Book Summary: Smart People Should Build Things by Andrew Yang

Smart People Should Build Things by Andrew Yang Book Cover

In “Smart People Should Build Things,” Andrew Yang presents a compelling argument for why highly intelligent individuals should focus their talents on creating innovative and impactful technology, rather than pursuing traditional career paths in law or finance. Through personal anecdotes and thought-provoking analysis, Yang encourages readers to think critically about the role they can play in shaping the future of technology and society.

Chapter 1: Introduction

In the first chapter, Yang introduces the idea of “meritocracy” and how it has influenced his own thinking about success and achievement. He argues that meritocracy is not just about being smart, but about using one’s intelligence to create meaningful change in the world. Yang also shares his own personal story of growing up in a family of immigrants and how this shaped his desire to make a difference through technology.

Chapter 2: The Rise of the Technopolis

In this chapter, Yang explores the rise of the “technopolis” – cities that are built around technology and innovation. He discusses how these cities have become hubs for entrepreneurship and innovation, and how they are attracting some of the brightest minds in the world. Yang argues that these cities are not just economic powerhouses, but cultural ones as well, and that they are shaping the future of the world.

Chapter 3: The Education of a Technologist

In this chapter, Yang delves into the education system and how it is failing to prepare students for careers in technology. He argues that the traditional liberal arts education is outdated and that students need to be exposed to more practical, hands-on learning experiences. Yang also discusses the importance of mentorship and how it can help young people navigate the competitive world of technology.

Chapter 4: The Future of Work

In this chapter, Yang explores the future of work and how technology is changing the way we work and live. He discusses the rise of automation and how it is affecting jobs across all industries. Yang argues that we need to rethink our approach to work and that we need to focus on creating meaningful, fulfilling jobs that utilize our unique skills and talents.

Chapter 5: The Power of Networks

In this chapter, Yang discusses the importance of networks in the world of technology. He argues that networking is not just about making connections, but about building relationships that can lead to innovation and collaboration. Yang also discusses the role of social media in building networks and how it can be used to create positive change in the world.

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Chapter 6: The Entrepreneurial Mindset

In this chapter, Yang explores the mindset of successful entrepreneurs and how it differs from the mindset of traditional employees. He argues that entrepreneurs are driven by a sense of purpose and a desire to create something meaningful. Yang also discusses the importance of risk-taking and how it can lead to innovation and success.


In the conclusion, Yang summarizes the key themes of the book and encourages readers to take action in their own lives. He argues that we all have a role to play in shaping the future of technology and society, and that we need to use our intelligence and creativity to build a better world for ourselves and future generations.

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