Google vs Microsoft?
Apple vs. amazon?
Here’s something to ponder, researchers please chime in.
And, with all due respect to all of the folks I’m about to reference: they all have my respect and admiration. They all did something new, innovative and risky. Bravo. But I want to explore one detail.
May I call to the stage Bill Gates, Sergei Brin & Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Micheal Dell, Will Wright, Jimmy Wales… thank you gentlemen.
Now let’s see. Do we have a special sorting hat today? Let’s sort these lads by their college experience. Yes, please step to the right of the stage if you finished college, and to the left if you did not. (You can’t see this but…..) On the right we now have Brin, Page, Bezos, Wales and Wright. On the left we have Jobs, Dell and Gates.
So, to be clear. The boys on the right side all attended college and finished with a degree (some even went on to graduate degrees). The boys on the left – not so much. By itself, no biggie. All went on to do fine things with their lives.
But, if we’re curious about how they viewed education, the experience of going to school, what that was all about, etc; there’s an interesting detail lurking behind the scenes.
What could explain the different paths that these innovators took? Some of them seem to have valued ongoing education. Some seem to have found a way to “own” their education, to take control of it and use it the their advantage. We know that the ones who bailed from college felt that they needed to get out of the education system in order to really take-off with their creative ideas, that somehow they decided that success and forward movement required hem to “get out now!”
As I’ve written before, college is no guarantee of anything and surely not even required for success (as this post makes clear by referencing some folks who bailed on college on the way to great success). BUT, what I think IS suggested here is that the college grads showed a connection to something, learning in this case, and they stuck with it. They came to see their education as a kind of toll that could be wielded by their hand in service to their needs, their life. All of these grads, it is interesting to note, all attended elementary schools that allowed them to explore on their own, ask their own questions and take initiative. They learned that education is what YOU make it, not a box of a system that molds you into something. The grads all attended Montessori schools – that’s worth knowing more about, I think.