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Why Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bad Role Model For Aspiring Tech Execs 326

Posted by timothy
from the step-one-matriculate-at-harvard dept.
coondoggie writes "Want to run a successful high-tech company? Don't drop out of college. The myth of the brilliant Ivy League student who starts a business in his dorm room, drops out of school, and goes on to run a successful high-tech start-up for many decades to come is essentially just that: a myth. Despite a few high-profile exceptions — such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates — the vast majority of CEOs running successful U.S. high-tech firms have college degrees, and more than half have at least one graduate degree."
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Why Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bad Role Model For Aspiring Tech Execs

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  • Confirmed (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @11:53AM (#40530063)

    It's not a myth if it happened on multiple occasions...

    • Jobs and Wozniak, to name two more...
      • Re:Confirmed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @11:55AM (#40530117)

        Apart from some small element of skill it is no different from the lottery really.

        • Re:Confirmed (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Sporkinum (655143) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:35PM (#40530825)

          Education is a microscopic part of it. Being in the right place at the right time, or having the right family is the real multiplier.
          Obviously this academic douche bag doesn't understand his own analogy.
          "I've met as many successful tech CEOs who have dropped out college as I've met folks who have won the lottery," says Professor Jerry Luftman, managing director of the Global Institute for IT Management, who holds doctorate in Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology. "There are always going to be exceptions to any rule. But if you are a betting person, you would increase your odds of becoming a tech executive if you have a college education and a senior executive if you have a management degree."

          • I used to watch a show called Pinnacle on CNN in the early days where they'd profile some successful person each show. One common factor was that there was some person in their lives that could be seen as a keystone to the whole arch: a talented mentor when they were a kid, a person with the right connections after college, someone with some critical resource or knowledge at the right time.

            The real answer is personality type. If you are the type of personality that loves to meet people and be hypersocial, y

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by StripedCow (776465)

          I wouldn't call it a lottery, but it is close. The chaotic nature of capitalism is what rules.

          Che Guevara [wikipedia.org]:

          The laws of capitalism, which are blind and are invisible to ordinary people, act upon the individual without he or she being aware of it. One sees only the vastness of a seemingly infinite horizon ahead. That is how it is painted by capitalist propagandists who purport to draw a lesson from the example of Rockefeller — whether or not it is true — about the possibilities of individual success. The amount of poverty and suffering required for a Rockefeller to emerge, and the amount of depravity entailed in the accumulation of a fortune of such magnitude, are left out of the picture, and it is not always possible for the popular forces to expose this clearly.... It is a contest among wolves. One can win only at the cost of the failure of others.

      • by knuthin (2255242)
        The dorm element is missing. :P
      • by slew (2918)

        Woz: never the CEO of apple
        Jobs: not the first (Michael Scott), nor second (Mike Markkula), nor third (John Sculley), nor fourth (Michael Spindler), nor fifth (Gil Amelio) CEO of apple. Not 'till he was fired from Apple did he become the CEO of NeXT...

        Perhaps you could conclude from this that getting fired and starting your own company is the model for aspiring Tech Execs?

      • Wozniak returned to college and received his degree after he became rich. He realized he needed it.

        • by geekmux (1040042)

          Wozniak returned to college and received his degree after he became rich. He realized he needed it.

          Uh, after he became rich? Then clearly he wanted a degree, he certainly didn't need it.

          BIG difference attending college out of luxury vs. necessity.

      • Re:Confirmed (Score:4, Insightful)

        by iamhassi (659463) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @02:17PM (#40532205) Journal

        Jobs and Wozniak, to name two more...

        and did anyone noticed the title is wrong?

        "Why Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bad Role Model For Aspiring Tech Execs"

        because... he's not? He became his own tech exec, he wasn't elected, he wasn't hired, he didn't go to college to study business to be a CEO someday. Went to college, made a local "hot or not" clone, stole some guy's idea for a social networking, got noticed by the right people early on and the rest is history.

        So yeah, if you want to be a CEO running a successful US high-tech firm, don't follow Zuckerberg.

        But if you have a startup that you're trying to launch, Zuckerberg might not be a bad role model.

