Friday, March 25, 2011

How to make it big...

A friend pointed me to a nice quote in an article by Steven Levy in Wired magazine: 
“You can’t understand Google,” vice president Marissa Mayer says, “unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids.” She’s referring to schools based on the educational philosophy of Maria Montessori, an Italian physician born in 1870 who believed that children should be allowed the freedom to pursue their interests. “In a Montessori school, you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so,” she says. “This is baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems. They’re always asking, why should it be like that? It’s the way their brains were programmed early on.”

It reminded me a little of this essay by John Taylor Gatto, where he provides an impressive list of people who also didn't like to do things because the teacher said so, and exercised the freedom to pursue their interests: Bill Gates, William Faulkner, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Turner, Ray Kroc, Richard Branson. Every one of these was a school/college dropout.