Recently, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, was awarded with an honorary degree from Harvard, after dropping out ten years ago. On a rainy day, Mark stood before the current batch to deliver a speech.
“If I make it through this speech…it would be the first thing I ever finished in Harvard.”
With his loving family in the audience, beaming with pride, Mark was honored with the prestigious degree. The man now has everything.
Literally…the degree he was denied back in 2006 was the only thing he was missing.
While reading up on this…I wondered, does a person really need a college degree in today’s time?
Is getting a degree a mandatory accomplishment in every person’s life?
Why Do We Crave A Degree?
This question sent me down the memory lane. Why the hell did I go for a degree in Mechanical Engineering? ……
Circumstances…Lack of opportunity…. Scared of taking risks….
There are many answers to that question…none of them really matter. This represents the dilemma of countless other Indian kids post graduation. A passionless endeavor into the professional world. Most of us have no idea where are lives are going. And in India….well…the parents are generally a great help too….suggesting either engineering or medicine as a possible career. This was the case with the majority of my engineering batch.
I have always idolized mavericks like Mark Zuckerberg…who take calculated risks. This leads me to my next point…..
My boss introduced me to “The Peter Thiel Foundation“, a fellowship program giving $100,000 to budding entrepreneurs. Only requirement is that the applicant should be 22 or younger. If selected the team of innovators doesn’t have to go to college…ever…and use the grant money to work on their project!!
Peter Thiel, interestingly, was one of Facebook’s first investors.
Y combinator, a seed accelerator program. It provides funding to a startup in its early phase. And when the venture becomes profitable after phase one…Y combinator brings in more investors and also acquirers towards your business.
This is one of the many such “entrepreneurial support systems” as I like to call them. There are a lot of ways one can get funding and meet investors. I work in a co-working space named “Innov8” , where a lot of small businesses, entrepreneurial establishments and startups operate. A great place to meet innovative like minded individuals.
There are a lot of routes to startup success. All we lack is knowledge of these multiple routes. Since startup culture isn’t highly encouraged in India…. we organically don’t come to learn these things. A lot of potential entrepreneurial ideas are lost due to this.
Lack Of Creativity….
It’s not just about lack of knowledge regarding funding options. There is a dearth of creativity in the market too. We are so made to fit the corporate structure in schools and colleges…that we lose our soul..our creative spirit…. and end up becoming one of million zombies. Going to office from 9 to 5… doing a routine task day in day out!!!
Studies shows that a boring job affect your brain activity and reduces concentration. This kills creativity!! And without creativity there is no chance of making your ideas amount to anything. Many people think that they will work on a startup once they get a steady employment. Some say that there is a potential startup in two out of three office cubicles. Keyword…Potential!
They hardly ever get green lit because of lack of time and creative spirit.
Summing It Up….
I’ve had conversations with numerous entrepreneurs and one thing they all had in common… they were never limited by the lack of resources. A degree or a steady paycheck didn’t matter to them. A friend of mine didn’t get a formal degree from our home college…and he didn’t even care for it. Because his venture was already making money. Four years of college he invested on himself and his ideas. No degree can account for it.
In the end of the day it all comes down to how much your ideas are worth monetarily!!!
That is what makes a startup a success as I have mentioned in all of my posts. So don’t go after the prestigious degree, or the fancy job title….. work to employ yourself!