Mormons, McKinsey, and the Military 🙏

Hey everyone,

This week I was listening to an episode of the My First Million podcast that featured Austen Allred, CEO of Lambda School.

Austen went to BYU and held a variety of jobs before founding Lambda School, which is a coding bootcamp notable for its Income Share Agreements (ISAs). Essentially, students pay back a portion of their future salary, rather than paying upfront. This model aligns the incentives of student and institution.

Innovative business models aside, Austen mentioned an anecdote during the interview that I found interesting.

As context, Austen is a Mormon and completed a two year mission in Russia. The podcasts hosts were remarking what great startup training it must have been to have to move to a new country, learn a new language, and get consistently rejected by people who didn’t want to hear your message.

In response, Austen mentioned that there is supposedly a trend among students at Harvard Business School: prior background in the military, the LDS church, or consulting at McKinsey.

white concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

As far as I can tell, this categorization comes from the book Ahead of the Curve. I haven’t read the book, so I’m not entirely sure of the reasons given for this phenomenon. If you asked me, I’d say that all have in common a discipline and kind of rigor that I imagine translates very well to business school and the business world at large.

It seems that persistence, structure and a willingness to face rejection are near-universal skillsets. Transferrable assets are those worth investing in.

Pete’s Picks ✅

  1. Analysis: I read a fascinating article about a bunch of vulnerabilities in Apple’s infrastructure found by bug bounty hunters. Even if you don’t know much about how software works, it’s an instructive read on how things can go wrong, even at the highest levels of the industry.

  2. Product: I’ve been a Gumroad user for about a year, and am a big fan. Gumroad is a platform that allows anyone to sell a digital asset. Gumroad also does a fantastic job encouraging and facilitating selling online. Case in point: Gumroad is putting on a 14-day product challenge that I’m taking part in, which has been super fun and helpful. More on that in a couple weeks when I launch my product.

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