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Business Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
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simondice Offline
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Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
So I'm looking for a little bit of advice on business ideas for someone who is very good at math, and wants a little bit of adventure. I'm a college student who runs his own tutoring business on the side. I found it by mistake and it was fun running things for a while, but my heart is not really in it. I want to find something really interesting and something that involves my natural math skills with creative outlets. I was thinking something in the music business or something in animation like Pixar.

Opinions, comments or concerns?

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05-26-2014 10:55 PM
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Virtus Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
FBI is always hiring quants

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05-27-2014 01:57 AM
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clever alias Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 01:57 AM)calihunter Wrote:  FBI is always hiring quants

FBI typically requires masters degree
05-27-2014 08:59 AM
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redbeard Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
Google is a good place to look. They are always hiring. If you have a creative side and can make yourself stand out from the rest of the applicants...you're good.
05-27-2014 09:39 AM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
Appreciate the advice guys. I'm looking to start out a business myself though, not really work for someone else (not my thing). I was thinking is there any industries that use surprising uses for math and technology, maybe some insight into the people who are engineers and entrepreneurs themselves.

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05-27-2014 11:28 AM
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monster Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
engineering

some dudes i know just started a company that uses a 3d printer to make stuff and they have to engineer everything. not doing very well now but who knows in 2-3 yrs.
05-27-2014 11:42 AM
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Virtus Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 08:59 AM)clever alias Wrote:  
(05-27-2014 01:57 AM)calihunter Wrote:  FBI is always hiring quants

FBI typically requires masters degree

I met a dozen FBI guys. 10 of them had BA in accounting. one was a poli sci MA and one was a biologist

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05-27-2014 12:14 PM
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RichieP Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
By and large, mathematics and engineering are the skills of employees.

Do you want to own a business, or run one? Do you want to be using your mathematical skills every day as a service provider/consultant, or do you actually want to own the business machine that makes the money?

Thing with mathematics is, like any specialist skill or ability, that one skill does not a business make.

And basing a business around one skill makes you a freelancer or a consultant, not a business owner.

There are definitely businesses based on numerical or technical services - software development, data/statistical analytics, etc - but there are also much easier businesses to start.

And even if you did want to run a technical services business, being a software developer or an analytics ninja yourself doesn't necessarily help massively, because the key skills in client-based service businesses are things like sales, marketing, product-market fit, positioning/differentiation, automation, biz processes, hiring, etc etc.

Of course, knowing your craft helps, but if you actually want to "own the machine", you'll be employing others to do the actual technical work anyway. See the post from the guy who opened a web design/dev shop with no actual ability in those skills himself. His success was due to sales, hiring the right people and mastery of his business processes.

An alternative that might interest you more is running a business where your service isn't necessarily your technical/mathematical skills per se, but they are the key factor for success in your business. e.g. something like affiliate marketing or a digital products business where the bulk of your day is spent in in testing, optimising and analysing data in Adwords and Google Analytics to squeeze maximum profit from your offer.

My main point is, do you want to use your skills to be a solo service provider, or do you want to own the cashflow-generating machine? If the latter, then you may need to shift focus off actually doing math/technical work, and onto mastery of the key factors for a successful service business.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2014 05:39 PM by RichieP.)
05-27-2014 05:32 PM
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From Vegas to Tokyo Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
Guys who are very quantitative (by being 'very good at math' I assume you know what you are doing) tend to be very good traders, especially when dealing with more complex financial instruments (ie. lots of idiots can go "Apple looks like an alright business model, I'll walk into my local brokerage and buy 100 shares of AAPL, whereas relatively few people are playing with the spreads between U.S. Treasury bills and junk bonds, or writing call options on the Japanese Yen). You could look into Proprietary Trading. You can either do it on your own, with 100% your own capital, or get a job at a Prop Shop, which in most cases you will have to put in a bunch of your own capital, and in some cases you will get a significant portion of your gains in your bonus at the end of the month. If you find a shop like this, consider whatever the shop takes as paying for access to people and systems you wouldn't otherwise be able to get on your own.

