Does an education slow you down?

Why do we go to school? Or university? What is all about? Does anyone remember? Is it just about getting a piece of paper? Is it just about becoming an authority on a subject? Or is there more to it? Isn’t it also about developing leadership abilities? And isn’t it also about tapping into your creative energy? And what about learning how to manage processes? And what about learning to listen and absorb knowledge? And what about the opportunity to network, meet people and build relationships?

I read an article in a business journal a while back that was very intriguing. This short and well-written piece did make me a little nervous though. It hinted at the end of the academic system, as we know it. University professors are earning commissions for identifying talent. Perhaps I misunderstood this but it sounds like students are being encouraged to launch start-ups long before they graduate. Young people are dropping out of top universities at faster and faster rates to get into the IT start-up phenomena that the Internet has helped spark off. My question is: is it healthy? And when does this end? Is a boy in a school, say, going to drop out at age 14 to start a company? And what next? Is a teenager going to become a billionaire? Is this clever?

Yes, I have a lot of questions on my mind this spring day. Not only are people experiencing extreme pressure and stress at younger and younger ages but soon there is going to be pressure to drop out of university. I mean, if everyone else is doing it then what is wrong with you hanging around campus when there is a revolution going on out there. Furthermore, you continually hear the term “exit strategy” which appears to go hand-in-hand with the majority of these new start-ups. What exactly is an “exit strategy”? Let’s see. 10 years ago we never had so many business oriented publications. We never had students dropping out of universities to launch start-ups. And we never heard of the term “exit strategy”. Do you know that it is actually a military term that first surfaced in the Vietnam war – do the job and get out. Yes, guerrilla tactics have come to business.

If everyone has an exit strategy, and I mean everyone, then who will actually do any work? I mean, who will be left to do the work if everyone exits? Yes, war has exit strategies because then you take no prisoners. Is this what business has become? A war? Who is the enemy in this new war? And who are the champions? I think I am getting carried away, but I’m sure you get the point though. The enemy is quantity again. And quality, our poor understated hero, is really getting pushed aside.

Avoid looking like a rookie on a video conference call

With services like Skype, GoToMeeting, WebEx, Google Hangouts and Join.Me, we’re almost at the level of a Star Wars Jedi High Council meeting, where our holograms sit in a room together with actual people.

Gone are the days of holding a phone receiver to multiple ears to hear what the other person is saying. On smartphones, we’re getting patched into conference calls to all four corners of the planet while standing in line at grocery stores (unless you order food online or via UberEATS).

Video conference calls are used to save time, but we still need to be prepared to ensure that time is saved efficiently.