My biggest professional regret? Never able to convince former Yahoo CEO Marisa Mayer to waste $50 million on me. Seemed like she handed out cash by the millions to anyone who happened along with a bad idea or bungled business plan.
Guess I was just too good for her.
Too straight, too narrow.
Blame it on college.
Which may no longer be a viable excuse.
Because college may simply no longer be needed, not for the real, not for its fake.
The industrial revolution let us outsource physical labors. The thinking revolution lets us outsource rational effort. Crazy is our future. You can’t teach that. Now throw in YouTube, coding academies, AI, a million bots, all of the Chinese, three hundred million just-as-smart but much harder working Indians, plus this apparent need for line cooks, plumbers, electricians and underpaid outrage peddlers on Twitter, and it’s plain to see that the business of college — learning as an industry — is in the midst of a massive disruption.
There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, but Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half are bound for bankruptcy in the next few decades.
In his recent book, “The Innovative University,” Christensen and co-author Henry Eyring analyze the future of traditional universities, and conclude that online education will become a more cost-effective way for students to receive an education, effectively undermining the business models of traditional institutions and running them out of business.
I will shed no tears.
In search of dollars and powers, colleges politicized themselves, becoming one of the largest partisan donor classes in America. They gave good jobs with great benefits disproportionately to individuals of sanctioned groups, got bloated and bellicose off hardworking taxpayers, conned parents and children into believing they were gatekeepers to the future, and happily joined in the grand parade to denigrate our culture and deride our greatness. Sooner they collapse, the better.
Then what do you do?
Where goes your future?
Hit the road.
You may have no better choice.
You, your mate, your friends, others, buy a bus — or, if this is being read ten years from now, an autonomous bus — and drive the roads, seeking work, constructing an economic unit, maybe creating a happy little cultural ecosystem, using Twitter, Snap, even Facebook to promote your homemade wares, reveal your various talents, to barter, build, play, keep safe. Live in the bus, play in the bus, sleep in the bus, all as the vehicle’s AI drives you from Cleveland to Dallas, from Flagstaff to Vegas, Alaska over to Russia, no need for a house payment, no need for a house, everyone sharing expenses as best you can, learning from one another as much as you can.
The nomad lifestyle is upon us, and soon as simple and then-obvious as Uber:
Founded in 2016, Cabin (formerly known as SleepBus) recently launched a chartered bus service between SF and LA that allows passengers to fall asleep in one city and wake up in the next — for about $100 one-way. The logistics are a no-brainer: Get in, grab a bunk, and snooze.
The flat rate makes it more affordable than flying and potentially more convenient than driving, but only if you can handle the tight quarters and 23 passengers aboard the double-decker bus.
The economy is being deconstructed, the cultural gatekeepers are going under, technology is destroying everything, all of which means various pods of people, activity, creativity and community will sprout up, some stationary, many mobile, and I dearly hope this leads to something better. I really believe it can. Less consumerism, less waste, less quiet desperation, more acceptance.
The past is gone, or soon will be, and its gone-ing will be massive and permanent. Shed a tear if you like, romanticize it if you wish. It’s not coming back, not in a form the past would recognize.
You’re the next. You get to build the future. Do it better.
You don’t need a house, a mortgage, a car, the trappings. Literally, these are called trappings! The world at present is poor and bound. Be poor and boundless, start there.