Category Archives: Immigration

Engineers or MBAs: B Schools Losing According to Facebook Study | Inc.com

Inc on an interesting study pointing to Engineers over MBA’s.

You’ve finished your undergraduate degree and you’re peering into the haze of your future. Would it be better to continue on to an MBA or do an advanced degree in a nerdy pursuit like engineering or mathematics? Sure, tech skills are hugely in demand and there are a few high-profile nerd success stories, but how often do pencil-necked geeks really succeed in business? Aren’t polished, suited and suave MBA-types more common at the top?

Not according to a recent white paper from Identified, tellingly entitled “Revenge of the Nerds.” The company, which analyzes Facebook profiles, combed through its database, culling information on the profiles of CEOs and founders to see what path they took to entrepreneurial success. The result: Three times as many had advanced degrees in engineering than had an MBA. When it came to company leaders with only an undergrad education, the number with degrees in business and engineering was about evenly split.

The company also found that the age of founders is falling. In 2008 the average was 36. This year is was 33. And while 90 percent of the profiles analyzed were for U.S.-based entrepreneurs, that doesn’t mean the founders and CEOs were originally from the U.S. The Institute of Technology Bombay, Canada’s University of Waterloo and China’s Tsinghua University joined perennial American favorites Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, CalTech, and Carnegie Mellon among the most common training grounds of top engineers.

So why are nerds triumphing these days? Identified speculates that the boy king of Facebook may deserve some credit:

Perhaps the widely chronicled nerd-inspiring story of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg–the fact is that more engineers are striking out on their own to launch new endeavors, particularly in the IT, social and mobile industries. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 2011 saw “an across-the-board increase in the rate of entrepreneurial activity has not been seen in the U.S. in the last ten years,” and “the majority of entrepreneurs were motivated by improvement-driven opportunities to start new ventures.”

via Engineers or MBAs: Who Triumphs as Entrepreneurs? | Inc.com.

Startup at Sea | A Start-Up Incubator That Floats | NYTimes.com

In college I considered participating in Semester at Sea (I ended up studying at Kansai Gaidai near Osaka Japan). Just read about a new idea to have a boat near Silicon Valley (in international waters) that would serve as a place for entrepreneurs, investors and others to interact with Silicon Valley without visa hassles. Its called Blueseed and its pretty wild. From the NY Times:

Technology gurus have long lamented how hard it is for foreign talent to secure American visas and create start-ups here. As Congress spins its wheels with endless debate over immigration, an ambitious venture based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is trying to chart a more productive course aboard a 600-foot boat, or possibly a barge.

That’s the idea behind Blueseed, which aims to create a visa-free, floating incubator for international entrepreneurs off the California coast near Silicon Valley.

Blueseed’s co-founders, Max Marty, 27, and Dario Mutabdzija, 31, envision a seaworthy, 1,000-passenger hothouse for entrepreneurs from around the world, moored 12 nautical miles offshore — just outside California’s territorial waters — with enough appealing amenities to make it a “Googleplex of the Sea.” Passengers could take a day trip by ferry to the mainland on temporary tourist or business visas, returning to sleep in cabins that would rent for $1,200 to $3,000 a month.

“Blueseed is a way to connect Silicon Valley with the amazing founders and entrepreneurs out around the world,” Mr. Marty said. “Existing visa policies were designed for a different era. The nature of business has changed, and what’s lacking now is an avenue for people to be able to come in and create great companies.”

Its interesting to note that two of the founders worked at the Seasteading Institute — they are a Friedman family ‘project’ that views government as inhibiting progress.  Anarchists? (Depends who you ask.) From their website, “we work to enable seasteading communities – floating cities – which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.”

Its also interesting to note that Peter Thiel has funded the Seasteading Institute.

via A Start-Up Incubator That Floats – NYTimes.com.