The Economist debate: Goldman versus Google: A career on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley?

The  Buttonwood Gathering 2013, New York City. My really fun debate with Nobel laureate Robert J. Shller.   For decades, the best and brightest minds from American business schools were attracted to Wall Street by the promise of high pay and prestige. But at least since the financial crisis, high-tech companies have become an increasingly appealing destination, and today, when Silicon Valley competes...

Washington Post: To inspire tomorrow’s great female engineers, we need better toys today

While her friends dressed Barbie dolls, Lucy Sanders designed and constructed buildings with Lincoln Logs, Tinkertoys, and playing cards.  She learned physics by playing with her slinky, and chemistry through her chemistry set.  Sanders says that the board games she played with her family taught her strategy, empathy, and how to win and lose.  Her parents did get her a Barbie — but she and her sister turned...

Financial Times: The digital world’s other equality problem

By Gillian Tett ‘There is not simply a gender digital divide but a widening socio-economic one too’ In recent days, Vivek Wadhwa, an American technology entrepreneur and pundit, has been helping to run a “hackathon” in the San Francisco area. But this did not comprise the usual computer coding and brainstorming sessions that occur at places such as Facebook or Google. There were no hoodie-wearing...

LinkedIn: Chinese Can Innovate–But China Can’t

The Economist asked me to comment on a debate about whether China can innovate. Here is my response. Feel free to weigh in below and vote on Economist’s website. China produces more than a million engineering graduates a year—which is seven times as many as America. It is second in academic publications to America and by 2015 will file more patents annually than America. China has already invested...

Washington Post: Google — not Goldman Sachs — deserves our best minds

Collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and structured investment vehicles are some of the greatest innovations created by the financial industry in recent times. What did this get us? Subprime loans, the housing bubble, and the financial meltdown.  And with high-frequency trading and other technology gimmicks that investment banks are increasingly using to skim money off the top of stock trading...

Washington Post: Five myths about college debt

By John Etchemendy and Vivek Wadhwa The trillion-dollar student debt burden has spawned many debates about the value of college. Some argue that we educate too many young people. Indeed, average tuition costs have gone up faster than the rate of inflation. The cost of college today is, in inflation-adjusted terms, roughly double what it was in 1980. This creates legitimate concerns about the continued affordability...

PBS Newshour: The Pernicious Myth that You Don’t Need College to Be an Entrepreneur

Paul Solman: Our friend Vivek Wadhwa, last seen on this page tolling the death knell for Microsoft, has been engaged in a long-running debate, some would say feud, with Peter Thiel, who in 2010 starting paying young people to drop out of college (or never enroll) and become entrepreneurs instead. So what’s become of Thiel’s experiment? Vivek shares his view of the results thus far. Vivek Wadhwa: Frustrated...

LinkedIn: Is the GMAT the Root of Evil in the Business World?

Yes, I know that that’s a very provocative title. But after analyzing data that B-school professor Raj Aggarwal sent me, this is what I now believe about the Graduate Management Admission Test. A high GMAT score is necessary to gain admission to top business schools—world wide. But, shockingly, what Aggarwal reported in a paper in the Journal of Business Ethics is that high GMAT scores correlate with...

Washington Post: Are business schools graduating the wrong leaders? If so, the GMAT may be to blame

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) results are an important assessment criterion for business-school applications. The higher the GMAT score, the better the odds of gaining admission. A study in the Journal of Business Ethics makes the surprising finding that high GMAT scores may be correlated to some of the negative traits of American business: lack of ethical orientation, male domination of executive...

Wall Street Journal: If You Want to Be an Entrepreneur, Don’t Go to Harvard

My greatest disappointment after joining academia was to see my most promising students accept jobs at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey. Engineering students with ambitions to save the world would instead become financial analysts—who used their skills to “engineer” our financial system. Or they would take grunt jobs in management consulting—another waste of valuable talent. Why would they sell their souls?...

LinkedIn: Liberal Arts and Humanities Education: Who Is Right—Bill Gates, or the Late Steve Jobs?

When students asked me what subjects they should major in to become a tech entrepreneur, I would say engineering, mathematics, and science. I used to believe that education in these fields was a prerequisite for innovation, and that engineers made the best entrepreneurs. That was several years ago. I realized how much my views have changed when the The New York Times asked me to write a piece for its “Room...

WSJ: Debunking the Myth of the Dorm-Room Billionaire

During the mid-‘90s, cardiologist and researcher David Albert had the idea to develop a handheld device that displays an electrocardiogram. He believed that this would save lives by providing immediate information to patients wherever they were. In those days, even the most powerful handheld computers didn’t have the needed capabilities. So Albert dropped the idea because it was impossible. Myths abound...