I envy kids today, growing up in our economy today. And when I say "kids," I mean anyone in their teens or preteens. Yes, I know being young sucks from at least one perspective. But on the other hand, kids today are coming up in the age of YouTube and the Internet at the highest stage of its development to date. Today, we have the ability to throw together a business literally overnight and start doing business globally over the weekend. Twenty-five years ago, when I was coming out of college, that was unheard of.
Yes, Dom, you say, but is that wise? Do you really think kids should launch a business with such little planning and research? What if they make mistakes? What if they fail? . . . But as counter-intuitive as this might seem, my answer is YES. Yes, I think they should make mistakes. Yes, I think they should fail as fast as they can. I don't think research and planning are the best predictors of success for entrepreneurs; in fact, I think the opposite is true. I think that the best thing they can do is launch quickly, make mistakes, learn from those mistakes, and iterate again.
It's this skill—falling and getting up again—that sets good entrepreneurs apart. Perfectionism is the enemy, actually, and traditional education trains kids to be perfectionists, penalizing them for not getting all the answers right. What's useful about not being allowed to get things wrong? How else are you going to learn how to get better results?
Today, our kids can learn from over 250 world-class universities online, without credit, but from their finest professors via video lectures from their laptops or phones in their pajamas. They can apply it right away to their businesses in real time and finance their startups online. They can seek out trusted voices to speak into their careers and connect with those mentors through LinkedIn and other specialized networks and meritocracies that reward them for their street cred. They can deploy their personal brands