Freedom Fighters (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Freedom Fighters

What if someone told you that you could be wealthier and happier beyond your wildest dreams? Would you believe them? What if you were told that it was possible but you had to spend an undefined time working, in confinement.  Would that change your mind?

The promise of entrepreneurship reads like a good book.  You hear the stories of young billionaires. You see how people are writing their own ticket.  You are amazed how people can change the course of history, just by executing on an idea.

Yes it is true. Entrepreneurship can set you free. It can give you and your family the choice, the options and flexibility for the future. It can provide a nest egg, and an identity.

However, there’s a catch.  The next 5-10 years of your life (your sentence could be even longer) will be work, work and more work.  You may be locked up and have to miss family gatherings and recreational events.  The conditions when you’re confined working aren’t ideal.  However many of the best entrepreneurs love being there. It is a self-imposed banishment and they do it in order to find what they are looking for: power, respect, creativity, identify, and/or freedom.

Is it worth it? How long have you been locked up working?  Are you looking for freedom? Let us know in the comments below.

This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.

Entrepreneurial Fortune Cookies: The Truth (Comic)

#entrepreneurfail Brutally Honest Fortune Cookies


Polished off that Chinese takeout? Now you’re ready to crack open your fortune cookie. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you may find much truth in the fortune that awaits you. We’ve collected some common proverbs and adages below that you’d find in a fortune cookie, and applied them to the entrepreneurial experience:

  1. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – A customer in hand is worth more than chatting with two at a networking event
  2. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – A startup is only as strong as it’s weakest employee
  3. A dog is a man’s best friend – Find your loyal allies
  4. A drowning man will clutch at a straw – Even if your startup idea doesn’t have scope for success, you will grasp for any angle that will keep it afloat
  5. A fool and his money are soon parted – Enough said
  6. A good beginning makes a good ending – Get started on the right path, and the new business will be smoother
  7. A house divided against itself cannot stand – All new hires have to share the values of your startup
  8. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Or a single pivot
  9. A leopard cannot change its spots – Your core competency will always be your core competency
  10. No man’s an island – No one launches a business alone
  11. Fortune favors the bold – Risk taking has to be calculated and significant
  12. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer – Your eye must be on your competition at all times
  13. The early bird catches the worm – You may be able to catch a first mover advantage
  14. Too many cooks spoil the broth – As you add more people to your venture, speed to launch often slows
  15. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you – Remember to nurture the valuable relationships
  16. A penny saved is a penny earned – And count every penny towards sustaining your cashflow
  17. Don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched – Until you have a check in hand, a handshake doesn’t mean anything
  18. A watched pot never boils – Be patient with your startup!

Did we forget any entrepreneurial fortune cookies? Let us know in the comments below!

This was originally created by Kriti Vichare for #entrepreneurfail: Startup Success.

Inside the High School Hackathon Scene

This article is written by Jessie Arora and was originally published on edcrunch
HSHacks- Paypal

Hacking For The Future

My ongoing exploration of coding opportunities for kids led me to the HighSchoolHacks event this past weekend at PayPal HQ. I felt this invigorating energy as soon as I walked in and to some it probably represented the ideal high school of the future. Beyond the space itself, the organizers clearly have a strong grasp of how setting the right tone and expectations is an important aspect of building a healthy hacker community.

Having supported #HackLynbrook, a student-organized hackathon at a local high school, I had a general sense of what to expect, however, this event blew me away.  According to HSHacks Founder, Shrav Mehta, there were over 1000 students present throughout the course of the weekend, with 550 staying overnight and 150 teams presenting their projects. (You can read about some of the specific hacks in this post from VentureBeat.) Between the impressive list of sponsors and judges (including usual suspects Pearson and Amplify) there was no shortage of support for this event.

One of the judges captured the essence of the event perfectly, telling the room full of students that “you’re challenging teachers to do more and I’m taking that message back to them.” As schools explore how best to integrate computer science into their curriculum, it is essential that they consider the role of space and culture on teaching kids to code. However, it was clear that as K12 schools struggle with introducing authentic CS learning opportunities, many students are already figuring it out themselves.

NCLB: No Coder Left Behind

Witnessing the energy and enthusiasm these students put into their projects over the course of the weekend was inspiring, but the lack of diversity in the room illustrates how efforts like this often perpetuate the digital divide. The lack of girls present was stark, and not surprisingly the male attendees were predominantly Indian and Asian. This reality makes programs that help bring under-represented students into the hacker community, like GirlsWhoCodeTechBridge and CodeNow, even more important.


I tracked down a few female participants, including Michelle Yeung, who started the GirlsWhoCode chapter at Lowell High School in SF and recruited fellow members to join her for this event.  Wendy (pictured above), who made the trek all the way up from Irvine, was one of the only girls to make it to the final round.

The team with the highest energy was definitely the trio from East Palo Alto Phoenix Academy, who also took  the opportunity to promote CodeCamp, a free summer camp and after-school program they run to teach kids to code.  The impact of these authentic hacker experiences, especially for new coders, is profound. Shadi Barhoumi, one of the CodeCamp instructors shared that “our kids were so focused and excited to code today after the hackathon, because they finally understand why coding is cool and useful and fun.”

It was amazing to see the level of student engagement and learn how attendees keep that energy flowing beyond the weekend. Resources like Hackers Under 20 andStudentRND are just a couple that support young hackers. While education policy wonks debate the best way to teach kids to code and if CS should take the place of a foreign language, many students are ready to hack their future and are clearly not going to wait for schools to figure it out.