Marc Andreessen wants you to stay in school

Marc Andreessen isn’t always known for his good advice, but he was right in one memorable exchange:

When asked by a Stanford student if they should drop out of college, he responded, “Stay in school. Because if you’re going to drop out, you won’t listen to me anyway.”

As a college dropout, this advice hit home for me. I started at a state school when I was 18. I was fairly immature, and quite rebellious (for better or for worse, that part hasn’t changed over the years).

I made it through a year, but didn’t appreciate or grow much from the opportunity in front of me. I had to forge my own path, which meant moving to the Bay Area, jumping into the industry, and having the good fortune to work with some very successful companies.

However, that’s not the end of the story! I eventually went back to school several years later. But it was much different.

I had lots of experience under my belt that I could reflect on. Also, the program was online so I didn’t have to uproot myself and adjust to a new home. And I could work on some cool stuff at the same time, like a private web browser by a startup called Neeva.

I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all solution. All I know is that people who believe college is always good or always bad are wrong. And the most important thing? Always be learning.


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