On Internet Credentials, New School and Productising First Point of Motivation

Dude, this has been in my head for quite some time. It’s ridiculous how much time I have spent avoiding writing this thing. Let’s get to it now 😃

If you have met me recently IRL, I definitely would have said,

“If it were not for my Twitter and Blog, you wouldn’t be willing to to meet me in the first place”

Funny part is that I don’t come from a really great college, nor I have done something really dope in my life{yet 😜}

So, why would you meet me? Well, the first reason is my Twitter. I still think becoming an “interesting person” who everyone wants to meet is one of the highest leverage activities you can do before 25.

@GRITCULT agrees with me here 😉

One other thing[perhaps the most important one] is “Getting Into Right Networks”.

You can be better at something than an average JOE, but if Joe knows more people in your space then chances of him succeeding are higher than you.

For example; if you are based in Bangalore, and work at potentially a Billion Dollar Startup, the chances are higher than if you start a company you’d be meet your cofounders more easily as compared to someone who works at say Infosys. Working at a high profile startup also exposes you to investors and other aspects of building a company.

The signaling aspect of having worked at a high profile startup also opens up a lot of doors for entrepreneurs. We are seeing Mafia’s pop up everywhere across the world.How The Flipkart Mafia Flipped The Fate Of The Indian Startup Ecosystem — Inc42 MediaThe Indian startup ecosystem is poised to grow 2.2X to reach over 10,500 startups by 2020, according to a report…inc42.com

Then, there is the OG Paypal Mafia.

Image for post

All these “Mafias” are a good way to understand how important getting into the right networks is 🙂

But, how do you find your “Mafia”?

Well, if you don’t come from Harvard/Stanford, the best way to do it is to “build an Internet Credential”.

Internet Credentials are on the rise

Alumni Networks-> Pioneer

Engineering Degrees-> GitHubTripleByte

Design Schools-> Dribble

Signaling Niche Expertise-> Twitter and Personal Blogs[Tiago Forte on Knowledge Management, David Perell on Writing, Anne-Laure Le Cunff on Mindfulness, James Gallagher on ISAs are best examples of this 😄]

Places such as Twitter serves as a good spot to find interesting/high potential people. [I have a special affection for Twitter, so this will be a bit long. Threads such as this by Andrew Chen are a good place to find folks. Nowadays, we are seeing entire companies being started and growing on Twitter. Product Hunt, Lambda School are some other companies that gained significant traction due to Twitter.

One more mention thing to here would be P2P Credentialing.

This is a good way of doing Credentialing. It is definitely an interesting space to watch out for in the coming years.

Why Credentials?

Human beings depend on signaling to make actions.

Signaling is a basic virtue that defines the majority of our actions. Like, Recruiters tend to be a bit biased towards people from reputed institutes because it signals that they are hardworking. Therefore, it makes sense to reinvent credentials in today’s age where we have clearly identified that the current credentialing mechanisms don’t make sense.

Ammon Bartram, Founder of Triplebyte, when asked about his motivation on starting a company like Triplebyte, says,

When I was younger, I was into wood and metal working. I worked with a wooden boat builder every Thursday from age 12 to 16 (I was home schooled, and my parents helped set this up). The craft and skill of creating things with my hands was what drew me to this.

When I got into programming (age 14), it ticked the same box for me — creating things. Paining over details, getting them right, and then seeing something come to life.

My motivation for Triplebyte actually came from being home schooled. I ended up getting a GED at 17. I totally lacked the credentials that most universities look for. I ended up going to a pretty poorly-ranked school. And that, in turn, meant that, after I graduated, most companies just ignored my resume. I remember applying to 50 companies before anyone replied and was willing to interview me.

I got to experience the flip side of this once I joined Justin.tv, and was hiring myself. Most people who apply to your company are not great programmers, and your team has limited time. The incentives are all set up to encourage screening on credentials.

Basically, I started Triplebyte to fix this. I want to help people who are in the situation I was in after I graduated (and far more stark situations — I still had CS degree).

Source 👇

Founder Portraits: Ammon Bartram of TriplebyteCreating a new more accurate test that gives access to high paying software engineering jobs to everyone, not just…medium.com

This clearly indicates how we have outgrown the current credentialing mechanisms and it’s time to start building the “school” not just “the credential” from scratch.

Bryan Caplan argues that,

80% of going to college is signalling that “I am a hard working person who was one of the few people that went to Stanford/Harvard”.

Bryan Caplan on College, Signaling and Human Capital — EconlibBryan Caplan of George Mason University and blogger at EconLog talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the value of a…www.econtalk.org

All this screams one thing; OPPORTUNITY.

We are in the early days of Internet Credentialing. So much needs to be done, so much is waiting to be done when especially when it comes to building the “GitHub of People”.

Ideally, this is what I would want it to look like

The Great Opportunity lies with "Empowering Rebels of Education System"

Give these folks:-

1. Entry into a Network-> Dorm Room Fond

2. Mentorship-> Network Enabled

3. First Point of Motivation-> $1000 Grant by 1517 Fund

That's all they need :)

One thing which I’d like to specifically talk about here is $1000 Grant by 1517 Fund. If you want to understand why it’s an important thing, this tweet is the perfect explainer 😉

Justin Potts talks about something more practical and implementable in this tweet 😉

Honestly, this is one thing which I’d like to build in the coming days 😄

If you are building something in this space related to Internet CredentialsHelping People Make a Career, I’d love to have a conversation with you on that front.

You can reach out to me on Twitter at @ankitkr0 😄

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