Just spotted a great post analyzing an important question for young entrepreneurs: Should you quit school because you’re brilliant?
The post resonated with me because it was a decision that I had to face when I was (not so much) younger. I joined the team for my first startup, Invantage, when I was still in high school, just as the “Internet Economy” was starting to heat up. The temptation to take a year off, or just start working full time, was pretty strong, but I never seriously considered it–and I still appreciate that our CEO never pushed me to, although it certainly would have been in his best interest if I had. So I balanced work with school, and sometimes both came out behind, but I managed to have a pretty great college experience and the company worked ok in the end.
Which isn’t to say that I don’t occasionally wish that I’d been able to floor it, entrepreneurially, back in ’99. But I don’t think my failure to do so (or, rather, my success in sticking with formal education) closed any doors. That may be the other crucial insight: there are rarely any unique moments in history. The bubble was a chance for a small number of people, with the right skills and in the right places at the right times, to make a lot of money. But it wasn’t a unique opportunity.
Update, 1:10 EST: When this post showed up in my feed-reader I noticed how pompous the first line sounds. “Because you’re brilliant” is the title of the original post. I didn’t face the decision because I was brilliant, but because the opportunity was there. Hopefully whatever intrinsic capabilities I may possess had something to do with that, of course.
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