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Monday, April 27, 2015

10 essential skills they don't teach us in college

Photo: James Altucher
James Altucher, managing partner at the hedge fund Formula Capital writes, "He dropped out of high school. Started a company that didn’t work. Read a lot. Then started another company. He wanted me to advise his company."

Photo: Business Insider

I didn’t do it. But we spoke for awhile about his being a high school dropout.

He said, “Once I figured out how I can learn to learn then I didn’t need school anymore.”

I didn’t know whether to believe him. But I liked that phrase, “learn to learn.”

He made an app that didn’t work. Nobody wanted it. Not even his friends who said they wanted it. I was thinking a year or two later: Thank god I didn’t advise that company.

So he backed off and asked himself why the app wasn’t as popular as he thought it would be. Nobody can predict the future. A Harvard Ph.D. and a high school dropout have equal skills at prophecy.

He called up the top people at many companies and asked them if there was any part of his app that they would want.

He met with maybe 50 heads of technology at all sorts of different companies in different industries. 

He figured out what their problems were. He listened and studied.

Then he rewrote his app. Just slightly. He also rewrote the way he described the app. Just slightly. It’s now four years later.

I’m not saying the name of his company because I don’t know if news was announced yet. But he just raised $60 million at a $250 million valuation. He’s on track for great revenues this year.

My friend who was giving me this update said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. He has a 100% close rate on his sales calls. Everyone buys.”

Is he uneducated? Of course not. He reads constantly. Maybe more than anyone I know.

Did he not get networked enough? Of course not. He created his network by helping them solve their problems. If I’m not mistaken, Google is one of his top investors.

Do I regret not advising his company? No. I’m not a very good advisor I think. I like to sit in my room with the shades closed.