I teach marketing part time at Melbourne University, and many students come and ask me about what they should do in their post graduate studies. I tell them that post graduate studies are useless unless you want to be an academic or scientist. So here’s a top 10 list of things to do instead of post graduate studies which will make you more learned, more employable and a better entrepreneur:
- Learn a language (Mandarin or Spanish would be my recommendation)
- Start a blog (on the area you want to be an expert in)
- Master the art of public speaking
- Make your home Eco friendly
- Mentor someone
- Read one non fiction book per month on a new topic
- Learn a musical instrument
- Learn to grow food
- Renovate something (car, dinning setting, local park, house, tree house, anhything that can be renovated)
- Do a part time startup business.
The reason suggestions are more valuable than post graduate studies is that they create wide perspective, most post graduate studies narrow perspective. We are entering the age of symphony, where the real value in life and business is created by our ability to make commercial music from seemingly unrelated topics and ideas. Broadening your horizons will make you a better conductor of the symphony, or at very least give you some very interesting stories to share with those you want to do projects with.
Add your better than more ‘formal’ studies idea in the comments.
Here’s a little list of words that keep ringing in my head that I feel are changing the way we do business. I’ve written them each with a few thoughts beside them to stimulate your own view.
- Gifting - an emerging gift culture started with sharing information freely (Blogs, photos, ideas on the social web). This will start to iterate into a culture of providing actual goods to each other as gifts
- Gaming – human existence is defined by counting and gaming. Currency, bank accounts, salary, frequent flyer miles… and now smart phones will turn many brand relationships into games we can play. In many ways it will replace currency.
- Real time – the web used to be a repository of information written, found and filed for later retrial. It’s evolving into a what’s happening now forum. With live check ins (four square), live video (Qik / Ustream), status updates (Twitter). This will change they way we buy and interact on a commercial level.
- Geolocating – will permeate everything we do, and all the messages we receive.
- Community – it took the democratization of media via the web and fragmentation of media channels before we could regain our desire to interact at a community level, not just a consumer level. And we like it. We’ll never let people break down our communities again. It’s a social requirement we have built into our DNA.
- Apps – software is now personal. The difference with apps is that they are malleable. We co-create the code as we interact with them.
- Screen culture – TV isn’t dead, it’s just changed. It’s now web enabled and everywhere we go. Count how many screens you see today.
- Global currency - we now have perfect information on currency and conversions via the web. Our ability to arbitrage is being diminished. It’s only a matter of time before we create a global currency that crosses borders and oceans and automatically adjusts prices of everything we buy to a single lowest global price delivered. This has already happened historically as our world got bigger. First at a tribal level, then state level then national level. The globe is next.
- Related revenue – We’ll start making money less from what we actually do (writing a blog? / Google search?) and more from the stuff we do that lives around the edges.
- Project careers – Our careers wont be about having jobs, but a number of smaller iterations of projects that interest us. They’ll be higher paying, with breaks in between. This will be more profitable for all parties. Companies wont have the overhead drain of full time staff, and humans wont have the social drain of turning up to a place of work when there isn’t much on. We’ll transform what we do more frequently and fluently, we’ll be projecteers.