The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about the value of going to an elite college as a prerequisite to becoming an entrepreneur. Tune in as Steli and Hiten weigh the pros and cons of going to an elite college, discuss their own personal experiences with school, and outline the kind of founders who may benefit from schooling, and those who may not. Steli and Hiten also stress the importance of taking action and applying what you’ve learned when it comes to becoming a successful founder and entrepreneur.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:05 – Today’s episode is about going to an elite college

00:32 – Steli says he received an email from someone who felt conflicted about whether or not he should go to an elite college to succeed as an entrepreneur

01:36 – Steli is also conflicted answering this question because he is biased—he does not have a high school degree

02:27 – Hiten shares how he went to college because his dad said that a degree was a good fallback, but it didn’t excite him

03:35 – Hiten loved his experience in college

04:05 – Steli says he does not think there is one answer for everybody

04:33 – Personally, school was challenging for Steli

05:38 – Steli does not regret not going to school; he thinks education and learning is different from schooling

06:10 – There are entrepreneurs who have gone to college and those that have not

07:21 – Hiten says the top tier colleges have some of the best networks

07:36 – The colleges are expensive, but you can take as much value from it if you choose to attend

08:12 – Hiten shares a story of a friend who said she learns really well in a school environment and should just get her MBA, but Hiten challenged her by saying “How about applying [what you’ve learned]?”

09:20 – There is value in everything but personally, Hiten says experience is more important than the lessons taught in class

10:30 – Steli wrote a recent blog post about going through YC which was similar to the mindset that people have in college

11:49 – There is a difference between the passive founders and those who are taking everything they can from the experience

12:20 – What you learn in college depends on what you get out of it

12:39 – Steli agrees with Hiten that there is value in colleges providing access to potential networks

13:11 – If you want to be a founder, I don’t think it is required to go to college

13:37 – In Episode 23, Steli and Hiten talk about heroes being human

13:54 – An alumni network is very advantageous to have as you can help each other

14:45 – The best founders learn by doing

15:37 – The easiest way to learn by doing is to not go to college and just start a business

15:52 – Entrepreneurship is an applied science and art

16:43 – There are a lot of imperfections in running a business that cannot be replicated in school

17:13 – Subscribe to the email list to get access to cool stuff

17:32 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

There is no straight answer about whether or not you should go to an elite school, because it depends on the person.

One key value of attending an elite college is joining their alumni network and other networking opportunities.

Entrepreneurship is an applied science and art that is best learned by just doing it.

Steli: Hey everyone, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten: And this is Hiten Shah.


Steli: And in today's episode of The Startup Chat, we're gonna explore this question really briefly of should you go to an elite college if you want to be an entrepreneur or not. Is college or university, is that worth it or not? So here's the context, Hiten. I got an email yesterday from a kid who basically- What he was asking me for was he said that he's a fan of the podcast,

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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