I fell ass-backwards into an amazing education. Seriously. I’m very fortunate that I don’t work at Rally’s like many other people I grew up with in a small town in Indiana. Fortunately for stubborn and ignorant me, the IU Hoosiers basketball team put the pain to Duke basketball in the Sweet 16 and went all the way to the playoff against Maryland in the Spring of 2002, hence ushering me to give Indiana a second look (I only filled out two college applications, one for Ball State where I grew up, and one for Indiana).
Way back then, school was just the thing to do (unless you wanted free Rally’s for life, which I wavered on at 18). But when I got to IU, I met people who came from everywhere on the planet to study at the Kelley School. What? Yah, I made friends from Singapore, Moscow, Bejing, Mumbai, Capetown, Paris, and everywhere in between. Hard to even comprehend being from Indiana that such a prestigious and highly sought after school was just a few hours away in available at in-state tuition rates.
Concerning the link at hand, I was really excited when I read it. Despite loving nearly every minute of my time at Indiana, I was always painfully aware of how inefficient and wasteful the majority of it was. It’s hard to guess the impact of the entire experience, but I’d venture to say the most important takeaway was the interaction with people, and learning (or beginning to learn) what a work ethic was actually like (not something I gleaned from high school). The coursework, ability to ask question, study time (probably 60% of my total 4 years), and direction from more experienced folks are actually all replaceable by online services. The basic element that makes a person successful is drive. Not a certificate of achievement of ‘BS in Whatever from Wherever School’. The most important bits could have been gotten much cheaper by starting something or working for someone or just plain volunteering for people in need.
I’m truly excited to see where this trend is headed and how I can help my little ones navigate it.
Nobody has ever asked me this….frankly i’d flip if more tech folks had the motivation to do something non-corporate and needed advice on how to get in with a saavy (startup) business person.
Keep in mind, just as experience coding COBOL is useless in web startups, so is ‘business’ experience inside mega-corporations. This is particularly dangerous because the most important skill inside a corporate environment is bullshitting, not results. It took me too damn long to get my head out of the corporate cloud and into the hustle mindset. Business people in general (minus senior execs maybe) are used to having someone else kill their dinner for them, and then they just process it. Date your potential partners.