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Andrew Yang is the Founder and President of Venture for America, a 2-year fellowship program for top college graduates to work in start-ups in emerging U.S. cities. The goal of Venture for America is to create 100,000 new U.S. jobs by helping growth companies succeed and training future entrepreneurs. He has worked as an executive or founder at several education and technology start-ups. He was named a Champion of Change by the White House in 2011 and one of Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in business in 2012. His first book, "Smart People Should Build Things", will be published in February 2014 and is available for pre-order now.

Entries by Andrew Yang

America in 2043

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 3:34 PM

I had a meeting with Ben Hecht, the head of Living Cities several months ago. He regularly communes with the leaders of major foundations, and he described what's on most of their minds as this problem: "In less than 30 years, the majority of the U.S....

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Want a New Website? You May Have to Put in a Lot of Work to Get One.

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 7:40 PM

Three of Venture for America's fellows -- Mike Wilner, Taylor Sundali and Matt Fulton -- noticed that over 50 percent of small businesses don't have a website, and of those that do, over 90 percent aren't optimized for mobile visitors. So, they started a company, Compass, to address...

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Does Innovation Disrupt Job Growth?

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 11:55 AM

The other day I was chatting with an optometrist and asked how business was. "To be honest, I just sold my practice and felt very lucky to do so," he told me. "We make most of our money selling glasses, and a company called Warby Parker was eating...

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Want to Cure Income Inequality? The Answer Is Entrepreneurship

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 11:55 AM

One of the most pressing issues for our society today is income inequality. That is, the rich get richer while the poor struggle to access meaningful opportunities. Janet Yellen, President Obama, and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich have all cited it as a growing concern for our economic well-being....

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Bringing Customers Inside: What Many Businesses Can Take From Non-Profits

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 5:29 PM

Not too long ago a café, Good and Plenty, abruptly closed in my neighborhood. There wasn't any warning - I just showed up and there was a sign on the door saying "Thank you for supporting us these past years. We have closed."

It made me sad, and not only...

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An Impulsive Trip to Detroit to Meet a Stranger Ended up Being the Best Money I Ever Spent

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 5:35 PM

In late 2010, I was telling people about my plan to recruit top college graduates to join and start early-stage companies around the country to generate U.S. job growth. I wanted to start in Detroit.

I discussed this with an accomplished entrepreneur and fellow Brown alum, Liz Hamburg.

Liz said...

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Silicon Valley, Please Don't Forget the Rest of America

(0) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 2:15 PM

As entrepreneurs, you, the builders of Silicon Valley, are our heroes and role models. You have forged a place where billion-dollar companies that didn't exist a decade ago dominate the landscape. A place where "entrepreneur" is actually a respected career path, as opposed to a cue for confused follow-up questions....

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The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture

(3) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 3:21 PM

In his book Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz describes the current generation of strivers as "driven to achieve without knowing why." And then they become paralyzed when they're not sure how to proceed.

I jokingly call the hang-ups associated with a drive to achieve as "the Achievement Demons." When I was...

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We Need More Women Starting (Big) Companies

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2015 | 11:41 AM

I recently read an article about The Babadook, an independent horror movie that received rave reviews (97% on Rotten Tomatoes). The writer and director is a woman, Jennifer Kent, and the movie features a psychological treatment of various family anxieties. It's so good and revolutionary that one movie critic exclaimed...

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What's College Good for?

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2014 | 1:43 PM

Most everyone agrees that an education revolution is at hand. With the advent of the Khan Academy, MOOCs, Coursera, Udacity, edX, the Minerva Project, and an ever-growing set of tech-enabled learning tools, it seems that the university-as-campus model is on the verge of being disrupted.

And yet applications to top...

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Team of Builders

(0) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 11:25 AM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpgExcerpted from Smart People Should Build Things by Andrew Yang


Who was the eighth employee at Google back in 1999?

I don't know either; I tried to Google it and couldn't find out. But I'm pretty confident that the...

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The Qualities We Need

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 11:02 AM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang

A friend told me about a young Princeton graduate she knew named Cole. Cole studied mathematics and went to work for a hedge fund directly out of...

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The War for Talent

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 12:55 PM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang


One reason why the hyperallocation of talent to certain industries, regions and firms goes ignored is that it combines narratives no one wants to talk...

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Entrepreneurship Isn't About Creativity

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 12:55 PM

Excerpted from Smart People Should Build Things by Andrew Yang


There is a common and persistent belief out there that entrepreneurship is about creativity -- that it's about having a great idea. But it's not, really. Entrepreneurship isn't about creativity. It's about organization building -- which, in turn,...

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Professional Services as Business Training

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 11:54 AM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang


As we've seen, one of the most frequently pursued paths for achievement-minded college seniors is to spend several years advancing professionally and getting trained and...

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The Allocation of Talent is a Zero-Sum Game

(1) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 1:12 PM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang

You could ask, so what if our talented young people all march off to become lawyers, doctors, bankers, and consultants? Isn't that what smart people are supposed...

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The Prestige Pathways

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 2:10 PM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang


Let's imagine a very large company. It is a leader in its industry and much admired by its peers. It invests a tremendous amount of money -- literally...

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Smart People Should Build Things

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 2:27 PM

2013-12-03-51SSpyoL5aL._SY344_BO1204203200_.jpg
Excerpted from SMART PEOPLE SHOULD BUILD THINGS by Andrew Yang


I believe there's a basic solution to our country's economic and social problems. We need to get our smart people building things (again). They're not really doing it...

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There Is No Need for a Culture of Martyrdom

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2013 | 3:00 PM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

When I first saw a video of Dan Pallotta's TEDTalk, I forwarded it to my Board members immediately.

I had been running Venture...

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Crowdfunding the Fellows

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 2:43 PM

It's hard to get started as a young entrepreneur -- often much harder than one would ever realize. For me, it took a failed company and years of experience as a startup executive before I hit a point where I could effectively run a company. I started Venture...

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