To College or To Start Up, That Will Be The Question

Paul Graham writing on investment trends:

When I graduated from college in 1986, there were essentially two options: get a job or go to grad school. Now there’s a third: start your own company. That’s a big change. In principle it was possible to start your own company in 1986 too, but it didn’t seem like a real possibility. It seemed possible to start a consulting company, or a niche product company, but it didn’t seem possible to start a company that would become big.

What do you mean by “graduate from college?” With the price of college education skyrocketing and the costs to start a company shrinking, which will potential students opt for? I sure wouldn’t bet on college.

I started Infinity Softworks while I was a senior in college. When I graduated in 1997 what I did — starting a company right out of school — was very unusual. I was weird. Now people don’t even blink, at least not among the under 50 crowd. Now it strikes me as odd when a smart kid graduating from college opts for a big, established, brand-name company. What? Couldn’t start your own company?