Experiments running concurrently at Lambda School:
1. An iOS house paid for by Lambda in the heart of San Francisco 2. $1,000/mo living stipend for iOS students 3. $1,000/mo living stipend for any track 4. House for women mobile devs in San Francisco 5. Should announce next week
Our feedback loops take a while; we have to make sure that we can
1. Get the right students in the door 2. Help them know what they need to know 3. Help them get hired and 4. Not lose money doing so
Running multiple experiments simultaneously speeds up the feedback loop
In the past two weeks we launched:
Replacing phone interviews with live class trials
Concierge (let us find the best student for you)
Apprenticeships (let us help you build an apprenticeship/internship at your co)
Before I dropped out of college I started spending a lot of time with a handful of “startup people.” We talked a lot about starting companies and were all pretty terrible students.
I’m now the only one who isn’t independently wealthy. Almost all were millionaires by 30.
I think that’s interesting, but I think it’s symbolic of a new economy more than anything. 30 years ago there’s no way they would have all been founders or millionaires (normalized for inflation). It’s just easier to start a company today.
Importantly, I don’t think any sane adult would have predicted that at the time. Generally speaking our parents and professors thought we were ne’er do wells
If you include the required precourse work and Lambda Next (our post-grad program), a lot of Lambda School students have been shipping code every day for over a year by the time you see their application
Pro tip: email email@example.com soon, because we’re going to roll out some awesome stuff for hiring partners
Today week 3 of Lambda Next (our post-grad program) starts.
Should be fun.
Week two of Lambda Next was getting more used to orienting yourself to code you didn’t write. Pulling down projects from Github, figuring out how/why they did what they did, debugging, submitting pull requests
All the while students are networking, blogging, attending meetups, applying
Lambda Next launches today! Our full-time, fully-supported, post-graduate program.
Perfecting portfolios, contributing to open source, using new langs/frameworks, building into new codebases, attending and presenting at meetups, blogging, practice interviewing, and applying
All under the watchful eye of senior engineers and experienced recruiters, and completely free for graduates.
Being a great programmer is only half the battle; now our students are learning to show the world how capable they are.
Similarly, we've begun building out our Relationships team.
They're responsible for bootstrapping relationships with thousands of employers, making sure everyone knows what Lambda School is and what we stand for, and creating opportunities for students within those organizations
Silicon Valley expects you to start a company by finding a problem you have yourself, solving it, and it being a problem for others.
But Amazon’s story was basically, “I did the math on this new thing’s growth, then systematically found the ideal product to play into it.”
I have a hunch a lot of founders actually have a Bezos-like story, then make up some apocryphal story that fits the narrative everyone expects to hear
Lambda School is kind of that way.
Of course I have endless stories about incredibly smart friends with crappy jobs, but honestly it was seeing a very broken but huge market I thought we could wedge our way into and win that made me take the leap.
So excited to be opening up housing free until hired for Lambda School students.
Next step: doing that cheaply at scale. then food + living stipends, while driving down the overall price.
We’re going to eliminate every barrier to a high paying career one step at a time.
With enough scale we can get the price of housing and possibly food to be *cheap*. A year from now you’ll be able to just “show up,” hustle, and have a high-paying career on the other side (or pay nothing at all).
We won’t be done until any hard working person can just raise their hand, work hard, and be sheparded into a high paying job at no upfront cost.
Every person in a less than ideal job because they can’t afford to transition is devastating economically. We can fix it for everyone.
We’re launching a fund called the Lambda Perpetual Access Fund
First we will be providing a loaner computer that meets the requirements for Lambda School to any student that can’t afford one, iOS track included
Next we aim to solve housing and living expenses
The fund this far is almost entirely provided by Lambda School, and we’re purchasing computers and running very small scale experiments providing student housing during Lambda School for students that have proven themselves.
The next step is to make it scale. More soon.
The end goal is the same as it has always been: Create a world where students can just show up, and we’ll take care of everything else, helping them get into a high-paying career.
The economy desperately needs an economic function to shift people to the point of greatest value.
This is a tweetstorm about what I’m learning about company organizational structure, alignment, and how to innovate rapidly while scaling.
Disclaimers: 1. Learning from other companies often means de facto survivorship bias
2. I’m not an expert, just learning as fast as I can
1. Successful companies seem to derive the structure of the organization backward from goals (OKRs).
Amazon calls it “service-driven architecture,” Google apparently calls them “functional units,” many CEOs refer to it as something about decentralized teams
But what this really means is an organization defines its objectives (Bezos recommends selecting objectives that will be the same 10 yrs from now) and starting with small teams dedicated to that thing. E.g. a “lower prices team” and a “better selection” team at early Amazon