• 07 Aug 2012 at 4:00 PM

Ray Dalio Loses Fellow Truth Seeker To Baked Goods

Ben Gifford ’10, the valedictorian of his class [at Dartmouth], left his job at Bridgewater Associates after a year and a half. The next day, he decided to open a San Francisco-based bakery called Double or Muffin, an idea he and his childhood friend and Double or Muffin co-founder Sean Pears conceived while they were at a coffee shop in their hometown of Newton, Mass., according to Gifford. “It was the summer after college graduation and we were waiting in line, making bad jokes, when one of us said ‘double or muffin,’” Gifford said. “It’s really unclear who said it first, and we kind of forgot about it initially, but before long we realized that there was an actual game you could play that corresponded pretty much perfectly with the pun. You would buy a muffin and flip a coin — heads you’d get a second muffin for free, tails you’d keep the muffin you already bought.” Gifford, who does not have any prior entrepreneurial experience, had planned on pursuing other career paths post-graduation. After being rejected from several teaching programs in Asia, Gifford subsequently joined Bridgewater Associates in May 2010. “I actually liked the company and the people a lot, and, as I had hoped, I learned a ton,” Gifford said. “But at the end of the day, I’m really just not that passionate about macroeconomics or financial markets.” [The Dartmouth]

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Comments (82)

  1. Posted by güest | August 7, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    I'd eat at Lickin' and Muffin'

  2. Posted by Humble Opunion | August 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    What a half-baked idea.

  3. Posted by VonSloneker | August 7, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Ben, I busted my ass to put you through Dartmouth and you quit a good job to go fucking star in your own personal episode of Sienfeld?!?!?! You are fucking cut off…

    – Dad

  4. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    You see, it would be this mat that you would put on the floor, and it would have different conclusions writen on it that you could jump to

  5. Posted by PermaGuestII | August 7, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Are they going to drive to California in a van built to look like a muffin?

    -guy who is being reminded of the plot of "Dumb and Dumber"

  6. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    Do they greet customers with "top of the muffin to you"?

  7. Posted by Ed Thorp | August 7, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Sounds like there is a muffin arbitrage opportunity here…

  8. Posted by guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Ben and Sean at Coffee Shop

    Ben: Sean. I'm in over my head. Nobody likes my muffin tops.

    Sean: So? What do you want me to do about it?

    Ben: You're the muffin top expert, tell me what I'm doing wrong.

    Sean: Ben, when I worked for you at Bridewater, I believed in you, you know as a man of integrity. But, I saw you in that paper hat and that aprin…

    Ben: What if I cut you in for 30% of the profits?

    Sean: Deal. Here's your problem. You're making just the muffin tops. You've gotta make the *whole* muffin. Then you… Pop the top, toss the stump. Taste.

    Ben: Ah. (takes a bite of the top.) Mmmmm. Ah hah?

    Sean: Yeah.

    Ben: So what do we with the bottoms?

    Sean: I don't know, give em to a soup kitchen.

    Ben: That's a good idea.

  9. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    How do you get rejected from being an engrish teacher in Asia, but get a job at Bridgewater? The guys I knew who did the teach abroad thing were good, smart enough people, but what exactly is the standard they're looking for?

  10. Posted by Sean | August 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Step 1) Quit job at top hedge fund
    Step 2) Preheat at 325
    Step 3) ????
    Step 4) Profits

  11. Posted by Ben | August 7, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    The tipping point was being put in charge of a "controlled study," pricing "societal norms." Pairs of interns: one tied up, the other offered a gun and a random payment. I saw a Cornellian shoot a Princetonian for $15. God save me!

  12. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?

  13. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    Yep… This needs to be the post pic

  14. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Muffins, WTF? If this guy were real Bridgewater material, his restaurant idea would be a place serving nothing but wildebeest.

  15. Posted by Sean | August 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Also, let me state clearly I have no idea if you're supposed to preheat an over while making muffins. I am assuming you can't just microwave a pile of flour and blueberries and suddenly get blueberry muffins.

