Should you leave school for a Revolutionary Idea or Startup? (With Poll)
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View Poll Results: Should you leave school for a Revolutionary Idea or Startup?
Should you leave school for a Revolutionary Idea or Startup? (With Poll)
I was browsing the web yesterday and came across a website that Google has bought ; Omnosio.com (A webcast website), It has this videochannel "Startupschool", which features tips&tricks videos for Starters.
I would have to say no. Unless your idea is a guaranteed success, you may well end up having wasted the time you have already spent at school - if it fails, you are screwed. People like Bill Gates could do that because they are already rich, unless you are already rich don't do it.
Also, if the idea is that good it can bear being shared for a while. If it's not, you'll know it.
The eggs in one basket slash burning ships thing. I'm sceptical about "revolutionary" ideas because I'm certain about ninetynine percent of them just are not. The same goes with business ideas, plus having a Great Business Idea does not equal success five years later. Just like finishing school it requires stamina, perseverance and wit. But your grades and diploma can show that, you having met with failure after having burnt wads of VC cash in two years does not (well, OK, it *can*). Besides, history has examples enough of influential people: a philosopher who couldn't even write (OK, so paper just wasn't invented back then), the painter nicknamed "the Customs officer" (prolly don't know that one), a certain patent office clerk (should know) and two friends who Did Stuff from their garage to show that doing one thing does not automagically mean *not* doing the other. So I'd say stay in school *and* work on your Revolutionary Idea.
It will also give it time for someone else to implement this "Revolutionary Idea". I say it could be worth it, but it is risky. You have to look at what is motivating you to want to do it. If your goal is to make a lot of money with minimal effort, then no, don't do it. If your goal is to work your butt off for several years (80+ hours/week) with no guarantee of ever earning any "real" money, then sure, go for it.
People like Bill Gates could do it because, one, they already had enough money to support themselves, but also because they worked very hard. If you are the type of person that likes to go out on occasion, or sleep in, or talk to other people, or do any type of interaction with the world that DOES NOT involve fostering your "Revolutionary Idea", then don't do it, you will fail. If however, you are willing to spend the next 5-10 years as a slave to this idea, then in the long run, it might be worth it. But, don't think that it will be in any way easier than getting your doctorate, and it could potentially cost as much.
My 2 pennies,
Last edited by forrestt; 08-08-2008 at 10:40 AM.
From what I've read, 50% of startups or businesses fail within the first year. 95% of the remaining fail within the next 5 years. If you have a good idea, patent/trademark/copyright it, etc, maybe work on it in your spare time while you continue your education. If it becomes wildly successful before you finish school, devote more time to it while continuing your education or go back to get your education with your new found fortune.
Lets not forget that Bill Gates III comes from a wealthy and powerful family.
Yup, according to Wikipedia:
Gates was born in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His family was wealthy; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way, and her father, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president.
So he would have been well off probably no matter if he founded Microsoft or not..
Should you leave school if you think you have a revolutionairy idea?
No. At school you are young, and even if your idea might seem revolutionary for you, you might be inventing bicycle. Check if idea really works and is truly revolutionary. You can do it without leaving school.
Originally Posted by XavierP
People like Bill Gates could do that because they are already rich, unless you are already rich don't do it.
Being educated != being rich. Leaving school is a bad idea because basic education is required in today's society, and if "revolutionary idea" goes wrong it'll be much more difficult to get job.
Leaving university can be considered at extreme cases (I left university 1.5 years ago, and was working as freelancer since), but it is a very serious step (it took me almost a year to take that decision) with a huge amount of serious consequences. Unless you are absolutely sure that there is no other way to solve problem, and unless you are absolutely sure that you can handle all consequences of your actions, don't do that.
I didn't say it did. My point was that Gates could afford to throw away the money spent already on tuition and the rest because it was a drop in the ocean to him. Whether he completed college or not and whether his father would bail him out or not (I believe that the family doesn't believe in inherited wealth) he is already rich and that would
have given him a base to be successful at whatever he did. Compare a rich kid starting MS with a kid who really needs it to survive or else he would have nothing.