If you're really interested in trading, read Technical Analysis: The Complete Resource for Financial Technicians and Come Into My Trading Room as good starting points for trading.
05-27-2014 05:50 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 05:32 PM)RichieP Wrote:  An alternative that might interest you more is running a business where your service isn't necessarily your technical/mathematical skills per se, but they are the key factor for success in your business. e.g. something like affiliate marketing or a digital products business where the bulk of your day is spent in in testing, optimising and analysing data in Adwords and Google Analytics to squeeze maximum profit from your offer.

My main point is, do you want to use your skills to be a solo service provider, or do you want to own the cashflow-generating machine? If the latter, then you may need to shift focus off actually doing math/technical work, and onto mastery of the key factors for a successful service business.


This is true. Thank you for the heads up. I have ran a business in the past and it definitely has to do with using one's skills to manage and support what others are doing http://www.rooshvforum.com/thread-36504.html.

I would love to get to have the business centered on the product. I have the math skills and I would love to get deeper into the product, get my hands dirty along with my employees, and come up with the solutions. I like the idea of spending the bulk of my days working on the product and have very talented people help me with the marketing and brand image. I guess I want to model myself as Steve Jobs entrepreneur who dedicated 80% of the hard work into the product and then focus on the 20% with help of marketing gurus and people who know their stuff.

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05-27-2014 05:52 PM
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RichieP Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
I hear ya. Can you code, build web or mobile apps? Technical founders who can code and also have actual biz experience ( I read your tutoring thread) are rare and valuable. You'd be well-positioned to start SaaS biz as you'd be able to spot good developers and manage them, and also stay focused on the customer.

If you can't code yet, it might be worth learning web or mobile development. It won't be hard for a mathematics major.

That said, even as a technical founder in a software business it's still almost always better to spend your efforts on the critical activities - and that's finding product/market fit, cutting deals, pitching, selling, etc - than it is to be knee-deep in code. Definitely use your coding skills to manage your developers, but business is all about leveraging other people's skills.

Then again, there's a great case for doing what you love. How about partnering with a marketing/biz guy and building something that solves a real problem for a lucrative niche?

Supposedly the key skills among co-founders are development (building the product), design, and marketing. Maybe being the technical founder and partnering with an MBA or marketing guy would be a smart move.
(This post was last modified: 05-27-2014 06:10 PM by RichieP.)
05-27-2014 06:07 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 06:07 PM)RichieP Wrote:  I hear ya. Can you code, build web or mobile apps? Technical founders who can code and also have actual biz experience ( I read your tutoring thread) are rare and valuable. You'd be well-positioned to start SaaS biz as you'd be able to spot good developers and manage them, and also stay focused on the customer.

If you can't code yet, it might be worth learning web or mobile development. It won't be hard for a mathematics major.

That said, even as a technical founder in a software business it's still almost always better to spend your efforts on the critical activities - and that's finding product/market fit, cutting deals, pitching, selling, etc - than it is to be knee-deep in code. Definitely use your coding skills to manage your developers, but business is all about leveraging other people's skills.

Then again, there's a great case for doing what you love. How about partnering with a marketing/biz guy and building something that solves a real problem for a lucrative niche?

Supposedly the key skills among co-founders are development (building the product), design, and marketing. Maybe being the technical founder and partnering with an MBA or marketing guy would be a smart move.

I'll definitely find someone who is very savvy on the marketing side, but it probably wouldn't be a partnership (had one before and the power struggle is a bitch).
I'll definitely give them a big cut, but I would retain 51% at least.

As far as making deals, convincing, building connections, I love that shit. I get an adrenaline rush from being in it, It's game all the way. I do want the math part to be impeccable though and I don't allow bullshit since I'm a math guy myself (I'm actually a engineering/math major).

Coding is definitely on my list. I can code, but I'm no Mark Zuckerberg yet. I am learning it to maximize as much as I can, but I don't get my kicks off of it like some people do.

Thanks for your valuable insight, man.

