In Chapter 8 of 17 in his 2012 interview, London entrepreneur and Moo.com CEO Richard Moross notes the high occurrence of the education system failing to educate entrepreneurs. He notes the importance of education teaching core skills such as how to argue, how to make a case and how to plan strategy. He finds it is less about teaching students how to start companies and more about providing access and training to core skills, especially programming or writing code.
Erik: How can the education system better prepare entrepreneurs? Richard: Well, I think the education system, in many cases, has failed entrepreneurs when they were in it. You know, there's a very high rate of dyslexia among successful founders of companies who've gone on to be incredibly successful and I think that if you listen to their stories, they largely say that they didn't do well in school, they were ignored, they weren't looked after properly. So, in a way, I want education to continue failing those people because those are the people that go on and create great companies. But I think, you know, having good ingredients is gonna hopefully create a good result, you know, a good dish, a good person. Having good education hopefully gives people the right tools with which to grow a company. I'm really glad that I did go to school and that I went to university. I studied philosophy and politics. You know, completely useless in terms of a business application. But learning to argue, make a case, thinking about strategy and having your eyes wide open looking at the reasons why and -- or why not I think were important building blocks in my development. But -- and I don't know whether the solution is teaching people that they should start a company or how to start a company, but I think there are big gaps in the market today. There's massive gaps in computer science graduates and, you know -- just -- there's just not enough of them. There are not enough people who know how to code, to build the future. You think about -- there's a bottleneck in our, you know, new digital revolution, much like the industrial revolution. You know, people to run the machines. It's much easier to learn how to operate a machine than it is to write code in a way that will, you know -- in a way that will scale. So, I think we need more smart people be trained in the right technology and the right tools. We need good examples of the fact that that channel, that that profession is a road to financial success, having your parents not hate you, you know, all these things. We just need to make that acceptable. So, maybe it's not education as in formal education, but it's educating the world that this is actually, you know, a good thing to do and why. Funny enough, I think things like "The Social Network", like movies, like it becoming part of the -- kind of society's consciousness that this is a viable option, particularly in places like London where well-educated kids go into the banking industry. Actually, the bankers have done us a huge favor because, you know, that's not necessarily the right place to go anymore. They've got a bad rep. Whereas, you know, taking a few risks, joining a start-up business, you know, maybe that looks better to people's parents and to their social group. So, I think it is changing. I think we definitely need to teach more people how to, you know, how to code and make it acceptable to get in to this line of work because the future depends on it. So, we need to change our mindset, I think, a bit there.