  16. Posted by John Paulson | August 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    You would buy a muffin and flip a coin — heads you’d get a second muffin for free, tails you’d keep the muffin you already bought.”

    hey, that gives me an idea……

  17. Posted by WIldebeast | August 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    How does one go the valedictorian at Dartmouth get rejected by teaching programs in Asia, what did he do, feed a kid to a Hyena?

  18. Posted by guest | August 7, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Those boys went hipster….

  19. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    "Heads you’d get a second muffin for free, tails Anton Chigurh kills you with a captive bolt pistol."

  20. Posted by City Wok | August 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Rumor has it he continuously referred to everyone in his group interview as "Goddamn Mongorians". Apparently they frown on that.

  21. Posted by H^2 bro | August 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    He's not Asian…

  22. Posted by guest | August 7, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Double YOUR Muffin…christ get it right!

  23. Posted by GentlemanTrader | August 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    i've seen a lot of bad ideas, but this takes the cake!

  24. Posted by merkin_capital | August 7, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    That is the worst idea I've ever heard in my life, Tom.

    -M. Bolton

  25. Posted by Momentus | August 7, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    We don't need anymore of them here.

    –The Mission and most of Soma

  26. Posted by guest | August 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    From linked source: "Double or Muffin’s biggest source of revenue is apparel. Customers will sample the muffins and purchase T-shirts if they are excited about the company’s concept,…"

    This is a concept? Website of muffins and t-shirts:

  27. Posted by guest | August 7, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I appreciated it.


  28. Posted by Zomben Stiller | August 7, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    7 min brains.

  29. Posted by Ray of Hope | August 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Way to go, Ben. Bridgewater spreads hope, prosperity and good will. Your muffins spread diabetes and obesity.

  30. Posted by 10xLevered | August 7, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    Cool story Hansel.


  31. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    sick reputation score

  32. Posted by Louis Winthorpe III | August 7, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    Really should learn to quit while you're ahead, son.

  33. Posted by 10xLevered | August 7, 2012 at 6:46 PM

    I'm ahead of my time it seems.

  34. Posted by figaroa | August 7, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    ever butter a muffin …

  35. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Reasonable, on both sides.

  36. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 7:29 PM

    He was accepted, but doesn't want to come off as a corp whore to his new customers?

  37. Posted by Obama | August 7, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Okay you can go ahead and claim you built this one

  38. Posted by Captain Obvious | August 7, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Perhaps if you were passionate about macroeconomics you wouldnt have developed a business plan that gives away half of your product away for free.

  39. Posted by oki | August 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM

    macro economics != micro economics.

  40. Posted by Guest | August 7, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Yeah, it really fucking sucks.

  41. Posted by Michael Scarn | August 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    On a serious note, I do not understand this business model. So they buy the muffin and then flip the coin, if it's heads, they have to give away a muffin for free, aka losing one item of their product for free. It it's tails, then nothing happens, they just keep the first muffin, it's just like buying a normal muffin except there's a 50% chance that you get a free one. So they give out 1.5 muffins for every one that is paid for. How does this makes sense???

  42. Posted by Catch 22 | August 7, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Yossarian felt he was beginning to understand. ‘And the people you sell the eggs to at four and a quarter cents apiece make a profit of two and three quarter cents apiece when they sell them back to you at seven cents apiece. Is that right? Why don’t you sell the eggs directly to you to eliminate the people you buy them from?’
    ‘Because I’m the people I buy them from’, Milo explained.

    -Guy who probably will get reprimanded for getting literary but could not resist

  43. Posted by captain obvious | August 7, 2012 at 9:52 PM

    The seller will just charge 1.5x the cost he would have otherwise sold the muffin at.

  44. Posted by TMI | August 7, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Japan: Locked down pretty tight, I think only people with Japanese language ability get the teaching jobs now since the market is all but dead.

    Korea: Application process takes FOREVER for Americans.

    Hong Kong: Generally have to be a licensed teacher or experienced anyway.

    Rest of Asia: Big fat mystery. Probably didn't pay enough to compete with Double or Muffin?