    • by alen (225700)

      So compare it to the total number of companies in the world

    • Myth. Exception, Don't they really mean the same thing?
      Maybe you're setting the bar a little high for the summary writers.
    • by jythie (914043)
      Myths can still have kernels of truth to them. Like straw men, just because there exist examples doesn't make it any less of a myth, though of course this depends on which definition of 'myth' one is using.
    • From the makers of "the exception that proves the rule," here comes "it's not a myth because it happened more than once!"

    • by Rostin (691447)
      A myth is a story that props up a particular way of looking at the world. Myths aren't necessarily false. Stories like Zuckerberg's have taken on the status of myth in our culture because they confirm our biases and tell us what we want to hear: Entrepreneurship is alive, people don't need fancy educations to succeed, the lone wolf tinkering in his garage can make it big, etc. We are lulled into thinking that this is how the world works because we know Zuckerberg's story and we want to believe that it's
  • many decades? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @11:54AM (#40530083) Homepage Journal
    As in the summary:

    run a successful high-tech start-up for many decades

    How can you possibly say that Zuckerberg will run a company for many decades, when he isn't even many decades old? He hasn't even been old enough to drive a car for a decade, let alone old enough to run a company for "many decades". Being as facebook is doing less-than-brilliantly in the stock market, it seems at the very least overly optimistic to say that it will be around for "many decades".

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ShieldW0lf (601553)

      Question is, do you want to START a company, or RUN a company. If you want to START a company, you need to have a drive that doesn't mesh well with sitting at the knee of an authority figure and have him dump his views into your brain. RUNNING someone elses company, on the other hand... any retard can do that. When you get right down to it, the best would be to just go play golf and not screw up what was working before you arrived in an effort to leave your mark.

      • Re:many decades? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gtall (79522) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:15PM (#40530497)

        You really have no idea what it takes to run a company, even a small one. Your day is constantly filled with making decisions. With no game plan other than "don't screw up", you will run into the problem that one decision you made last year screwed up a decision you made this year. There are competitors to think about, cash-flow, investor relations, employee compensation, accounting rules, government regulation, community relations, employee relations, the direction of your industry, understanding what makes your company unique such that it deserves a niche, etc.

        • by Dinghy (2233934)

          You really have no idea what it takes to run a company, even a small one.

          Which takes us back to why Zuckerberg is a bad role model. Neither does he.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by DogDude (805747)
        "RUNNING someone elses company, on the other hand... any retard can do that."

        You're an idiot.
        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          any retard can do that

          well in his defence, any retard can run a company into the ground. Running a company well is hard, putting the CEO title on your door is easy.

          • by Kreigaffe (765218)

            And frankly at the end of the day, I'd be glad as hell to be known as "that terrible CEO", as a single year's salary and separation compensation are significantly more than most people will make in decades

      • by ad0gg (594412)
        What do you have against retards? Looking at Banking which is such a simple concept, lend money to people who have ability to pay off the loan with money from your depositors. They couldn't even do that right. They even get 20%+ interest rates on credit cards while paying less than 1% on deposits yet they still managed to drive those companies into the ground.
        • Actually, that was hubris hitting some very intelligent people. They built these bright, shiny economic investment models, and even hired real scientists to help. FPGA based super computers might have been involved at some point. Bleeding edge, heady stuff with mathematics to pique the interest of a string theorist. They created what they thought was infallible realizations of financial perfection, and released their digital prodigy into the real world... which proceeded to chew them up like wolves discover

      • To run your own company like Zuckerberg or Gates, you do not need any credentials, who really cares? You are the boss. But to run company that belongs to somebody else or a public company to answer hordes of greedy shareholders, that is a different story altogether. Then my friend, you need every blessing, connections, academic achievements etc.
      • by Mashiki (184564)

        When you get right down to it, the best would be to just go play golf and not screw up what was working before you arrived in an effort to leave your mark.

        Obama tried that, I don't think it worked.

  • by v1 (525388) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @11:55AM (#40530119) Homepage Journal

    Be careful not to automatically interpret correlation as causation.

    In other words, the degree may not be what's making the CEO, but rather that the odds of CEO material also having a degree is high.

    CEOs also tend to own more than one car. Doesn't mean you should go buy a second car to improve your odds of becoming a CEO.

    • The question is what came first. Most CEOs probably didn't have a garage full of cars until after they were pretty close to having that position anyway. However, they probably got at least a Bachelors at the beginning of their career, so the likelihood of causation is significantly greater.

