Hey everyone, Gab here.
Since there’s a pretty big discussion about college dropouts in this group right now, I’d like to weigh in a bit as a founder & college dropout myself started studying ComSci in UP Diliman around 2017. Two years later, I dropped out and started pursuing MedHyve full-time. Why did I drop out? At the beginning of your company, it’s easy to juggle both the startup and school/work. Since you’re at the stage of conceptualization and early validation, you are the one deciding your schedule. It’s easy to run it part-time at this stage. But as we launched and started getting more and more traction, it eventually came to the point where I wasn’t setting my schedule anymore, it was our customers setting our schedules. I would frequently miss classes and the occasional exam because of our customers.
In my last semester before dropping out, I wasn’t able to attend my finals exams because I had to go to meetings. At that point, I thought hard about what I wanted to do in my life, what was my end goal?
I worked back from that point and thought to myself “Okay, what do I really need to make this happen?” I knew that I needed to fail a lot. I knew that I would make both great companies and bad ones. I knew that I needed a Plan B. Thinking about one took me a long time, but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about since we started working on MedHyve. When I thought about it and spoke to a lot of other founder friends, people like me can easily get jobs as a developer even without a degree. The fact that I was already receiving job offers from dozens of different tech companies just validated the idea even more. So I thought about what really were the benefits of a degree
- Climbing the job ladder? If I wanted to be an exec at a company I would just build it
- Being hired into corpo? I would never work for corpos
It was at that point I decided, I have no real use for a degree. My time would be much better-used learning business, building companies, and failing fast and hard. I’ve had people tell me over and over and over that I should go back to school. But in the end, only I fully understand the life I want to live. I know exactly where I want to go, and I’m gonna steer myself there no matter what other people say. Yes, it might have been a risk, but it was one I spent months calculating and planning. Do I suggest that everyone drop out and build a company? No you definitely don’t have to. But, as a founder, you will always be taking risks. It’s important to explore them, to calculate them, and to find their benefits. Dropout founders have internalized these traits, just by being a dropout, they’ve learned how to:
- Ignore biases. Make sure you think critically about each decision, and don’t just recklessly reject ideas
- Find their northstar and work back from it to guide their decisions forward
- Calculate risks. Always keep an open mind to different possibilities, but calculate the upside and the downside
- Choose who to listen to and when your decision is more relevant than their advice
- Learn fast and quick in any environment
These traits are a necessity for founders that build companies that matter. Shoutout to my fellow college dropouts founders I’ve met over the years!
As well as some other college dropouts I saw in the comments that I don’t personally know yet but would love to definitely connect and discuss about our unique experiences!
Would be amazing if we could create a dialogue of how and why we all decided to dropout
Original post written on Facebook by Gabriel Henry Lopez: https://www.facebook.com/groups/startupph/permalink/3877139462377290/