Saturday, February 14, 2009

Entrepreneurial Spirit

Reading this NYT article on the culture of entrepreneurship in campuses would probably give reason to consider if entrepreneurship is absolutely good and specially if it comes at the cost of an incomplete education.

Today's college-goers have grown up seeing the the wonders of Google and Facebook come to pass and those who made it possible were very young - just like themselves. That it is possible has been proven many times over so its not surprising that young people are enthused about throwing their hat in the ring.

While many rings will get thrown, only a very small percent of them will emerge winners whose success stories everyone else wants to emulate - in many ways this is not any different from the Gold Rush. The rest will fizzle out in a few years and leave the entrepreneur with a failed business venture and no education to pursue a career for the rest of their lives.

Sure they can always return to school and complete their education and join the workforce or choose to dabble in many things and hope for an epiphany. It can also be argued that education and success in career are not always correlated. While both arguments are true for some, it is usually not for the majority.

What would be useful is to keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive and feed it while completing a formal education. If someone has incubated an idea so successful that they can retire on it, sure the career-oriented education becomes trivial at that point but until then, that is the best Plan B.

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