Lost Smart Kids with Andrew Yang


From my interview with Andrew Yang…

Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang

“At this point I am 26, I still have $100,000 in law school debt, I just lost investors an additional couple hundred thousand dollars in investment capital because the company did not work out. My parents are super concerned, and they said, didn’t you used to be a smart guy? What happened to you? At this point though I had bitten the apple, and you can’t un-bite the apple. When you get accustomed to trying to build a company, you can’t go back to this giant law firm. So I said, how do you get better? This is really the inspiration for Venture for America, in many ways. How do you get better as an entrepreneur? One possibility is you start a company and try and learn. But I tried that, and it didn’t work. And it would be very try hard for me to try again considering that I lost everyone’s money and was broke.

The next step, which we would advocate for most people, is to find someone more experienced than yourself to support and learn from, and become part of a winning team. If you look at it, that is the way a lot of entrepreneurs develop. So in my case, I became vice president of something for another entrepreneur and I ended up working for three different entrepreneurs over a five-year period, and one company we raised about $5 million and became relatively successful and had several million in revenue.

I see these young people and they remind me of me at the law firm, where they have done well up until that point in these environments and they weren’t quite sure what they were doing there. They were going to take the team that can go to business school, and hopefully hit the reset button. It hit me that we have so many smart people doing things that they are not quite sure why they are doing them, and on the flipside we have all of these startup companies around the country that would love to have young, smart, hungry people helping them grow, and hopefully they can learn to become more natural builders and entrepreneurs. This is the genesis for what became Venture for America.”

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Author: Jim Beach

One Response to 'Lost Smart Kids with Andrew Yang'

March 8, 2014, 7:07 am

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