If you want a revolution, burn the ships

I’m a huge fan of Lambda School and have been following them for several months now. It’s a coding school that only earns a percentage of your salary after you get a job for more than $50k/year, their success rate is absolutely mind blowing, and now they closed a big fundraising round to expand their services in other countries and industries.

Lambda excites me not just because I’m passionate about education, but also because of their incredible business model. The only way for them to make any money at all is to make sure that you succeed as their customer. They cut themselves off the possibility to do a mediocre job by not collecting any money upfront. They go above and beyond in ways that no one tried before, because that’s what their business model incentivises. And they reap extraordinary rewards.

Among things that no other schools do, Lambda runs their own HR agency that matches fresh graduates with companies where they will be a good fit. They bring students of web development, data science, design, etc. together as a single team and have them deliver an actual product as a part of their curriculum. And it’s working. Almost all of their graduates find a well-paying job in their desired role within just a few months. I’ve seen stories of people who went from working at Walmart to a senior software engineer in 6 months, with a salary raise of $80k / year or more.

When I think about my own degree in Computer Science, I can’t believe how useless it appears in comparison. Lambda business model has such an unfair advantage over traditional universities that I’m certain it will completely disrupt the education industry during the next few years. Even more interesting is what other industries will be taken over next. For sure, Lambda’s example in education got me wondering about e-commerce and how will the next disruption in this area look like.

Whatever it is that you’re working on, it’s good to ask yourself, “What if I could only make any money if my customers succeeded?”. The answer is likely to be the opposite of what everyone else is doing. Which might be precisely your chance to start the next revolution.

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