Maybe I just feel this global movement is happening in the startup world because I’m so closely entrenched in it. But I have to say, from what others say, as well as the new crowd funding legislation in America that will allow smaller investors to invest into early stage investments – its getting easier and more “liquid” for small businesses and entrepreneurs to get access to capital.
And the global movement of coworking and startup communities I see is amazing. Its so awesome, I love it because they are all local. They are fragmented. They aren’t wal-marts or starbucks. They are independent local groups, by local entrepreneurs working together to support each other and build up a valuable network and community to support each other and future entrepreneurs.
And another awesome fast, Ahmed from startup weekend in San Francisco tells me about 60% of startupweekend is now international (outside of America) – proving the entrepreneurship, and getting the confidence to quit your nice and stable corporate job to try to do something creative is becoming a trend.
Who says the old system works…. “copy/paste” high school curriculums and 4 year university degrees and then the “Expectation” you will get a job! JUST BECAUSE YOU GO TO COLLEGE SHOULDN’T MEAN YOU GET A JOB! Its about the skills.
We saw a billboard in San Francisco as we were driving, can’t remember it exactly but it was talking about a certain amount of high school drop out percentage, but that 100% of all high school students (drop outs or not) need a “BOOST program”. I totally agree, there is so much “fluff” in education, memorizing pointless information to “practice learning” – why not give a concentrated boost program for everyone to give them the basics needed for life and for business and their career?
So much about starting a business, taxes, getting a business going, I had no clue until after college, until after I was paying back tons in student loans (still am paying back).
Educational institutions are not made for everyone. Look at how many great entrepreneurs fail or drop out. Or can’t afford. I am still years and years in debt paying back my university. I’d much rather apply that to my startup business.
I visited Dev Bootcamp in San Francisco, that is just getting started and having its first training class in a month or so. They are helping entrepreneurs get a crash course on programming. As being able to code is essential to doing a successful startup, or as we have learned at Startup Tuesdays in Shenzhen, at least trying to learn to program will help attract a quality technical cofounder. Education is definitely going to change over the next few years. It will be hard to really shake up these old-school college institutions, but it is time to shake it up a bit.
These past couple days in San Francisco I learned so much, shared so much, networked so much. For example, VC article about what they look for in a startup team was passed around. New apps, new ways to find information – all shared instantaneously.
Location still matters
This is a whole blog post on its own…but its been amazing to be in Silicon valley, San Francisco around all these entrepreneurs and startups. Its energizing, its refreshing. AND I AM LEARNING SO MUCH FASTER. One person shares what he just learned, a new tool they are using, I share an idea, another gives feedback. Its amazing. Its exhilarating.
My friend Steve Forte blogged for startups location still matters and maybe I second guess why I picked going to China over Silicon Valley. Doing a startup is LONELY. It’s you versus the world. The odds are against you to survive and thrive. The value of being in a support group of other entrepreneurs, cheering you on, supporting you, giving you feedback is so priceless!
When I was in NYC, none of my friends were doing their own business. They all had corporate jobs. My coworkers couldn’t help me. My family had no experience in starting up or managing a business. I felt so alone. And I made tons of mistakes.
So I have to agree, even in today’s internet age, location still matters!
And yes, I’d have to say the most central location in the world would have to be Silicon Valley…. and sadly I have only maybe spent a total of 5 days here over my entire lifespan! (2 days this week, and a few days late last year).
I do plan to come back to Silicon Valley more and more. Also hope to bridge Chinese and American startups more as well – to reduce that fear factor, as people are always afraid of the unknown.