The Hidden Force Behind Google, Microsoft, and Facebook
“If we’re innovating, if people have the tools to let their imaginations run, then there’s nothing we can’t do in this country.” President Barack Obama
At a political fundraiser in the humble home of revered Google executive Marissa Mayer – a mere stone’s throw from the famed garage that spawned Hewlett-Packard – President Barack Obama delivered these energizing words to approximately 50 Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. heavy-hitter Democrats who reportedly paid $30,000 each to attend the intimate meet-and-greet in Palo Alto, CA. While these words may be perceived by some to be little more than populist political Utopianism, they speak to the heart of what Silicon Valley and burgeoning entrepreneurial pockets across the globe were built on.
The inextinguishable fire that burns deep within every entrepreneur is fueled by the kindling wealth of knowledge, tools and skills accumulated through experience and education. The latter is perhaps the most under-recognized factor leading to effective entrepreneurial success.
To be certain, visionaries by the likes of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Jerry Yang, Sergey Brin and Larry Page each have an overwhelming presence of talent, passion, creativity, insight and natural intelligence within them. However, it would be incorrect to assert that these personal traits and qualities are the sole defining characteristics leading to their success. Siamak Taghaddos, the 29-year old millionaire co-founder and co-CEO of Grasshopper Group, noted that “education helped polish the inherent entrepreneur” within him and his partner, David Hauser. As Malcolm Gladwell famously outlined in “Outliers“, Bill Gates had unlimited access to a computer at the exclusive middle school he attended in the late 1960s to early 1970s – a time at which computers were far from being considered “personal”. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page join Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo as (sort of) alumni of Stanford’s famed school of computer science.
These tech legends understand the importance of education, and they want to pass along that gift to young students today in hope of giving them the tools they received along their path to success. Mark Zuckerberg recently donated $100 million to New Jersey public schools, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with its $33.5 billion (and growing) endowment, has contributed billions to initiatives that advance and improve education across the globe.
Most would agree that education facilitates learning, growth and development. But what many fail to recognize is that education allows passionate young individuals to discover and nurture the entrepreneur within them. It offers them the chance to mine their natural talents and fuse them with new tools, knowledge and skills that can catapult them to a higher level of thinking and understanding.
Education has helped cultivate bright young minds and shape them into entrepreneurial successes and legends of industry, and its importance can no longer be underestimated and ignored.
Posted on October 22, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged Bill Gates, Charity, Education, Entrepreneurship, Google, HP, Innovation, Jerry Yang, Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft, Silicon Valley, Yahoo!. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.