January 7, 2011

A Note To My Business-Niche Cohabitants

Filed under: a/b,academia,awesome,business,future,interfaces,vendetta,work — mhoye @ 3:29 pm

You Shouldn't Be Rapping

My little startup is moving along quite nicely, have I mentioned that? 2010 was a good year, and 2011 is looking extremely promising, in large part because of the awesome people I’m working with now and looking to hire. But I’d like to clear up one little thing about that; noted Seneca professor Dave Humphrey has recently observed about hiring college students:

But there’s at least one big problem, and it is perfectly reflected in a mail I got recently from a mid-sized tech company:

“…we normally only hire from universities, but might be open to a college student.”

This was followed by an invitation for me to come sing and dance for them, in order to prove our students were worth considering. I’ve done a lot of singing and dancing over the past five years and I’m starting to tire of the intellectual snobbery and education elitism that claims to want one thing, but interviews and hires for something else. Meanwhile, we’re shipping software. Meanwhile, we’re getting real shit done.

Incomprehensible. He even has the audacity to go on to argue that this is somehow a problem! And just I want to make it clear to businesses that operating in those niches in or near my own: this is not a problem at all for you. You should absolutely keep doing exactly what you’re doing. If you could just forget about college students outright, circular-file their resumes and ignore their emails, that would be great.

Trust me, future competitors, just keep doing that. I really appreciate it.


  1. I still cannot put into words how awesome I think doberes is.

    I’m not a uni grad, and have done ok. and the mid-sized tech company referenced is prolly exec managed by nortel alumni.

    Comment by kev — January 7, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  2. Shhh!

    Comment by mhoye — January 7, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  3. Just a quick clarification for the non-Canuck contingent – what’s the difference between “college” and “university” students? In the US those are synonyms.

    Comment by Ben — January 8, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  4. In some hazy prehistory that I may just be making up, the distinction was mostly about social class – Universities were for white-collar educations, colleges were blue-collar vocational centers.

    Since then, universities are focusing a lot more on vocational aspects and colleges are doing more and more work that used to be the purview of universities, so the distinction is in a lot of ways now irrelevant. There’s still a lot of institutional snobbery about, of course, but I think that the distinction, like the people who engage in said snobbery, can safely be described as legacy bullshit.

    Comment by mhoye — January 9, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

  5. Ah, about what I suspected. Thanks!

    Comment by Ben — January 10, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

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