Finding a College Compromise

SUSIE GHARIB: And finally tonight, over the next few weeks, high school
students will be hearing from colleges on where they got accepted. Our
commentator tonight says college may not be for everyone. He’s Harry Lin, executive in residence at Idealab, it’s a technology incubator in Pasadena, California.

brother is having a tough time in college. Apparently, his grades in many
of his classes are very poor. But he’s doing well in his computer science
courses. This is because he is spending all his time on a computer game,
specifically, his own game. See, this college kid owns his own game company, and created an online game that’s developing a small but fervent following. Some of his friends
and family are urging him to leave school and focus fully on his company.
They say that the future is bright, perhaps lucrative, if he seizes on
the momentum. Unsurprisingly, his parents and others are telling him to
stop playing games and concentrate on school.

Leaving college to drive his game company forward might seem risky,
but the capital efficiency of software development, combined with the reach
and virtuality of the Internet, give this young man power and speed, power
and speed that were unimaginable a generation ago, when getting a college
diploma was the smart thing to do.

Today, I think the smart move might be to stop accruing student-loan
debt and keep playing games.

I’m Harry Lin.

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