complex, changing goals. Most truly brilliant engineers climb the corporate ladder quickly because of this. Their mental algorithms look more like this-
Want: better social life, more wealth, stability, and other desires acquired through introspection
Actions: infinite, and most of the time unwritten

Feb 5, 2019

The confusion is a result of the ambiguity of the word intelligence. Is it IQ? If so, yeah the average engineering > average business program.
People are conflating IQ with determination or with success. I'm not sure that they map out as well as we'd like to believe.

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Feb 4, 2019

Correct, that's why in my original post above i called for a definition of intelligence. I think most people are confusing with industriousness, savvy or competence.

Feb 5, 2019

This is a very WSO-y question

Feb 4, 2019

,

Feb 5, 2019

NASA? Anything to do with rockets?

Feb 5, 2019

Astronauts, hands down

Feb 6, 2019

That's what we're gonna do today? Jack ourselves off?

Feb 4, 2019

'

Feb 6, 2019

Neurosurgeons

Feb 7, 2019

Quantitative researchers/analysts, software developers at finance companies

Feb 16, 2019

Lol at the people saying those who work in PE/VC are the smartest - it's not even close to the hard sciences. Just look at your standard path to PE:

  1. Target school - do well in high school i.e. come from a good family and load up on EC's/sports
  2. Major in economics/business - literally the easiest shit in the world, plus you have time to party on the side so your network grows and your social skills develop properly. You're on autopilot for 4 years and "hustle" whenever intern recruiting season comes around.
  3. Get a job at a bank, ideally BB - easy if you have a network or were an athlete, plus you have the grades cause of your easy major
  4. Jump to PE - you're hardly removed from undergrad when recruiting starts, you cram on how to build some LBO's, come up with some bullshit investment ideas and vibe with your interviewer cause he went to your school, played your sport, was in your frat, etc.

This is coming from someone who went to grad school in hard sciences and constantly felt like my brain was melting from the shit I had to learn, with zero personal or financial gain. Yes I'm a tad bitter, and I made the jump to the finance side because of the money, but I wouldn't change my path for the world because it lets me sift through all the false bravado in this industry and figure out who's really worth my time.

Feb 20, 2019

It's important to distinguish what you mean by "smart" because there are people who are knowledge-smart and execution-smart. Knowing a lot and being able to solve real-world situations are two different skillsets. Smart ideas may not actually work, and ideas that work may not be the smartest approach.

VC's tend to be knowledge-smart but unless they've been operators, they aren't execution-smart which is why you have headbutts between them and entrepreneurs. VC's see the whole landscape and can tell you about market opportunities and best practices seen across companies but won't be able to tell you about the granular details of bringing an idea to market. Entrepreneurs have the opposite problem of knowing how to make things happen but can get stuck in tunnel vision and not realize their efforts may be inefficient/fruitless in the grand scheme of things.

The only types of people I can confidently categorize as smart in execution and knowledge are "deep generalists", people who are REALLY good at 2+ different disciplines (Ben Franklin, Elon Musk, etc.) They have the deep knowledge base on a number of topics to appreciate nuances but have a wide enough perspective to know when a smart idea can actually materialize in real life.

IMO, people who are "smart" in a knowledge sense are a dime-a-dozen. Anyone can tell you why X won't work or why there's a lot of details to consider when doing something but the type that is willing to push boundaries and risk themselves being viewed as idiots are the real geniuses

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Feb 22, 2019

as a consultant that has worked alongside some PE guys and have older friends from school in PE there is a big big FUCKING DIFFERENCE between a PE associate and a PE partner. Most PE associates are just like what some poster above said...lucky upper middle class good family type hard workers, nothing truly unique or fascinating. The PE partners I have met however, are a whole different breed of animal. Easily one of the most socially fluid and practically intelligent group of people I've ever met.

Besides PE another group that I don't think I've seen anyone mention that I find to be very impressive are diplomats. Now I may be biased coming from a diplomatic family myself, but some of the ambassadors from varying nations my dad has introduced me to have been absolutely a joy to talk to. They don't have as much business intelligence, but make up for it with significant geopolitical intelligence, and just general knowledge of world affairs. I assume this moves up to cabinet level positions in most governments around the world as well.

Ty

Feb 16, 2019

Definitely the quants. My buddy who works in engineering loves math and have said the math applied in finance was just at a another level. I mean this is a guy who does physics problems on a friday night for fun. He was very impressed with the quants

Feb 22, 2019
Comment
Feb 22, 2019
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