I have known of Sramana Mitra’s 1Mby1M Program for about a year now and have, infrequently, read her blogs and articles at HBR and other places. I’ve also attended a couple of her free roundtable conferences and was amazed at the large multi-national turnout.
Over this time, I’ve come to admire both her consistent and no-nonsense approach to entrepreneurship and her prolific efforts to educate and support those who pursue it. Living in Silicon Valley and having worked at and with technology firms myself, Mitra’s clarion cry for bootstrapping businesses vs seeking large amounts of venture capital (which then holds you and your business at ransom), is refreshing and singular.
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When Sebastian Thrun, formerly of Stanford University, was interviewed about leaving Stanford, his response was: “Having done this, I can’t teach at Stanford again. You can take the blue pill and go back to your classroom and lecture to your 20 students, but I’ve taken the red pill and I’ve seen Wonderland.”
He was referring to his co-founded startup, Udacity, which seeks to change the future of online education: “with the economics of the Internet, we’ve connected some of the greatest teachers to hundreds of thousands of students in almost every country on Earth.” [And, the literary reference of the red/blue pills was, of course, from Alice in Wonderland, which is a terrific treasure of such metaphors and analogies.]
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