There’s been a lot of discussion lately over whether college is a waste of time. Given the popularity of Mark Zuckerberg’s story and Peter Thiel’s activism, it’s no surprise young people are looking to enter the startup world right out of school.Some try it even earlier, rejecting the more traditional path of starting out with a more established company.
Many entrepreneurs would encourage that path, they tend to have a certain disdain for larger corporations. When we asked Shafqat Islam, the founder and CEO of New York based content syndication startup NewsCred, what advice he had for such people, he had a slightly different take.
“I think a lot of people in my shoes would say ‘Oh, go join a startup right away, don’t waste your time in corporate America,'” Islam said, “That’s the typical thing you hear in startup land. I’m a little contrarian in that I worked at Merrill Lynch running big technology projects for 6 years.”
Despite the fact that those jobs may not be as exciting or glamorous as the startup world, they give the sort of experience and credibility that make you more likely to succeed.
“Yeah, sometimes it was a bit of a slog, a bit boring, but I learned so much about how to build a business, how to manage teams, I wouldn’t discount that fact,” Islam said, “I would say that it’s not bad to get a job for a few years, see what it’s like before you start your own business. I think there’s benefit to that.”
Additionally, if your startup succeeds, you’ll likely want large companies as clients. Relationships with those businesses and an idea of how they work can only help.