    • There probably isn't much cause and effect between degrees and one-in-a-billion success as an entrepreneur. I imagine Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others would do about the same either way. The degree is for finding your footing when life informs you you're one of the other 999,999,999.

      • by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:41PM (#40530899)

        It takes tremendous insight and a bit of luck to know that right now is absolutely the right time to be in this business and that even waiting a couple more years to finish your degree is waiting too long.

        Now the thing is, if you guess wrong, you can always go back and finish assuming you haven't completely wiped out any hope you ever had of having any access to money (parents, loans, etc). So I'm sure there are a lot more people who drop out of school to start a business and then end up back at school trying to finish their degrees a few years later than there are people who have a meteoric rise to success.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      The the Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg, are the exception, their success comes from being in the right place at the right time, and having the right idea, and taking the risk to try it out. For these guys everything lined up for them. If they failed they would probably be working a middle class job right now, because they didn't have the college degree (assuming they didn't go back to finish school), and no one will really want to hire them, or they will be doing a bunch of mediocre successful businesses.

      Higher

      • I'm sorry, exactly which one of 1 - 5 require "high education"?

        1. So, you can't learn to research properly without going through "higher education"? Seriously?

        2. Try managing your own business. You'll learn this one really quick or you won't be managing your own business for very long.

        3. See above.

        4. Or you could take the money you were going to drop on college and live in a foreign country for a year. Or, I don't know, find a new social circle.

        5. Really?

        Higher education isn't the be all, end all. It's a pa

    • by OakDragon (885217)
      Just to be sure, better go to a school that gives you a free car for each degree you earn.
  • Myth? (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel (530433) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @11:58AM (#40530141)
    Ellison
    Gates
    Jobs
    Zuckerberg

    That's most of the tech money that isn't IBM or HP.
    • Ellison Gates Jobs Zuckerberg That's most of the tech money that isn't IBM or HP.

      Tom Watson Sr., the guy that founded IBM also appears to be a dropout. From the wikipedia "Having given up his first job—teaching—after just one day, Watson took a year's course in accounting and business at the Miller School of Commerce in Elmira. He left the school in 1891, taking a job at $6 a week as bookkeeper for Clarence Risley's Market in Painted Post."

      I don't know about H or P, but yes it would be interesting to see the piechart of the value of companies founded by college graduates

      • Apples and oranges, really. Not having a college degree, even fifty years ago, let alone 150, did not mean as much as it does now. Mostly because the "tech" sector and scientific enterprise as a whole was composed of low hanging fruit anyone with a few bucks and some know-how could bang together in their garage. Seriously, the phonograph, light bulb, and electric motor are all things that a person could learn the principles of construction from reading a few books: even before their invention. Try getting a
    • Re:Myth? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:20PM (#40530573)

      #1 While Zuckerberg has money now, I want to see if that is still true 3 years from now. The stock market is a cruel mistress.
      #2 Ellison, Gates and Jobs are probably three of the most brilliant and ruthless people on the planet, who also lucked into a set of extraordinary circumstances (what would Jobs have been without Woz, and what would Gates have been without rich parents?)
      #3 Dropping out of school because your business is far more interesting and time consuming than school is entirely different from dropping out of school because "degrees don't correlate with success).
      #4 That's three people. Three people who made it without a degree. There are far more variables that impact success than can be properly identified and isolated through the anecdotal stories of three people.
      #5 That's not to say that degrees are necessary - they clearly aren't necessary, by the mathematical definition of the word. But they give you a hell of a leg up on the competition.

      Anybody who says that degrees are useless is trying to sell you something else, or is trying to make sure that you won't become competition.

      So in that sense, yes, it is a myth that successful entrepreneurs don't need degrees.

      • by dkleinsc (563838)

        If he's not a moron, Zuckerburg has diversified his holdings in Facebook, so he's now holding millions of shares not only of Facebook but also a wide range of the S&P 500. So yeah, he could lose half of it in the net stock market crash, which would make him only half as fabulously wealthy as he is now, which is still fabulously wealthy.

    • by tool462 (677306)

      I think more to the point, those Big 4 weren't successful because they dropped out of college. They are/were hard working, driven individuals with good instincts on how to run a business. They would have been successful regardless of whether they finished college or not. In their cases, the opportunities they made their money on came up before they finished their degrees. In at least Zuckerberg's case, and possibly others, the opportunities arose because they were in college.

