Frederik Bussler

CEO at bitgrit - Democratizing AI

Dear Young Entrepreneurs: Skip College, Do This

When I see a stereotypical graduation ceremony photo, I think to myself: "I hope the 6 years and $100,000 of debt was worth it."
I don't mean to disgrace the college tradition, and by no means am I against education. However, if you're a high school student considering which university to apply to, but are hoping to achieve your own success one day, realize that college is more often than not a terrible option.
In the words of Gary Vaynerchuck, school is failing entrepreneurs every single day.
College teaches you how to attend classes ("meetings") on time. College teaches you how to work from 9-5. College teaches you how to work according to a rubric, how to fit in, and how to please others.
Basically, college teaches you to be another brick in the wall - which is fine for most people. There are 7 billion people, so we need a lot of bricks.
However, if you're an entrepreneur, you're looking for the value others are aren't seeing. Your goal is to create surplus value. You're looking for missed opportunity. Notice a trend?
Entrepreneurs are the very opposite of what colleges are designed to output. As an entrepreneur, you should be like a wild cat, hunting for prey and figuring things out, not a domesticated house pet.

If not college, then what?

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, hopefully you're starting to see how ridiculous college is (and I didn't even get into the entitlement colleges create), and you're asking what a better alternative is.
I went to a private school in the US, that was roughly $50,000 USD per year, which is typical for private schools. That means $25,000 USD per semester, which is usually about 4 months. You know how much you can do with $25,000 and/or 4 months?
I'll list some things. You can get low-cost Facebook Ads at 1 cent Cost-Per-Click (CPC). Let's say you spend $1,000 on ads, you could get 100,000 clicks to whatever you want. You can get a blockchain developer in Nigeria or India or another developing country for about $1,000 per month. You can get the front-end for a page for about $600. You can get a design for about $300.
See where I'm going with this? To spend $25,000 resourcefully and intelligently requires serious effort. I don't mean finding a nice apartment, I mean that spending $25,000 on high-return items is a lot to spend.
Now do that over 8 semesters, on 8 different business ideas. Who do you think wins, the 21-year-old with experience across 8 startups, or the 21-year-old college graduate?

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Comments

August 26th, 2019

The good thing about going to college is the networking that you can build.

August 26th, 2019

I agree that debt is a bad thing. But it’s hard advice by my opinion.
Actually, I have the same feeling, but what if someone is not very pushy, and he will drop out and then will have years of problems… It’s a hard thing, so I will advice to drop only if you ready to suck for years, but have an ability to learn a real experience, and maybe, just maybe, have a propability to succeed.

August 30th, 2019

Appreciate the comment Bruno! I thought the same before I attended college (and while in college). It was awesome to be able to network with professors in different fields, students, alumna, and even the college president. But when I went into entrepreneurship, my networking opportunities grew infinitely. It was insane. All of a sudden I was regularly talking to millionaire CEOs and founders, philanthropists, inventors, and even some billionaires. Sure, the experience will vary for every entrepreneur - but I got a lot more networking done traveling the world meeting entrepreneurs than I did sitting in classrooms.

August 30th, 2019

Thanks for the input Arthur! I agree that dropping out can end up in a lot of trouble for people who aren’t prepared. But I’m talking to the entrepreneurs. The ones who thrive in risk and grow stronger from failure. Dropping out definitely isn’t for everyone.

September 14th, 2019

I was fired from university twice, so i’m part of dropout club. I just see that a lot of young people have dreams and wishes(aka I will be a rock star). but when it come to hard work, learning - people tend to change their direction.

I also see that a new gen - i’m talking about tech students that contacted me - they actually more focused and ready to hustle. I mean in their age I want to have a new converse pair and play FIFA
I think it’s part of acceleration process of new gen.

From the other side, our civilization giving a lot of perks, and many people don’t need to push very hard (i.e your family giving you money, so you don’t need to work as waiter).

I think it’s important to have your own path and if you decide - to make a move like droping college. But it depends on your ‘psychotype’.

Same problem with fear to dissapoint your family

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