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05-27-2014 06:30 PM
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WestIndianArchie Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 12:14 PM)calihunter Wrote:  
(05-27-2014 08:59 AM)clever alias Wrote:  
(05-27-2014 01:57 AM)calihunter Wrote:  FBI is always hiring quants

FBI typically requires masters degree

I met a dozen FBI guys. 10 of them had BA in accounting. one was a poli sci MA and one was a biologist

Probably why they need quants.

WIA
05-27-2014 06:30 PM
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RichieP Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 06:30 PM)simondice Wrote:  As far as making deals, convincing, building connections, I love that shit. I get an adrenaline rush from being in it, It's game all the way. I do want the math part to be impeccable though and I don't allow bullshit since I'm a math guy myself (I'm actually a engineering/math major).

That right there puts you in such a good position. That combo of talents - heavy technical ability plus passion for sales and deal-making - is extremely rare... make the most of it and you'll go far man.
05-27-2014 07:29 PM
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TheKantian Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
What do you mean very good at math? Kind of vague. To some it's the plug and chug they associate with high school math and for others it's proof writing they associate with higher mathematics or to some it's the ability to develop mathematical models for problems in the real world.
05-28-2014 10:17 AM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
Higher level math. Just above the uses of differential equation, and other engineering courses.

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05-28-2014 10:34 AM
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komatiite Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
What kind of engineering are you in? Does it interest you long term?
05-28-2014 11:08 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-28-2014 11:08 PM)komatiite Wrote:  What kind of engineering are you in? Does it interest you long term?

I'm thinking mechanical but I haven't settled into one specifically. Yeah engineering long-term, there's nothing more interesting, challenging and creative than it (in my opinion).

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05-29-2014 11:08 AM
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komatiite Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
What does your school offer? Mech is a great choice either way, probably the most versatile degree in the world. And if you are really sick at math it should be a breeze
05-29-2014 06:53 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-29-2014 06:53 PM)komatiite Wrote:  What does your school offer? Mech is a great choice either way, probably the most versatile degree in the world. And if you are really sick at math it should be a breeze

I'm looking for business opportunities and start companies, not work for someone else. I've done it before, but I'm looking for something more exciting, something within my field to build and work on.

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05-29-2014 08:39 PM
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BadWolf Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
Help me build the hyperdrive, we'll be rich. Smile
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2014 09:56 PM by BadWolf.)
05-29-2014 09:47 PM
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simondice Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-29-2014 09:47 PM)BadWolf Wrote:  Help me invest the hyperdrive, we'll be rich. Smile

Sounds awesome. pm me

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05-29-2014 09:54 PM
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TheKantian Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-28-2014 10:34 AM)simondice Wrote:  Higher level math. Just above the uses of differential equation, and other engineering courses.
That's kind of vague. I really don't know what you mean.

However, different kinds of mathematics lead to different places.
05-30-2014 03:11 PM
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Ensam Offline
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
As someone with a very deep knowledge in math I can tell you that your familiarity with cohomology rings will not get you very far outside of a few niché areas of cryptography or very high end computational efficiency problems. It's very difficult to make money from deep understanding of a field alone. You need to be able to take your deep understanding from one field and apply figure out how you can leverage it to make connections between seemingly unrelated and disparate fields.

Become an expert in one thing (sounds like you might be there). Then become familiar with as many other things as possible - familiar enough that you can converse meaningfully with an expert in any of those fields. Now figure out how to bring concepts from all those different fields together to develop a new solution to a problem and you've got yourself a business.
05-31-2014 07:08 PM
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RE: Help finding adventurous start up ideas with math skills?
(05-27-2014 11:28 AM)simondice Wrote:  Appreciate the advice guys. I'm looking to start out a business myself though, not really work for someone else (not my thing). I was thinking is there any industries that use surprising uses for math and technology, maybe some insight into the people who are engineers and entrepreneurs themselves.

The thing is though, it's all good and fine that you want to start a business and you might be smart and motivated, but you're putting the cart before the horse so to speak.

You need to have an idea and some understanding of market need. The best way to do that is to have some life experience. Lots of very successful startups originate from Facebook and Google dropouts. If you're the kind of very smart math oriented guy, then those two places might be very good to start.
06-01-2014 04:08 AM
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