Throwing Fireballs

When I’ve been trying to explain to people what the hell I’m doing at Starter School, I’ve evolved between some variations of the following:

  • So Tell Me What You’re Doing, Version 1: “I’m going to back to school in Chicago. No, not Northwestern, no… it’s not really accredited…” which leads to me sheepishly trailing off and hoping that people will stop asking questions.

But week one at Starter School helped me redefine in my head exactly what it is I’m doing:

I’m not coding. I’m not building a business. I’m not going to school.

I’m here to solve problems.

To paraphrase Neal:
“Your customers are Mario. You’re not trying to sell them flowers. Seeing an oval shape and green stem does not make someone awesome. Throwing fucking fireballs makes someone awesome.”

In my last post, I talked about some problems I wanted to solve, and I think it’s natural to think about solutions right off the bat. “I bet I could learn to code that. Oh look, there’s a Google Translate API! It works with Rails! I’m going learn Rails! Let’s build that!”

But even this realization — the how is far less important than the why — has led my initial learning conversations with teachers and coaches and administrators down a different path. I don’t want to talk to you about what kind of tool or app or notification you need.

I need to find out what your version of throwing fireballs looks like.



Founder at Former principal and owl-shaped mascot.

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