      If this is your career plan:

    • by tlambert (566799) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:33PM (#40530793)

      OK, BofA is stretching "high tech" a little...

      Richard Branson - Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Galactic, plus all of http://www.virgin.com/company [virgin.com]
      David Geffen - Dreamworks
      Ted Murphy - izea.com
      Tom Anderson - myspace.com
      David Karp - Tumblr.com
      Y.C. Wang - fpusa.com
      Rob Kalin - etsy.com
      Theodore Waitt - gateway.com
      Shawn Fanning - napster.com
      Steve Wozniak - apple.com
      Kevin Rose - digg.com
      Dustin Moskovitz - Cofounder, Facebook
      Jerry Yang - yahoo.com
      Amadeo Peter Giannini - Bank of America, perhaps you've heard of it
      Craig McCaw - McCaw Cellular
      Ashley Qualls - whateverlife.com
      Pete Cashmore - mashable.com
      Jeffrey Kalmikoff - Threadless.com
      Ben Kaufman - kluster.com
      Red McComb - Clear Channel
      Bram Cohen - BitTorrent
      Gurbaksh Chahal - Blue Lithium, Click Again

    • by trout007 (975317) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @01:09PM (#40531331)

      The real thing these guys have in common is they didn't just create companies they helped created industries.

      So if you want to start a company that does something other companies do it would make sense to go to school and learn about those industries. But if you want to create an industry that doesn't exist you are not going to learn it in school.

    • Re:Myth? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by artor3 (1344997) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @01:12PM (#40531359)

      Those are four people. Yes, they have a lot of money, but think of it this way:

      Would you prefer a 1 in 10,000,000 chance to be a billionaire (and end up flipping burgers if you fail), or a 1 in 1000 chance to be a millionaire (and end up with a decent paying job if you fail)?

      A college degree is both safer and has a higher probability of success. The rewards might be lower, but that cannot be concluded from such a small sample size, and at any rate they're still enough for any reasonable person to live comfortably.

  • by bi$hop (878253) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:00PM (#40530173)
    ...just pretend. I'm pretty sure eBay and Yahoo won't even notice.
  • by deisama (1745478) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:00PM (#40530187)

    If you have a great idea, you should see it through. You can always go back to college later, and the experience of pursuing it will be far more beneficial to you than any class you could possibly take.

    If you don't have a great idea, than dropping out of college is stupid and will gain you very little.

  • Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tnk1 (899206) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:03PM (#40530239)

    Being as big as a Gates or a Zuckerberg is more a function of opportunity than pure education or even talent. Not to underestimate their abilities, of course, but I'd say there are plenty of people with the academic capabilities (or better) of both of those two, but they will never be more than well-paid employees.

    The important thing is finding and knowing what to do with opportunities, and then learning what you need to in order to take advantage of it. People with more education will have more specialized knowledge, but interestingly, I'd say that they gain more from the currency of simply having the piece of paper and any networking they can do in the graduate programs. In this way, I'd say that it is 100% true that the higher education *system* helps find more opportunities for advancement, starting with the requirement for a graduate degree for a better job, but going even further than that.

    Still, the right opportunity and the means to take advantage of it is what is actually required. The rest of it is just positioning. In the end, you don't get rich being a great practitioner of a particular science or engineering field, you get rich either managing your business, or getting it to the point where others can manage it for you. Of course, dropping out is like buying only one lottery ticket instead of multiple tickets. You can still win it all on the one ticket, but chances are much better you win if you invest more.

    • Re:Opportunity (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:18PM (#40530535)

      Being as big as a Gates or a Zuckerberg is more a function of opportunity than pure education or even talent. Not to underestimate their abilities, of course, but I'd say there are plenty of people with the academic capabilities (or better) of both of those two, but they will never be more than well-paid employees.

      Yes, having parents that can easily pay for Harvard or Yale is more important to your future wealth than actually *graduating* from Harvard or Yale.

    • by toastar (573882)
      My dad always said, " It's not what you learn in college it's who you meet."
  • It seems like there are a lot of jobs--and career paths--that offer a very low chance of fabulous wealth: dropping out of college for a tech startup, writing a novel, becoming a fashion designer, going to Hollywood, starting a trendy restaurant, dealing crack, doing anything artistic (ballet/sculptur/rock band), day trading, pro sports, being an "inventor", etc. For most people, it's a recipe for going broke or just subsisting. For a few, it leads to greatness.

