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Programming The Almighty Buck

Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas? 376

theodp writes "In The Unexotic Underclass, C.Z. Nnaemeka argues that too many smart people are chasing too many dumb ideas. 'What is shameful,' writes Nnaemeka, 'is that in a country with so many problems, with such a heaving underclass, we find the so-called 'best and brightest,' the 20-and 30-somethings who emerge from the top American graduate and undergraduate programs, abandoning their former hangout, Wall Street, to pile into anti-problem entrepreneurship.' Nnaemeka adds, 'It just looks like we've shifted the malpractice from feeding the money machine to making inane, self-centric apps. Worse, is that the power players, institutional and individual — the highflying VCs, the entrepreneurship incubators, the top-ranked MBA programs, the accelerators, the universities, the business plan competitions have been complicit in this nonsense.' And while it may not get you invited to the White House, Nnaemeka advises entrepreneurs looking for ideas to 'consider looking beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed mainstream' and instead focus on some groups that no one else is helping."
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Too Many Smart People Chasing Too Many Dumb Ideas?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @09:35AM (#43882433)


  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @10:10AM (#43882615) Journal
    Nnaemeka advises entrepreneurs looking for ideas to 'consider looking beyond the city-centric, navel-gazing, youth-obsessed mainstream' and instead focus on some groups that no one else is helping.

    Mr. too-many-Ns: Smart people still need to eat. To put a roof over their heads. They may even hope to "get ahead" a bit, enjoy a life of reasonable comfort, and retire early with enough wealth to not end up a decrepit dependent of the state like most people.

    Solving "important" problems doesn't accomplish those goals. Until you want to demonstrate the "importance" of your pet interests by paying me as much as industry does to work on inane, self-centric apps, GTFO.

    That said - Come up with funding, and we can talk. Honestly, I believe virtually everyone would rather work on solving real problems than on building shoddy consumer crap to pad $CEO's bonus this quarter. But Einstein gots ta get paid, son.
  • She not he.... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 01, 2013 @10:11AM (#43882619)

    From TFA: C.Z. Nnaemeka studied Philosophy at Wellesley; logically, she has spent most of her time in finance, beginning at Goldman Sachs. Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, she attended French schools, graduating from the Lycée FranÃais de New York. Since then she has alternated between writing, banking, and consulting to startups in Europe, Latin America, and Australia. Previously, she lived in Paris where she founded a political discussion group and was a foreign affairs commentator for the conservative newspaper, Le Figaro. She graduated from MIT in 2010, focusing on Entrepreneurship + Innovation.

    Don't be stupid. If you don't bother to read, don't assume gender in your response.

  • Re:He has a point (Score:4, Informative)

    by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @02:28PM (#43884323) Journal

    But we've already won.

    I think that's the point of the article. Some of us have won. Some of us are losing badly.

  • Re:Mweeehhhh (Score:5, Informative)

    by CrimsonAvenger ( 580665 ) on Saturday June 01, 2013 @03:42PM (#43884737)

    In Starship Troopers (the book anyway), the bugs were non-sentient. But every time a colony was distressed, the workers bred this "brain bug", and then the problem would magically go away. Then the brain bug became irrelevant to it again.

    Might want to reread the book, if you think that was part of it.

    Hint: it wasn't. Wasn't part of the movie, either, by the by.

    In The Mote In God's Eye, the Moties are led by a political caste, with other castes obeying them, as they went about their political machinacions and wars. The Engineer caste was ungodly brilliant, but otherwise completely mute, and specifically he juxtaposed it against the yabbering schemes of the political class.

    Might want to reread Mote in God's Eye, also.

    The groups you describe as "castes" were actually subspecies. And the Ruler subspecies didn't do the machinations and politics stuff, their Negotiator subspecies did that part.

    Note, for reference, that the Negotiator subspecies was actually a hybrid of the Ruler and Engineer subspecies...

    Come to that, the Engineer wasn't especially brilliant - "idiot-savant" was a description used more than once about them.

All seems condemned in the long run to approximate a state akin to Gaussian noise. -- James Martin