Monday, July 29, 2013

Is There a Place for Reality in the Draper U Curriculum?

Reading Kathleen Pender's story in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle about Draper U, Tim Draper's non-accredited short-term boarding school for aspiring entrepreneurs, left me feeling very queasy. The whole thing reeked of yet another con job cooked up by a "motivational speaker," differing only to the extent that it might provide a bit more hard data. I think there is something wrong with a culture that has made so much of a mess of the world of "real work" that the next generation will think that entrepreneurial pursuits may be the only option. The more I read, the more I worried that Draper's setting might be more than a little too coddling for a training process that should be designed for filtering. It is one thing to teach students to be unafraid of failing. It is another to throw them into a situation were success is about as unlikely as in athletics or opera and then sermonize on learning from failure. My fear is that these will be kids who end of failing too many times and may then react to the prospect that failure is the only option in some sociopathic manner.

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