After the 1996 Olympics games, GT acquired a lot of apartment style housing. The housing is great for privacy and creature comforts, but it's not great for community building. Especially given the disposition of the average tech student. Tech has looked to themed housing to help fill the gap and foster community. Startup house is one example. At the beginning of January, I had the privilege of speaking to these students and their friends. What follows are some of the highlights of our conversation.
One of the core themes of my talk was failure. I feel like this is a very underrepresented topic when it comes to entrepreneurship. The kind of failure that one encounters when trying to build a company is different than what most young adults have experienced. In school failure is an individual effort. You didn't study enough, you didn't understand the material, you didn't put in the effort, etc. When building a company you can do everything right, but still come out with nothing on the other end, because the customers, market, or financiers weren't right. Often times, there is nothing that one can do. The most important thing is to pick oneself up, understand what could have gone better, and try again.
We also talked about the differences between Atlanta and the Valley, why I went to Emory (Tech has come a long way since then), and about finding good co-founders. The questions from the audience were on point and far more sophisticated than what I would have known to ask at their age.
Speaking to these students was a great reminder about the quality of people that Atlanta's institutions attract. I'm looking forward to the budding internship program between ATV and GT. Getting our best young people involved with our best companies can only lead to great things.
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