What is the common characteristic uniting Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and the tea vendor whom you visit daily for a hot sip of the most delicious beverage on earth (sorry coffee lovers!)? If you’ve followed Jobs and Einstein for long enough, you must be thinking that I have gone nuts putting the tea vendor on the same pedestal as them. Or maybe this is a publicity stunt to establish Tea as the best beverage on planet earth. While I’d love to do the latter, the purpose of this blog is entirely different. If you look closely, there is one common trait that exists amongst a Successful Businessman, a Successful Scientist and a Common Man — they are all problem solvers.
Be it figuring out from where to give change to a customer or taking care of their individual customizations, the tea vendor is bombarded with problems on a daily basis. And he comes up with personal, unique and sometimes out of the box solutions for his problems. As far as Jobs and Einstein are concerned — do I really need to convince you that they were problem solvers? Here’s a quote from the man himself –
“What I do all day is meet with teams of people and work on ideas and solve problems to make new products, to make new marketing programs, whatever it is.”
– Steve Jobs
You must be wondering as to why is an engineer from IIT who has a 9 to 5 job in a reputed multinational company awake at 4 am talking about problem solving and tea. For starters, I am not drunk. Remember Narayan Murthy from Infosys? Remember this excerpt from him — “80% of Indian youngsters are not trained suitably for any job”? As a youngster, I feel both offended as well as motivated by this. Is it because of a lack of talent and abilities of these youngsters? Certainly No. Is there something wrong with our education system? Hmm, time to reflect and retrospect.
Before we do an autopsy of our current educational institutes, it’s important to bring to limelight the purpose they serve in our society. Only then is it fair to dissect them.
- To provide various things that society needs such as nurses, businessman, cooks, artists, etc.
- To enable society to move forward and become better in areas such as Technology, medicine, art, literature, etc.
In short — Jobs and Innovation. If you think deeply, the central theme revolving around both Jobs and innovation is problem solving. The basic premise of successful businesses is a problem that they’ve solved for their customers because of which their product sells in the market. The process of Innovation involves coming up with unique solutions to unsolved problems. Now, if that makes sense, then, these tonnes of youngster graduates who pass out of schools every year should be made competent in problem solving. Only then is the true desire behind educating them met. And only then they are job ready. But do our current educational institutes cater to this?
Our current schools, universities, training centers, online courses alike are all good at one thing — imparting Knowledge (literally tonnes of it) without context. And knowledge without context is like a myopic person without glasses — you have a vague view of the world unless you put on your glasses.
So, what’s the solution? Either we can wait for these institutes to change or we can augment these schools to cater to this aspect. A framework wherein these graduates go through another institutional academy which utilizes this domain knowledge acquired by students in schools and creates problem-solvers out of them in that domain.
Enter Demux Academy!
The foundation blocks of this intermediary academy are problems. On top of problems, there is a layer of researching and time spent thinking about them. Then comes the nitty-gritty floor which contains the complexity of these problems. A layer of imagination and logic follows. Finally, we have the solution story wherein students can be seen learning tools and libraries and implementing solutions.