Jeff Smith: The rest of his political incarceration story

TED Blog

Jeff Smith was blown away by some of the brilliant business ideas he heard while spending 366 days in prison between 2009 and 2010.

“[Prison] was teeming with smart, ambitious men whose business instincts were in many cases as sharp as those of the CEOs who had wined and dined me six months earlier when I was a rising star in the Missouri Senate,” says Smith in today’s talk, filmed during the TED@NewYork stop of the TED Talent Search. “Ninety-five percent of the guys I was locked up with had been drug dealers on the outside … They talked about it in a different jargon – but the business concepts they talked about were not unlike what you’d learn in a first-year MBA class at Wharton.”

In this talk, Smith shares that he made just $5.25 per month in prison, working in a warehouse. And yet, he had…

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