Sunday, March 27, 2011

Multidisciplinary Approaches

Image representing Vivek Wadhwa as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase
TechCrunch: Engineering vs. Liberal Arts: Who’s Right—Bill or Steve?: It takes artists, musicians, and psychologists working side by side with engineers to build products as elegant as the iPad. And anyone—with education in any field—can achieve success in Silicon Valley. ...... 92 percent held bachelor’s degrees, and 47 percent held higher degrees. But only 37 percent held degrees in engineering or computer technology, and just two percent held them in mathematics. The rest have degrees in fields as diverse as business, accounting, finance, health care, and arts and the humanities. ...... The most common traits I have observed are a passion to change the world and the confidence to defy the odds and succeed. ..... I never observed a correlation between the school of graduation or field of study, on one hand, and success in the workplace, on the other. What make people successful are their motivation, drive, and ability to learn from mistakes, and how hard they work. ..... Steve Jobs taught the world that good engineering is important but that what matters the most is good design. You can teach artists how to use software and graphics tools, but it’s much harder to turn engineers into artists. ... Our society needs liberal-arts majors as much as it does engineers and scientists. .... My advice to my students—and to my own children—is to study what interests them the most; to excel in fields in which they have the most passion and ability; to change the world in their own way and on their own terms. Once they master their domain, they can find the path to entrepreneurship. ...... Maybe they can team up with the hard-core engineers who develop the clunky, inelegant, over-engineered products that Bill is famous for
Vivek Wadhwa is making a lot of sense here. I have instinctively known this to be true. You need to look at a problem from many angles. As for what makes for an entrepreneur, that is a mystery. There is no correlation between someone's major or what school they went to and if they will become an entrepreneur. I think about 1% of the population is born to launch companies. As to where that ratio comes from, I don't know. I just observe that to be the case.

An entrepreneur builds teams. If they need someone with a particular major, they will go get that person. Have you noticed? 99.99% of engineers go work for someone else.
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