• Smart People Should Build Things

  • How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America
  • By: Andrew Yang
  • Narrated by: Tim Paige
  • Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Categories: Business & Careers, Career Success
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (167 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America, offers a unique solution to our country's economic and social problems - our smart people should be building things. Smart People Should Build Things offers a stark picture of the current culture and a revolutionary model that will redirect a generation of ambitious young people to the critical job of innovating and building new businesses.

As the Founder and CEO of Venture for America, Andrew Yang places top college graduates in start-ups for two years in emerging US cities to generate job growth and train the next generation of entrepreneurs. He knows firsthand how our current view of education is broken. Many college graduates aspire to finance, consulting, law school, grad school, or medical school out of a vague desire for additional status and progress rather than from a genuine passion or fit.

In Smart People Should Build Things, this self-described "recovering lawyer" and entrepreneur weaves together a compelling narrative of success stories (including his own), offering observations about the flow of talent in the United States and explanations of why current trends are leading to economic distress and cultural decline. He also presents recommendations for both policy makers and job seekers to make entrepreneurship more realistic and achievable.

©2014 Andrew Yang (P)2019 Tantor

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What listeners say about Smart People Should Build Things

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Great insight / perspective on America job growth

I liked how Andrew Yang critically assessed where and how America’s best young talent is getting funneled — mainly into financial services. His account of his early entrepreneurial efforts is an interesting story of resilience and grit — an the realities of entrepreneurship. I appreciated his acknowledgment of the fact that those who do not have a financial safety net or an affluent network of colleagues are less able to initiate a new startup effort. For such people, I would encourage consideration of the opportunity to bring such startup approaches to large organizations — including non profits and government. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of how our university culture shapes employment decisions of graduating students — and is interesting in helping to reshape current trends towards more value-creation activities that solve real problems and drive job growth.

6 people found this helpful

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Overall good, but limited in scope

This is a very interesting perspective on how to solve social issues by redirecting the post college talent pipeline into startups. I do agree with the other reviewers that it seems like a giant advertisement for Venture For America which severely limits its scope. The book could have been strengthened by realizing the large scope of potential readers and how to apply the lessons Yang has learned. What about people in their 30s? What about people who didn’t graduate from Ivys? How can they use their talents to do more social good? Even simply suggesting ways to get involved with the companies in VFA’s portfolio could have sufficed. The book seems to be an additional recruitment tool rather a larger moral reimagining of society.

2 people found this helpful

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Smart doesn’t mean smart.

In Yang’s other book The War on Normal People, he describes what he means by “normal people” because it wasn’t quite what it sounds like. The same thing happens here. I wished “smart people” had been defined because it ultimately ended up being intelligent people that also came from money and opportunity. I kept waiting for him to talk about intelligent “normal people” but we never got there...

2 people found this helpful

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Important

A should-read for smart kids and their parents. A little late and irrelevant for the rest of us 😟

2 people found this helpful

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Incredibly Detailed

Can't say I've ever heard someone so elequently and effectively detail what's happening to the economy and work force. It's down to earth and does not makes your eyes (or ears) glaze over. This is a must listen.

5 people found this helpful

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Nothing personal, MR. Yang, but...

This book is as hollow as a drugstore chocolate Easter Bunny. The most vapid and vacuous recitation of what must have been your personal— and meticulously detailed— diary.

Not an atom of content worth absorbing.

I’m sure you are a good person but writing— like political aspiration— is not in your lane.

Smart People should avoid this at all costs.

1 person found this helpful

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Listened to it in one day.

I would recommend this book to entrepreneurs, or anyone who wants to be successful. I would also recommend it to anyone who has money to invest in the future.

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Important Content

Analyzing the brain drain of big cities and the seemingly insurmountable prerequisites of business creation, this story covers why smart people are doing bullshit jobs that have little purpose as opposed to starting new ventures to improve society. This book is great for entrepreneurs of any age, but it’s particularly useful for young people who are about to make a mistake in over-valuing bullshit jobs.

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Powerful and useful

As a person who has always set high expectations for myself and was at the top of my class in school, I can relate to this emptiness that a traditional finance job creates. A lack of a mission or purpose. I hope to redirect my life into something much more entrepreneurial and potentially even apply to VFA. Thank you Andrew!

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#YangGang

This book is everything I wish I had access to while I was away at school. #YangGang