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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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82 Responses to “Ray Dalio Loses Fellow Truth Seeker To Baked Goods”

  1. güest says:

    I'd eat at Lickin' and Muffin'

  2. Humble Opunion says:

    What a half-baked idea.

  3. VonSloneker says:

    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

    • Guest says:

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

      • guest says:

        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.

    • Ben says:

      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!

  4. Guest says:

    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. PermaGuestII says:

    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. Ed Thorp says:

    Sounds like there is a muffin arbitrage opportunity here…

  7. Guest says:

    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?

  8. Sean says:

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

  9. Guest says:

    Yep… This needs to be the post pic
    http://doubleormuffin.com/home/images//2012/04/ab

  10. Guest says:

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

  11. John Paulson says:

    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……

    • Guest says:

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

  12. WIldebeast says:

    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?

    • H^2 bro says:

      He's not Asian…

    • Guest says:

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

    • TMI says:

      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?

    • Laxbro says:

      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.

      • guest of a guest says:

        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.

        • TMI says:

          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.

  13. guest says:

    Double YOUR Muffin…christ get it right!

  14. merkin_capital says:

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

    -M. Bolton

  15. Ray of Hope says:

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

  16. 10xLevered says:

    Cool story Hansel.

    -Olaf

  17. Obama says:

    Okay you can go ahead and claim you built this one

  18. Captain Obvious says:

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

  19. oki says:

    macro economics != micro economics.

  20. Michael Scarn says:

    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???

    • Catch 22 says:

      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

    • captain obvious says:

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

      • Michael Scarn says:

        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.

  21. Allison says:

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

    • Lowly Assistant says:

      Stop being so literal, Allison.

      -Ben Gifford, Darty '10

    • awsomesaur says:

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

    • Edmund says:

      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

    • guest says:

      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.

  22. Guest says:

    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.

  23. John Paulson says:

    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.

  24. Guest says:

    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.

  25. Nick says:

    Double or Muffin!!

    (Slaps hands on Thai)

  26. Bluto says:

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

    — Ron Donald, Soup R' Crackers manager

  27. Guest says:

    Do you know the muffin man?

    Yes I do, he is a dipshit from Dartmouth.

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