    And while humanity needs risk-takers, and it
  • What if correlation is not causation, and the number of tech execs with degrees simply reflects the total population of people with the skills to be tech execs, ie, could many of those degreed tech execs have made it without the degrees they spent so much time and money getting?

    It's funny, the things that degrees are required for these days. I would hire someone out of high school to be a entry level technician in my lab, and train them myself, if our hiring policies allowed me to do that. In that way,
  • The scenario mentioned above isn't as much a myth as it is an oversimplification. None of the people who accomplished this were average college students who simply had a good idea. They all had some sort of foundation for success started before they ever entered college.
  • Disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pak9rabid (1011935) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:07PM (#40530317)
    FTA:

    There are always going to be exceptions to any rule. But if you are a betting person, you would increase your odds of becoming a tech executive if you have a college education and a senior executive if you have a management degree.

    I respectfully disagree. What do Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniac, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg have in common? They were smart enough to realize that you have to strike while the iron is hot. All staying in school would have done for these guys is ensure that they missed the boat on their respective opportunities and found themselves in arguably more menial jobs as a result.

    This article sounds like it was sponsored by a bunch of universities or something.

    • by AxemRed (755470)
      But they were also lucky enough to have been gifted with exceptional intelligence and raised in situations that allowed them access to computer hardware, software, and similarly gifted peers. They were/are all exceptional people. I think that the point of the article is that the vast majority of us aren't going to be able to accomplish what they did in the same way that they did.
    • by gatfirls (1315141)
      Exactly. If you take this outside of tech you will see it in every industry. "Huh, you can think and invent without someone telling you how to do it?" Of course, there is a point to be made that most won't get a decent 8th grade education until they complete their 2nd year of college.
    • by Bigby (659157)

      Is the article really lumping together statistics of people who start a successful tech company with people who run a successful tech company? A company is only started once, but run by N executives. The executives shouldn't be part of this statistic because aspiring entrepreneurs are not looking to jump right into the role of CEO at an existing company.

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:07PM (#40530319) Homepage Journal

    complete with annoying survey tacked on the article.

    the site and article are aimed at essentially people holding masters in "business" - that's phb's, nobody fucking else would bother to read a site with hover-spam and popups.

    (here's the print link, all in one page http://www.networkworld.com/cgi-bin/mailto/x.cgi?pagetosend=/news/2012/070212-tech-ceo-college-260546.html&pagename=/news/2012/070212-tech-ceo-college-260546.html&pageurl=http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/070212-tech-ceo-college-260546.html&site=printpage&nsdr=n [networkworld.com] )

    basically, if you want a job running a big company _for someone else_ then you need a degree most of the time. but hell, they chose to include even a guy who's running a company because he inherited the position. sure zuck might not get an interview for ceo position at another company - but most companies would set him up for an interview to buy the fucking company - but if he didn't own facebook he would be just a regular schmo.

    interesting list would be one of tech companies ran to the ground by ceo's with perfectly good credentials on paper, even McBride had degrees you know - on the very thing he fucked up!

    besides, what the fuck defines "an aspiring tech executive"? I can understand what defines an aspiring engineer, but not technology executive - is it like aspiring to be a venture capitalist, only playing with someone elses money already given to him to play with, with projects already given to him?

  • First off business men absolutely should copy Mark's complete disregard for the law, friends, and common decency when chasing profits.

    "RUNNING successful U.S. high-tech firms"
    And that is the important part. Running, did these "tech giants" create these companies or were they simply the safe choice that was made when picking someone to run them?

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:10PM (#40530365)

    But not because he dropped out of college, but for doing things like buying Instagram for $1B without consulting his board.

  • There are outliers any any population. These are the folks who are at the right place and the right time. Some are astute and take advantage of the situation while others fall into it.

    This happens with everything from insects to people to companies and it has since time began. So, the Jobs, Zuckerburgs and Gates of the world can be shown to be successful without a college education but there was also a few others:

    John D. Rockefeller [wikipedia.org]
    Andrew Carnegie [wikipedia.org]
    Samuel ZeMurray [unitedfruit.org]
    George Westinghouse [wikipedia.org]
    Thomas Edison [wikipedia.org]

    Most of the

    • ...villagers get their pitch forks and torches and kill the SOB.

      Run Z-bone[1], run!

