Meet the “Learning Lunatic”

Last night at the blogger dinner we held for Hugh Macleod a guy, Steli Efti, came up to me and said it was his first day in the United States and said he appreciated being allowed to come to our dinner.  I asked him what he was doing and learned that he had come to Silicon Valley to learn about the valley, and to try to build his dream: a new kind of online school, calls it a SuperCool School. He bought a one-way ticket to San Francisco, sold all his stuff and is just trying to learn and meet people and make something happen here.

I found him interesting because it’s the same kind of impulse that, I’m sure, got people to come to San Francisco in the 1850s. They heard there was gold in them thar hills and they were gonna come here and dig it out. Only this guy was here for a lot more altruistic of reasons: he understood that in his hometown of Stuttgart, Germany there isn’t that many geeks to talk ideas with.

Anyway, I don’t think his ideas are thought out enough to really present, but I find him interesting enough to introduce to you.

He’s on Twitter, is looking to meet interesting people in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. He also is paying $100 a night to stay in a hotel and he’s hoping to find cheaper housing so he can stay in California a little longer on his funds. If you are looking for a short-term roommate, drop him a line.

I love meeting dreamers and crazy people who have ideas that they want to change the world. Funny, I took him to see the HP garage, where Silicon Valley started and there was a busload of Japanese tourists there. I wish him luck and he’ll be interesting to follow either way.

Some people I’m hoping he meets eventually are Christian Long and Ewan McIntosh, both of whom are people trying to change the educational system. Funny enough they aren’t in San Francisco.

We had a good laugh over being on Twitter, though. It’ll be interesting to see who adds him as a friend on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Robert — Good on ya for the connect-the-dots of people and ideas tonight. And like you, while I can’t tell if the front-page of “SuperCoolSchool” will turn into something tangible or be a 2.0 facade only, I’m always game to meet the dreamers and crazy people as you say. Steli, get in touch. Especially if you can fuel the ‘future of learning’ conversation. Always game to learn from passion.

    Or perhaps Jack Kerouac already said it better than you and I both, Robert. From “On the Road” (for all the Mac fans who thought it was dreamed up there): “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

    Heading out to Portland, OR in 2 weeks to help kick off a really magnificent ‘summit’ of decision makers re-thinking the future of learning, future of school design question. The kind of gig you’d love to be at (although you’re busy that week, if memory serves). Sir Ken Robinson (TED Talks on creativity, as you might recall) will keynote; and that’s just for starters. Perhaps one day soon, we’ll have a chance to add Scoble to the edu-future mix. Just a thought (he smiles).

    Oh, and how is the baby-to-be, BTW? And mom? The 8 month old Beckett, future Scobleizer-fan-to-be, sends his nearly crawling best from Texas.

    Cheers (as always),
    Christian

  2. Robert — Good on ya for the connect-the-dots of people and ideas tonight. And like you, while I can’t tell if the front-page of “SuperCoolSchool” will turn into something tangible or be a 2.0 facade only, I’m always game to meet the dreamers and crazy people as you say. Steli, get in touch. Especially if you can fuel the ‘future of learning’ conversation. Always game to learn from passion.

    Or perhaps Jack Kerouac already said it better than you and I both, Robert. From “On the Road” (for all the Mac fans who thought it was dreamed up there): “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

    Heading out to Portland, OR in 2 weeks to help kick off a really magnificent ‘summit’ of decision makers re-thinking the future of learning, future of school design question. The kind of gig you’d love to be at (although you’re busy that week, if memory serves). Sir Ken Robinson (TED Talks on creativity, as you might recall) will keynote; and that’s just for starters. Perhaps one day soon, we’ll have a chance to add Scoble to the edu-future mix. Just a thought (he smiles).

    Oh, and how is the baby-to-be, BTW? And mom? The 8 month old Beckett, future Scobleizer-fan-to-be, sends his nearly crawling best from Texas.

    Cheers (as always),
    Christian

  3. To link back to Hugh Macleod, I think that with a built-up Global Microbrand you can live anywhere – even if a wee place like Scotland – and have a disproportionate influence on educational change elsewhere around the world.

    However, what I find interesting is how the large number of American educators who blog about their woes in trying to change a system in crisis are drowning out the voices of many of the worthwhile voices coming from elsewhere around the world, particularly from the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

    So, maybe there is value for this ambitious project to be kicked off in SF, after all ;-)

  4. To link back to Hugh Macleod, I think that with a built-up Global Microbrand you can live anywhere – even if a wee place like Scotland – and have a disproportionate influence on educational change elsewhere around the world.

    However, what I find interesting is how the large number of American educators who blog about their woes in trying to change a system in crisis are drowning out the voices of many of the worthwhile voices coming from elsewhere around the world, particularly from the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

    So, maybe there is value for this ambitious project to be kicked off in SF, after all ;-)

  5. I don’t think you need to go back to the 1850s to recall the impulse of outsiders looking for gold in San Francisco :-) Just recall a short while ago in 1999 when the dot com boom was happening! (and the resulting bust). As a former Apple VP told me, watch out when the MBAs like him and me start coming out to the Bay Area (which I did back in August 1999!) – that’s a leading indicator that bust 2.0 is around the corner :-)

  6. I don’t think you need to go back to the 1850s to recall the impulse of outsiders looking for gold in San Francisco :-) Just recall a short while ago in 1999 when the dot com boom was happening! (and the resulting bust). As a former Apple VP told me, watch out when the MBAs like him and me start coming out to the Bay Area (which I did back in August 1999!) – that’s a leading indicator that bust 2.0 is around the corner :-)

  7. I have been reading Steli’s blog for some time, and he has good instincts and learns fast

    Some of the most popular content on YouTube are short educational videos, and this is a similar space to FreeIQ

    I think all he might have to do is add a premium content channel from which he takes a cut.

  8. I have been reading Steli’s blog for some time, and he has good instincts and learns fast

    Some of the most popular content on YouTube are short educational videos, and this is a similar space to FreeIQ

    I think all he might have to do is add a premium content channel from which he takes a cut.

  9. THANK YOU doesn´t even come near to what I want to say to all of you guys.

    Robert, you made my first day here in SF a very special one.
    Jeremiah, without you I would never had the guts to talk to Robert.

    I´m looking forward to learn as much as I can!

    Much power to you!

  10. THANK YOU doesn´t even come near to what I want to say to all of you guys.

    Robert, you made my first day here in SF a very special one.
    Jeremiah, without you I would never had the guts to talk to Robert.

    I´m looking forward to learn as much as I can!

    Much power to you!

  11. Marketing Education and Social Collisions

    I was on Twitter, looking at followers that I had not been following. (Note on Twitter they are followers, on Facebook they are friends.)
    I came across Steli Efti, Supercool Principal and this take on our education system and to be bold and let go. Act…