With his trademark aplomb, the storied venture capitalist Tim Draper is revolutionizing higher education. His new Draper University of Heroes, a Silicon Valley-based startup college, is turning traditional education on its head. Instead of history, students learn the future. Instead of conventional economics, they learn about Bitcoin. And instead of success, they are taught how to fail.
Draper University is, indeed, a school for failure. For the Andover, Stanford, and Harvard-educated Draper, this was the thing most missing from his conventional education. So Draper University encourages its students to take risks and to break things. Like the iconoclastic Draper himself, the school is reversing every educational convention.
Tim Draper’s biggest mistake—the one he is most proud of? It’s a big one. He was convinced by his partners not to invest in Google back when Sergei Brin and Larry Page’s startup was just another Internet search engine. But missing Google, Draper thinks, has made him a better investor—particularly in terms of recognizing the next big thing, which, he’s now convinced, is the peer-to-peer economics of Bitcoin applications like Snapcard.