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Tech Mogul Pays Bright Minds Not To Go To College


Parsad
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Guest ValueCarl

This is interesting, but what percentage of the world's population is sufficiently gifted and "discovered" to pursue such a plan of action? Vivek Wadhwa, more than likely a wise man with Indian roots from India, correctly addresses it in the article. What's not addressed; however, is the PAY BACK PRINCIPLE.  What are the STRINGS attached to Mr. Thiel's generosity if something of a "HIT"is created out of nothing for such an investment by him to make them free to innovate on his nickel? And, should nothing result in their hard work and creative genius, what do they have to fall back on?   

 

<Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at Duke University's Center for Entrepreneurship and a writer for TechCrunch and Bloomberg Businessweek, has assailed Thiel's program for sending what he sees as the message that anyone can be Mark Zuckerberg.

 

"Silicon Valley lives in its own bubble. It sees the world through its own prism. It's got a distorted view," Wadhwa says.

 

"All the people who are making a fuss are highly educated. They're rich themselves. They've achieved success because of their education. There's no way in hell we would have heard about Peter Thiel if he hadn't graduated from Stanford," he says. Still, the Zuckerbergs of the tech industry are famous because they are the exceptions. Silicon Valley is littered with decades-worth of failed tech startups.

 

Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at Duke University's Center for Entrepreneurship and a writer for TechCrunch and Bloomberg Businessweek, has assailed Thiel's program for sending what he sees as the message that anyone can be Mark Zuckerberg.

 

"Silicon Valley lives in its own bubble. It sees the world through its own prism. It's got a distorted view," Wadhwa says.

 

"All the people who are making a fuss are highly educated. They're rich themselves. They've achieved success because of their education. There's no way in hell we would have heard about Peter Thiel if he hadn't graduated from Stanford," he says.>

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I think the most interesting aspect is the debate on philosophy:

1) is it worth risking derailing 20-100 students' lives by 2 years, to have the chance to find 1 zuckerberg.  Does creating 1 revolutionary company make it OK to risk the lives of many students by 2 years?

2) should the management of risk for EACH and EVERY student be the top priority, versus the outcome of having a rare success.

 

I personally think 1) is better for society in terms of net-net, since it most closely resembles how innovative processes work, with lots of failed endeavors and very few successes.  but 2) is better for each individual measured in TERMS OF RISK REDUCTION.

 

If a society were to maximize risk reduction for every member, it would be pretty bad for progress.  I think the hero-worshipping and risk-taking culture of Silicon Valley, is still more preferable to the alternatives.  Lots of failure is the mother of success.  Lots of my Ivy League classmates believe that because they have an Ivy League degree, it somehow entitles them to some high paying job.  People should get paid the value they provide, nothing more or less.

 

If silicon valley does indeed have a bubble, then it is one of the better kind: in which new industries are born and better technologies and products are invented and brought to the mainstream.  This contrasts with the college bubble: in which you produce and army of people who think the world owes them something. 

 

we cannot get rid of bubbles, but we can do a better job of making sure that bubbles produce more useful long term assets than liabilities.

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Peter Thiel, founder of Paypal and initial investor in Facebook, is paying brilliant students to focus on entrepreneurial-ship rather than college.  Cheers!

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Tech-mogul-pays-bright-minds-apf-2401770798.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=3&asset=&ccode=

 

Just read this article on yahoo.  Compare this to the discussion on Dakshana - two totally different paths!!!

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I think the most interesting aspect is the debate on philosophy:

1) is it worth risking derailing 20-100 students' lives by 2 years, to have the chance to find 1 zuckerberg.  Does creating 1 revolutionary company make it OK to risk the lives of many students by 2 years?

2) should the management of risk for EACH and EVERY student be the top priority, versus the outcome of having a rare success.

 

I don't know.  2 years off school is fine if at the end they go on to have a successful career or if they go back to school.  I know several people who took a year off between high school and college to work and see the world, and I don't think it held them back much.  I guess it all depends on what they do after the 2 year stint is up.  It's not like the 2 year stint destroys the rest of their life or something.  These are superstar students, I'm sure they'll get into a good college or 2 ever after the 2 years.

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