By Claire Garrison
I have recently read an article titled “The Mit Blackjack Team: An Effective Startup Model” on Entrepreneur online, which explains the troubles, successes, and those in between, of an effective startup. The MIT blackjack team is a group of students who are known for counting cards and competing using these techniques in casinos around the world. Though card counting is looked down upon, and is wishfully prevented in casinos, it is not illegal and can give an advantage to those that know how to do this effectively, in turn creating a large profit. Because this technique is so advanced, and takes true talent to successfully “card count,” members must be trained extensively before playing, to ensure that they come home with a win.
The MIT team’s recruitment technique allows their cost to train to be essentially zero. They look, very carefully, for card counting talent in their own MIT student body. This is their pool of “worker bees” which they weed through to find the perfect person to do the job. Once they have found their newest members, they train them, essentially to win, for no charge, and can then create an even larger profit for the team.
More often than not do companies waste thousands of dollars on training their employees, who perform barely adequately. The MIT blackjack team has created an intense training process to further develop their players into a winning team. The team, after finding suitable candidates through knowledge testing, trains the players fully by giving them probabilities to remember and techniques to learn. After this first training, they are then put through a series of eight trials where almost perfect performance is required. This consists of in-game scenarios and game trials, in all of which perfect play is expected. Should they make it through these intense trials, they are then required to be put through another training session, with supervision and low-key casino trials, before they are to become full players. Here is where they are to be given the secrets and successes of being an MIT blackjack team-member. This is such an intense training process, that if it were in an actual company it would cost many thousands of dollars. Because this costs the MIT blackjack team nothing, they are now allowed to maximize their profit to the highest possible margin.
The MIT blackjack team’s recruiting and training, process works so nicely because they are pulling from a pool of already highly skilled and knowledgeable people, which is thus a self-regulating talent pool. By creating this intense and flawless training at no cost, they are experiencing no opportunity cost, in the event that a member fails or quits, which is overall, an extremely successful business plan.
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