Entrepreneurship lessons from MIT by Aditi Chadha
Hi there! Last time I had shared with you about the exciting opportunity I had received to experience drinking directly from the firehose and to have been selected for the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Over 6,200 global ideators and entrepreneurs applied to this world renowned program and finally 120 were selected out of 32 countries. That comes to over a 2% acceptance rate. This March, the program was held in the beautiful city of Brisbane, Australia, 1 hour from the world famous beaches of the Gold Coast on the Western periphery of the land Down Under.
On Day 1 of the Bootcamp, Sunday, the order of the week was delivered. Below is a screenshot of the topics and associated homework / deliverables for each day, night, it doesn’t matter, we lost count of time. There were post its and signs in the room that said ‘Sleep is for the Weak.’ We got the hint and it didn’t matter as we were full of energy and charged up for the week ahead, at least that’s what we thought. We said, bring it on!
At 2.30 pm a Mentor Keynote was delivered by Brian Subirana, Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who has taught at prestigious business schools such as MIT Sloan, Harvard, Stanford and Insead. He spoke about the fifty years of evolution of the Internet, the emergence of the Internet of Things, and how the role of telecom operators is going to change in the future from service providers to advertisers, as they know our important work and personal contacts, our browsing habits, what we like to read or shop, and even our location. Think about it! He shared about how even the most renowned historical figures have totally missed out on where technology was headed.
Charles Duell, Director of the US Patent Office in 1899 said “All that can be invented has been invited.” Thomas Watson, IBM Chairman in 1943 estimated the world market to be for all but 5 computers. Ken Olsen, President of Digital in 1977 thought there was no reason for any individual to have a computer at home. Can you beat that? The renowned McKinsey and Co., reported in 1980 that the world would have less than 1 million cell phones in the year 2000 and then the world’s richest man Bill Gates of Microsoft said in 1981 that USD 64K would be enough income for anyone, totally opposed to the inflationary times that face us now. Think about it, that’s considered lower middle class in San Francisco, California.
Brian explained to us the relevance of Cryptography, Blockchains, Distributed Ledgers and how the Internet of Things are creating the Internet of Value. These buzz words are expected to become our reality in the future, but then again keep in mind, it has been very hard to predict the future as I shared the examples above. Look at how the user interface and website of Facebook, back in 2004, then called The Facebook, looked when it launched at the Harvard University.
I loved Brian’s class and the new concepts I learned, and how they are expected to relate to the world we’ll know soon. Expected because a lot of work is being done on that front. I suggest that if you haven’t heard of these keywords, you read about them on Google, especially about Distributed Ledgers and the Blockchain. It is much more prolific than what we already know about the crypto currency Bitcoin.
Aditi Chadha runs DAZL.io, which builds wearable technology. Over the next few weeks, Aditi will share with you what she learned, challenged herself, and how one can apply these exclusive MIT learnings to life, career and business.
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