The Education System F'd You

July 16, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

Noah Brier taught me this and I believe it 100%. I got an email today asking me about following standards and protocols.

I say F’ That.

Okay, not completely but the problem here is that we are taught to raise our hands and do whatever everyone is doing. We are taught to fall in line and solve problems the same way everyone else is. How do you succeed when you are doing it the same way everyone is?

You really need to Zag.

If everyone is zigging, think about what you can do differently and go zag. It’s hard to learn new tricks or go against the grain but you will NEVER succeed doing what everybody is doing.

And now you can watch my mom Zag aka hula dance from the Community Next event this weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

11 responses to “The Education System F'd You

  1. Thomas Reply

    I totaly agree with this post and unfortunately the education system of nowadays (primary and secondary education level) will be the real problem for the coming generations. There is not space for imagination, no space for “messing up”. There is space only to follow the rules, and that will not work in the future.

  2. Ross Hill Reply

    I wrote about the quote below in my post School vs Real Life.

    “School isn’t like real life. In fact, it’s about as far from real life as can be imagined. The lessons that let you be successful in school (follow the rules, work hard, know the right answers) are completely the opposite of those that help you become a successful entrepreneur (change the rules, work smart, know the right questions).”

  3. Sean Tierney Reply

    Yep totally. Ross has it right too- there is rarely a single definitive right answer in the real world. the whole “many paths lead to the same peak” thing- it’s more about critical thinking skills and being able to ask the questions that let you determine which peaks are worth climbing.

    I saw Seth Godin speak a month ago in Phx and he hammered this point as well. Traditional public schools are good at dulling the sharp corners and encouraging homogeneity and mediocrity (which is the recipe for being average and failing). He had a compelling talk – i wrote it up here FWIW:


  4. Will Reply

    I could not agree more, you do need to zig when everyone else is zagging. What happens when you are in the situation that you are foreseeing the zig and act on it while everyone is zagging and they think you have no idea what you are talking about?
    Sorry I missed CommunityNext last weekend, I will make the next one, I promise. I will bring the Odwalla for you 😉


  5. Izzy Neis Reply

    Yay! Stay off the bandwagons. Being unique is the best route.

    Odd admission… Growing up with ADD (the ATTENTION based ADD, not the hyperactivity- strangely enough) always kept me away from the zig and firmly on the zag path… Sure, back then I hated it– all the work and struggle, but now I’m glad I had ADD. Made me really accept that alterior plans are the best kind. Finding my own way to solve problems.

    OWN who you are– your interests and abillities, and yes, even faults… OWN them and then make them excel the best way for you– and you’re automatically set on your own path. Uniquely zagging.


  6. Nick Bakewell Reply

    Excellent points made by everyone. I had this problem with my websites – I would try to jump on every trend that was the new thing and never earned much. Now, I’m doing my own thing – what interests me and what I believe I can do well at, not what everyone else is doing.

    However, that being said, you should not always ignore what everyone else is doing. Sometimes it stands true that if everyone is doing it there must be a good reason for it.

  7. Ben Reply

    Funny – I just got an email today from Ohio State’s Career Services Office telling me to take a class and learn how to write my resume properly and learn how to use and other websites to search for a job.

    My job hunting strategy is going to involve two or three options, the first one being “Email Noah ASAP.”


  8. Joel Mueller Reply

    I understand there are issues with the educational system, and that it could use a reform. However, I can’t blame the educational system for the mindframes of individuals who would rather follow a system than create a system themselves. It’s much easier to plug into a system and go with the flow than create and nourish your own. The people still have a choice….some just don’t know that they do.