So we give you our brilliant ideas, you cherry pick them and go execute them and reap the profits, then pay one person $2,500 for what you get, while everyone else watches you laugh all the way to the bank?
"Too clever by half" is a phrase that was invented for situations like this.
Ramit's blog is well respected in the personal finance community -- I've been reading it for a long time. I'm not totally sure I understand his aim with this project, but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that it's not as nefarious as you suggest.
this is exactly what i thought when i saw the title on hn's front page. the domain name smells of pyramid scheme.
that said, when i went to the actual site it looks genuinely community oriented. this business guy seems both slick and businessy but also honest and genuinely interested in social good.
i don't know what to think. i like grassroots and community efforts, so i want to support what he's doing. cynicism holds back progress. nonetheless, i can't shake the fishy smell. he wasn't very clear about what he's looking for--is he donating to a good cause or looking for business partners (see video) !?
Guys, this is Ramit (the founder of the scholarship). No, it's not a scam, and no, I'm not looking for business partners.
I want to give back to someone who is likely to achieve something meaningful. Maybe this person will do it, or maybe next year's winner will (when I give it out again).
If you think I'm cherrypicking for ideas, then I'm sorry you're so cynical and this award isn't for you. But if you read through my site -- which I've been writing for the last 4 years -- you'll see what I'm about.
Obviously, $2,500 isn't a huge amount of money. But for some people, that small amount AND the motivation from winning something public can make all the difference. The scholarship is aimed at people who can benefit from that. If $2,500 won't do anything for you, then no big deal! But for the 1 person who will really benefit from advice, a little money, and most importantly support, I hope they hear about this.
Thanks for replying Ramit. There are many things one could do, but you're at least trying one thing, so I salute you.
I still think "I will teach you to be rich" is an odd domain name and motto, but I'll pass that off as part of the mysterious finance culture that doesn't often leak into my penniless programming world :-) Though I'm starting to see that when you say rich you might not mean $$.
Ramit! do you really think that unavailability of $2,500 could be holding someone back from implementing his super-innovative entrepreneurial idea? I suggest that you mix a few more things with you bounty? something that an entrepreneur might actually need and want. $2,500 is way too down the list.
Honestly, isn't this identical to YCombinator, just without him taking 5-7% of the company? YCombinator gives like $10,000 to a single developer---not a huge amount of money, but enough to get started. $2500 is the same idea---you give a small amount of money for someone to create a project. I think it's an amazing idea.
disclaimer: I'm Ramit's brother and I'm not qualified to apply :(
Such as contacts - introduction to social enterprise heavyweights as part of the award would build credibility and improve the success rate. The Y-C network is far more important than the start up money in the long run.
i've known Ramit for four years and he's a very intelligent and upstanding person who's genuinely interested in helping people better manage their lives and implement their ideas. $2500 might not be a lot to someone who's got a well paying job and is well out of college, but for your average entrepreneurially inclined college student, it's great motivation to help them get started on something meaningful.