MichaelPlant comments on Ineffective entrepreneurship: post-mortem of Hippo, the happiness app that never quite was - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Jon_Behar 25 May 2018 05:59:23PM 9 points [-]

1)Thanks for writing this, it’s a very helpful case study for the community.

2)You absolutely earned career capital and I 100% disagree with your claim that you “walk away with no cool story, no CV points.” Let’s say you wanted to earn to give (because I can speak to that from experience). I’ve screened thousands of resumes and conducted hundreds of interviews for highly competitive finance jobs (consulting is similar too). Most of the resumes look very similar, and there are likely more philosophy and other humanities PhDs from great schools than you’d expect. I’ve heard hundreds of people tell me about their investment banking internships, which is as excruciating as it sounds. People who screen resumes and conduct interviews are desperate to talk about something different, and Hippo is a perfect example. So you do have CV points that will help get you in the door.

And you have a cool story too. You’ve reflected a lot, and learned a lot about your interests, strengths, and weaknesses. That is valuable to you, and to prospective employers. You’ve also taken the time to share it so others can learn, which speaks to your character. You just need to learn how to frame your story right (let me know if you want to have a quick chat about how to frame this experience in a job interview).

3) I’ve heard a lot of stories about various “EA apps”. A lot of them have had significant resources invested in them. And the vast majority never actually get finished, let alone widely used. My suspicion is that your experience is pretty typical. So folks with plans for an EA app may way to think about pooling resources and/or there may an opportunity to have a repository where failed EA apps can share experiences, code, etc. so that future efforts aren't starting from scratch.

Comment author: MichaelPlant 29 May 2018 11:38:04AM 2 points [-]

Hello Jon

Let’s say you wanted to earn to give

I agree, if I wanted to do that, my start up failure would be interesting. As it is, it's probably of very limited use. My appeal is to get people to consider what they would do if their start up failed and how useful that would be for their other line of work. Entrepreneurial experience is of basically no use in academia, as far as I can tell.

Comment author: Jon_Behar 30 May 2018 03:20:05PM 2 points [-]

Having the story to tell might not serve you that well if you stay in academia (though increased self-knowledge should help quite a bit). But I'd generalize my previous comments to say that you've picked up meaningful CV/interview capital if at any point in your career you end up leaving academia.