Wisdom From The Harvard Business Class of 1963

Bill Agee, from the Harvard Business School Class of ’63, gets money. Hell, he gets life:

It may seem too easy for someone who has achieved relative financial success and a significant degree of material comfort to say in retrospect that this no longer really matters. It does matter, in that this form of success provides for safety and security, comfort and freedom.

However, I believe that each person must define an optimal amount of financial success. This is the point at which money is no longer a great motivator.

Once our economic needs have been fulfilled, it is time to give back — to seek out those whose basic needs have not been met, whose human rights to shelter, food, and safety have not been satisfied.

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Wisdom From The Harvard Business Class of 1963

  1. scchan_2009 says:

    Elle_Navorski I really loved that article. You feel bad for that Polk and some folks who are out there in the Street struggling with their identity and meaning of life. I think it is now good to recall what Steve Jobs said that you have to follow your own heart and do what you believe – the reason is simple, you know one day you would die (may be you won't even live to see tomorrow).

  2. Elle_Navorski says:

    scchan_2009, I notice many criticize the late Steve Jobs and his aggressive style. But I tend to agree with you: He followed his passions and changed the globe. Apple's Steve Wozniak is maybe a bigger favorite, because after Woz had made oodles of money, he turned to supporting primary school education. Per Tim's suggestion in another article, I am also enjoying much of mrmoneymustache.com. Mustache guy's site's whole premise seems to be revealing to the masses how happiness is found only through less (after a certain threshold). For me the biggest point of Polk's article were that the millions of dollars many young people make on Wall Street is out of proportion to the tasks they do. The money was nice, but feeling like one had something valuable to offer? The latter seemed absent.

  3. UScott says:

    Elle_NavorskiI think much of the criticism of Jobs is unfair.  Most of the statements used against him weren't made to the masses but made at events such as college graduation speeches.  The one at Stanford seems to be the one most scrutinized, but the guy was talking to MBA students at Stanford, that 6 years later this video has been used to try to explain to everyone that they should do what they love, misses the context.  Hes' telling a specific set of people, those who graduated from one of the best schools in the country that they have the power to be anything they want, and that the rewards for doing what you love my not all be financial but may be worth more in the end.  It's a valuable lesson, much more so if context is taken into account.

  4. scchan_2009 says:

    Life is a bit more than money. It is good to be well off; however, if your life becomes all about money, it is time to rethink what you want from your life. Do good, do well, and be happy. I am sure Jesus, Confucius, Plato… (you name it) would not disagree.

  5. scchan_2009 says:

    I also tend to agree that many hatred and criticism of Jobs are not justified. This man may be aggressive, but he does many wonderful for all of us. He and other Steve went out to change the world for the better, and they did. If I were Jobs on his deathbed, I would have that I had lived without regret.
    Also I wish to comment about the guys who go out to the Street and the City (London) for high finance. Somehow the article reminds me much the Wall Street (the film). So you go out being one big bast***d floor trader or corporate raider, so what do you gain at the end? May be you may feel your ego brandished, but does it make you happier? Wealth is a mean for security, happiness and stability, but it isn’t the actual three things themselves. The actual three things are obtained by how you live (with the help of wealth). And to further the criticsm against the Street or the City, many of the traders or raiders had created zero wealth for the society. Make money and live a hollow life with zero societal benefit – I am not sure I can deal with it.

  6. scchan_2009 says:

    As a bit of personal experience : during my graduate school graduation from University of Maryland (Terps are cool!). The person next to me is a maths or physics PhD (don’t remember exactly), we talked about career. He said he was hired by Goldman to do mathematical analysis and models for finanical markets. That was literally just a year before Lehman fell, and back then I rarely cared much about stocks. I actually wonder, what could he be doing right now. Is he still at the Street?

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