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!
Herbert Joei BactongJohn Young
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/