The Organization Kid

Read this: The Organization Kid and sample this:

The world they live in seems fundamentally just. If you work hard, behave pleasantly, explore your interests, volunteer your time, obey the codes of political correctness, and take the right pills to balance your brain chemistry, you will be rewarded with a wonderful ascent in the social hierarchy. You will get into Princeton and have all sorts of genuinely interesting experiences open to you. You will make a lot of money—but more important, you will be able to improve yourself. You will be a good friend and parent. You will be caring and conscientious. You will learn to value the really important things in life. There is a fundamental order to the universe, and it works. If you play by its rules and defer to its requirements, you will lead a pretty fantastic life.

As I read through this I find many similarities in the way the middle class urban ethos as a common thread there in Princeton and here in India. That a 10th class kid weak at academics is branded a lose for life – schools, teachers, parents, friends, by almost everyone. The amount of emphasis that is laid on achievement – sometimes rather unjustifiably on education. And sometimes I see parents who just wouldn’t let their children go – handholding them, precautions and instructions, what to eat, not to eat, drive or not to. Where education is seen as a sure way of insuring your future life and a job as the best way to a perfect mode to the ascend to social hierarchy. How blissfully naive and how realistically blind. At least entrepreneurship has taught me that much. How much that we lose for the cost of safety and security – the tradeoffs that are inherent in life.Breeding/creating a generation of yesmen. And finally the ambition of parents that is the same everywhere – their kids as drivers of their unaccomplished ambitions and wanting the best for their kids from the parent’s PoV.

I see change now, in the number of young folks wanting to take risks – sometimes bigger than they can afford to take, learning, falling and rising along the way.

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2 thoughts on “The Organization Kid

  1. Risks have to be taken at right time, I guess diving into entrepreneurship just after bachelors reduces the quality of the products produced, I guess when you say entrepreneurship u mean tech entrepreneurship. Every tom dick and harry can start a social networking website or something similar to that do you call this entrepreneurship ? the young folks especially after bachelors degree fail to recognize the need to technical niche required for a successful tech entrepreneur.

    Technical niche only comes after a rigorous methodological academic training which I guess Princeton(or any other good University) rightly provides. Consider the silicon valley 95% of the entrepreneurs are PhD’s and have survived because each has created a niche of their own.

  2. @Anon
    Well, you seem to concentrate on only one part of the whole gist of the story but anyways fine by me.

    First off, creating a good social networking site is by no means a trivial pursuit – I have immense respect for any tom, dick and harry who does that well. Period. And yes, I would call that entrepreneurship as well. By good, anything that adds value to his set of customers and makes money for him.

    Secondly, I’m not particularly speaking about the tech entrepreneur – far from it. I have immense respect for any entrepreneur who creates something of value to his customers and then makes decent money off it. Technology definitely adds an edge to a given product – but by no way can it be the differentiator – what matters is innovation – that can either be from your technology perspective or the business model perspective or the niche that is chosen or simply from the systems design perspective.

    In a technology focussed company alone, the real value that technology brings to the business may be about 10 – 20%. There is whole gamut of things that are required to make it a successful business.

    Entrepreneurs requires all sorts of people – corporate veterans who have worked in an enterprise space and are sick of it and know that they can create something better, 18-19 year olds who are very good programmers and they by themselves being in the users shoes and move out to build something better… The sort of people that a problem requires is dependent completely on the problem. A tech heavy company needs a tech god as CTO but once that is solved the real problem of building a business, marketing it and selling it and planning out the vision is a completely different ballgame.

    Any rigorous methodical training can give a candidate a very good perspective of a niche – no matter if the training is from academia or a company working in a very specific technology niche.

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