Friday, February 27, 2009

Special Kontagent Facebook Developer Event in SF... Details Soon!!

Special Event on March 25th in SF
Kontagent will soon be hosting a large developer event on March 25th.  This is a follow on event to a private workshop that we hosted earlier with an unbelievable turnout with reps from Facebook, Google, Ohai, Serious Business/Friends4Sale, Playfish, ShuffleBrain and others -- with folks traveling in from LA/Amy Jo Kim [speaker of an awesome recent google talk here] to Beijing/Robin/XPDMedia [congrats on the series-A funding guys!]. 

Stay tuned for more info on this...!

3 Upcoming Events: Research Capital Workshop, DemoCamp19, and EngageExpo

Three event announcements...

1. Research Captial Social Gaming Workshop (w/ Austin Hill and Jon Walsh) / Toronto

I'll be speaking here this coming Tuesday:

Event is hosted by David Shore from Research Capital.

If you haven't seen David's amazing WEEKLY Web2.0 research report.  It includes a summary of all "web 2.0" private and public financing info and some very useful and deep financial data in the space) and highlights.   I have not seen anyone else anywhere go into the depth that he on the financial research side of the web2/social network/UGC and casual/social gaming space.  Do yourself a favor and hunt him down to get a report & subscription. 

It is an international report (with some AMAZING numbers from Asia -- highly complimentary to the awesome research on Asia's Social Networking community that Ben Joffie has done here), and it is better than any report I've seen in the US/Valley in its category.  Who ironically I'm hosting in SF for a few days just prior to the event with David -- so if you want to meet Ben in SF, he's on this side of the world for a limited time, catch him while you can. =)

I'll try to get a copy of it up here as well, and add some commentary soon.

2. DemoCamp 19 (!!!) / Toronto

Later in the day I'll be doing a talk at DemoCamp.

Thanks to David Crow, Toronto DemoCamp is a v19.0.  That's more versions than Oracle, and more sequals than Rocky.  Who could have guessed.   The DemoCamp/Toronto community owes David a huge debt for the great work he's done in rallying the alpha-geeks of our great city.

3. Engage Expo / NYC

Thanks to the Dan & Reuben at Virtual Greats/MillionsOfUs (an really cool "branded virtual goods" company), I'll be sharing a panel with Dan to talk about social games and virtual goods at teh Engage Expo.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reply to "One Thing You Don't Need To Be An Entrepreneur: A College Degree - Fred Wilson"

This was originally a reply/comment to the blog posting.

In retrospect, I should have made this a proper blog posting.  But regardless... I think I can sum this up in just one sentence actually:
Wanna drop out?  

Do you feel (ridiculously) lucky (and naturally gifted in your craft/focus, absurdly driven to the point of borderline insanity, deeply passionate about what you do, already very much self taught far beyond your peers, ready for complete and utter failure), punk?

Me?  I dropped out.  Got just ridiculously lucky.  A lot.  

And strangely enough, I now work with a team that have graduate degrees, law degrees and/or PhDs.  I don't know why.

omg fred, we don't need any more people telling kids to drop out (like i did). =)

in all seriousness, I keep running into great entrepreneurs that have dropped out for one reason or another.

i've been pinged by a ton of different young entrepreneurs that ask me what they should do about their post secondary education choices while in university... lured by the glamor and freedom of doing your own thing and dropping out.

while I loved learning, i hated school. I started a number of ventures while in high school, and then got involved in my first internet venture while in my late teens during the first months of my university carreer. I decided to drop out, got lucky, and made some FU money. I'm now a few ventures later, and made a bit more FU money along the way while having a blast and learning tons.

did I learn tons more than i would have in school? hell yes. did i ever regret my decision to leave school. no. if i had kids, would i recommend dropping out to start something? hell no. 

i think the whole school vs. dropout/startup thing is highly dependent on how driven an individual is -- more so than ever before.. 

kids growing up today have far more access to a wealth of information over the internet than I ever did (i got access to dialup internet only in my 2nd year of highschool). they have the opportunity to be a lot more savvy just by the nature of having access to the internet of today the day enter school. anyone that is under 20 today (and started going to jr. high school/middle school with net access) has a huge advantage over those that are over 20. the explosion of information that happened in the late 90s between blogs, wikipedia, vast amounts of industry journals, educational resources/videos (ex. MIT's open course ware content), underground resources for virtually any major technical or even business reference, ebay for cheap text books, message boards like these to interact with though leaders. if someone had the desire to learn a new skill or industry, there's a ton you could learn on your own. some of the best coders and entrepreneurs that I've met were a combination of being just gifted, and extremely passionate about their craft -- that also happened to be drop outs.

for young people making the decision -- the question I think they have to honestly assess for themselves is: do you really have the talent, the will to win, the maturity, the ability to thrive on adversity, and most importantly the passion for your craft that drives to learn on your own, on the go, working twice as hard as everyone else that you'll need be successful to overcome the odds that are going to be stacked against you by those that have who are better prepared with because they have the tools and the doors that open along with great schooling?

I'm sure 99.9% of the folks considering the option are better off staying in school given their odds. the challenge is figuring out if they are in the 0.1%

its late, and its been a long 20 hour day for me, so the above might not be entirely coherent... so i'll better quit while i'm ahead. =)
(this is a repost from his comment box)