BusinessI’m Richard Bronson, founder/CEO of 70MillionJobs, former “Wolf of Wall Street” partner. Spent 22 months in a federal prison, now run Y-Combinator startup that finds jobs for 70 million ex-offenders. AMA.
Jan 17th 2018 by RichardBBronson • 22 Questions • 78 Points
I began my career on Wall Street, and became a partner at the infamous Stratton Oakmont, of “Wolf of Wall Street” fame. After launching my own firm that grew to 500 employees, generating $100 million in annual revenue, I was arrested for securities fraud, and spent 22 months in a federal prison. Upon release, I had nothing - no job, no money, and no prospects. I finally found a home at Defy Ventures, the prominent reentry non-profit, where I served as director, leading to my founding 70MillionJobs, the first for-profit recruitment platform for individuals with criminal records. In a short time, the 70MillionJobs has amassed a huge community of ex-offenders--a population emerging as a vital economic and political force--and have begun working with large, national employers.
I have experienced the dizzying heights of success, the inevitable plummet to abject failure, and ultimate redemption in discovering the intersection of good works and good business. AMA.
For job-seekers with a record, for large employers, and anyone else who wants to connect, please visit: www.70MillionJobs.com
EDIT: Alright Reddit, I'm signing off now. Thanks for a great evening. Come visit us at 70MillionJobs.com and contact us with your thoughts. -Richard
Alright, this is going to be a rather harsh sounding question here. But please understand that I'm not bashing you.
So, how do you view your return to working in light of the massive disparity between Caucasian and African Americans both in incarceration rates and success after release?
In other words, if you weren't Caucasian and with the background you had before being convicted, do you think that you would have been able to achieve the relative return to normalcy in an executive position?
As a secondary question to that, how do you think we as a society could improve that disparity?
Not harsh at all. You're stating some depressing facts. There's huge racism in this country. 85% of those incarcerated are African American or Latin. This is vastly unjust and what I work towards righting. The fact that I'm a white male with a college education definitely makes things easier than what my brothers and sisters of color face, so in a way I'm fortunate. But anyone that's done time carries a stigma that resembles a life sentence.
Do you specialize in finding these folks certain types of jobs, or do you just help whoever find whatever work they can do? How do you make money off that?
- Companies pay us a fee for every applicant they hire, like any other recruiting firm. We focus on large, national employers in the retail, food service, health care, call center, trucking, logistics, warehousing, etc.
What do you think of the wealth inequality in the US and would you be willing to help smash the oligarchy when the revolution comes knocking?
I'm an old hippie, who marched at many a protest back in the day. I'm not sure the revolution will come knocking; maybe more through a notification on my smart phone.