      [1] I had a FB account once, so I'm close enough to Zuckerberg to call him Z-bone.

  • Stealing IP and lawyering up to defend it is a pretty reliable plan.
  • by Kergan (780543) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:14PM (#40530467)

    Summary mentions the myth of the ivy league drop out...

    Dare I ask? What about the myth of the grad student who has a stellar career in the midst of the biggest college/university fee hike --and possibly the shittiest economy-- in history?

    Anyone care to tell them that their lifetime salary bump for having their degree will not necessarily pay for the debt they took on early in life, since the career prospects for many of them will be flipping burgers or waiting at restaurants anyway? (Don't laugh, most of you have been served at least once by a lawyer or PhD. It occasionally pays better [cbslocal.com].

  • The CEO is generally an employee of the company. Do you really expect a board (most of whom also have degrees and are often CEOs of other companies) to hire someone without a degree to lead their company? Of course not.

    So yes, CEOs will generally have degrees. The only time there is an exception is when the person founded the company, and built it themselves. And apparently in tech, there are only 3 of those left at the moment (gates, zuckerberg, ellison).

    College drop outs account for 20% of the 657 self-ma

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      So I have to correct myself after checking the article. The 3 tech CEOs without degrees are zuckerberg, ellison, and dell.

      Gates is no longer the CEO of microsoft, so he does not count. Likewise, Jobs does not count either.

    • I actually it would do a great justice to corporate governance and the whole world if we reformed corporate boards completely. I am *not* sure that other CEOs are needed or wanted on boards. At the moment corporate boards are nothing more than one tangle of conflicted interests. We need groups of shareholders that will actually hold CEOs accountable and won't force wages up just because they sit on each other's boards. The whole system as it is right now is a disgrace.

  • Accumulate loans. Accumulate debt. Graduate into a crappy economy created by the same people you will be paying off for the next 20 years.

  • You should have cut it off at "Why Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bad".

    Brevity, Friend.

  • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:43PM (#40530955)
    He's a lottery winner. There was nothing special about facebook. He happened to be at the right place at the right time to have his otherwise unremarkable network become popular, and he didn't turn it to complete shit as fast as myspace did.
  • Like other jobs... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @12:45PM (#40530981)

    Remember the woman who played the young John Connor's step/foster mother in T2? Yeah, I don't know her name either, and that's my point. She's one of those actors/actresses whose face you remember, but whose name you don't. But as a result of having small parts in so many movies, she's pulling in somewhere at the low seven figures from royalties. She's not Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham-Carter or any other famous professional from the acting world, but she embodies a more likely form of success to anyone who would choose acting as a career. But alas, the center of the bell curve is never all that interesting...and nobody wants to be at the lower side of what falls off the slope. So everyone focuses on the exceptional and strange (in a good way) examples.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      I once ended up on a plane next to a Hollywood actress. I started asking about work she's done, and of course I hadn't heard of it, and definitely didn't know who she was. She explained that almost all actresses and actors in Hollywood made a decent but not great living doing bit parts in various movies and TV shows, and that it was a fairly good job all told but not one that would ever make her millions.

  • The key here is not who is the present CEO of tech companies but who was the (potentially mythical) founder. The title CEO implies that the company is public or at least has a bunch of shareholders; these CEOs are often MBAs. Often the founders have sold, retired, or the MBA types have pushed the founder out by this point. So the stat that I want to see is what percentage of successful tech companies are(or were) run by someone with a degree?

    Plus think of all the companies that were bought out by a big co
  • Completely Disagree (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RumorControl (82735)

    What is not mentioned here is that the methods by which those great tech startups got big.

    " behind every great fortune is a great crime"

    Apple
    Microsoft
    Facebook
    Oracle
    are all great heists

    And thus it's good to study those crimes if you wish to become rich. The MBA is really good training for finding your mark to exploit and understanding risks..but anyone can steal.

  • Dropped out: Gates and Allen. Jobs and Wozniak. Ellison. Zuckerberg.

    On the other hand, if you don't want to drop out, you could go to Stanford, as Hewlett & Packard (HP), Bosack and Lerner (Cisco), and Brin and Page (Google) did.

  • He's not even mentioned Jobs or other famous people that didn't finish university. But more importantly he didn't list all the people with a CS degree that have a shit low paid going no where job just waiting to be off-shored.

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