6 reasons why the MIT Blackjack Team became entrepreneurs — Bill Aulet

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Bill Aulet

MIT Sloan Sr. Lecturer Bill Aulet

From Xconomy

Wow. Imagine being invited to moderate a free-form discussion with the people who lived out the book “Bringing Down the House” and the movie “21.” It doesn’t get any better than this.

At Xconomy’s XSITE conference, I had the honor of moderating a reunion panel of the MIT Blackjack Team with two of the original members (Bill Kaplan and Jon Hirschtick) and two (Neelan Choksi and Semyon Dukach) who reconstituted the team in 1992. The team is known for its sophisticated card-counting techniques that outsmarted many casinos during the 1980s and 1990s.

There were many great stories, but what stuck with me was that so many members of this famous team went on to found companies. Much like the propensity of lacrosse “bros” to end up on Wall Street and have successful careers, many blackjack team members found a common career in entrepreneurship. This surprised me because I thought a hedge fund manager (a path that some did choose) would be a better match for their skill set than the entrepreneurial option. But the panelists explained that there were six key reasons why many team members became entrepreneurs:

Read the full post at Xconomy

Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has authored his first book, “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup”, now available at bookstores and online.

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