Part of aspiring to be an entrepreneur is tossing myself some tough questions to answer. What this self-inquiry has led me to is the personal belief that entrepreneurship is as much a question about impact as it is about morality. I’m not religious, but I would imagine I’d have hell of an easier time sleeping in my grave were I Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb (!?), than were I Oppenheimer, the inventor of the atomic bomb.
My moral standards and tolerance for actions of questionable morality may be different from others’, but I can confidently say I know I will never feel happy opting for impact without morality, but neither will I be happy opting for morality without impact. Finding a rightful balance between the two is tough. I like to begin thinking about morality from the perspective of evil, and how we can have less of it, so questions start coming to play:
“Is this an evil?”
“Who is responsible for eliminating this evil?”
“Are you responsible, if so, why?”
“How can you eliminate this evil?
Those questions are important to me, which is why I’ll be taking some moral philosophy classes at Stanford to hear what the great thinkers of history have to say, and I think if I don’t study them properly in college, I will never get around to.
Until I can decide for myself what’s moral and what’s not, my decision has been to follow my gut and find things I can do that’s so obviously moral no one can say it’s not per any reasonable standard.
Education is a field that I have decided to pursue, because solving problems in education is eliminating pain points that stands in the way of our existing system of disseminating knowledge, which I’m sure no philosopher will call immoral, since philosophy is literally love of knowledge. Education is the direct engine behind social mobility, the American Dream, the promise given at the founding of the nation, and in mind, the key to attaining freedom and fulfillment in life.
The problems in education are also problems of personal empathy and relatability, since I grew up in a system that I personally analyzed in and out and determined to be full of flaws and inefficiencies (perhaps I’ll talk about this more in the future since this is outside the scope of this post).
For now, writing this post has helped me articulate the personal “why” behind why I want to work in EdTech.