  45. Posted by Michael Scarn | August 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    Then why the fuck would anyone do this? No one operates by thinking in terms of 1.5x the cost with a 50% probability of getting a free item when evaluating purchase decisions.

  46. Posted by Allison | August 7, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    The website doesn't have a menu or even really show that they sell muffins, just t-shirts… uhhhh?

  47. Posted by Lowly Assistant | August 8, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Stop being so literal, Allison.

    -Ben Gifford, Darty '10

  48. Posted by awsomesaur | August 8, 2012 at 4:32 AM

    Never go full hipster
    – Kirk Lazarus

  49. Posted by awsomesaur | August 8, 2012 at 4:38 AM

    'This looks like a scam to hook up with the dumb crack Hos on the front page
    – just sayin

  50. Posted by Edmund | August 8, 2012 at 4:39 AM

    Allison stop being so Web 1.0. The muffiins are merely a cipher, a vector, a paradigm whereby we sell a lot of crap T-shirts made by kids in Indonesia who are paid 10 cents/hour.

    — Ben

  51. Posted by Snobby zombie | August 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Pardon me, do you have any brain pupon?

  52. Posted by J Stewart | August 8, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    ….on weed?

  53. Posted by Laxbro | August 8, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Truth be told, it's easy for chicks from solid universities to enter an Asian teaching program but it's nearly impossible for dudes. They know these Asian obsessed creeps never got ass in high school or college and only want to teach English so they can try to bang some prepubescent looking Yung Hos.

  54. Posted by Guest | August 8, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Rich guys from my high school used to quit stressful jobs to burn tree and bake cupcakes in Cali all the time, it was no big deal.

  55. Posted by Lord Humongous | August 8, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Take a lap

  56. Posted by Coin flipper quant | August 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    ahem… (That would be a third of the profits)

  57. Posted by Guest | August 8, 2012 at 10:35 AM

    Hey, Matt Levine is someone!

  58. Posted by John Paulson | August 8, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    You would buy a muffin and flip a coin heads youd get a second muffin for free, tails youd keep the muffin you already bought.

  59. Posted by gab | August 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I have to think there might be some pricing structure they might pick that would mitigate the profit problem, dontcha think?

  60. Posted by Guest | August 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    this sounds like an overly elaborate analogy to illustrate the asymmetrical risk profile and inherent moral hazard underpinning the modern banking system…. right Ben? right? and after you've made your brilliant point you're going back to do God's work at Bridgewater, right? please tell me this is your plan.

  61. Posted by guest | August 8, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Allison, let me spell it out for you. It's a store in San Francisco selling "muffins", the picture on the website of the owner and his "partner" has him holding an oddly placed cigar, and they talk about their "mission to bring Double or Muffin – and the lifestyle it symbolizes – to as wide an audience as possible." I think they're being pretty clear about their product.

  62. Posted by guest | August 8, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Was there a zombie related post that's driving these awful zombie jokes? These attempts scream high school kid killing time in class. It's almost as bad as the majority of the "UBS MD" comments these days.

  63. Posted by Nick | August 8, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Double or Muffin!!

    (Slaps hands on Thai)

  64. Posted by guest of a guest | August 8, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    They can't get enough English teachers in China. When I lived in Beijing, I was recruited to teach a college-level conversational English course. All you need to do is be WHITE and come from a 'brand name' American university. They also really like American accents and everyone wants to have one. They don't really care if you're male or female, so long as you went to a decent university.

    One thing – don't be black. They are so 'effing racist in China against blacks.

  65. Posted by Bluto | August 8, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    This sounds like a good idea. How do I get in?

    — Ron Donald, Soup R' Crackers manager

  66. Posted by TMI | August 8, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Yeah that was exactly the case in Korea 10+ years ago. White + pulse = job. Now Korea is relatively competitive, as Japan used to be, and Japan is impossible.

    My best guess is Dalio tried to do the JET program and got shot down, then threw in the towel without trying further. Then left Bridgewater to……sell muffins.

  67. Posted by Guest | August 9, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Do you know the muffin man?

    Yes I do, he is a dipshit from Dartmouth.

  68. Posted by UBS Zombie MD | August 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Fuck you.

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