“A unicorn founder is 5x more likely to be a PhD than to be a dropout.”

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I came across an article about unicorns and their founders.

Apparently, a unicorn founder is five times more likely to be a PhD than to be a college dropout.

People are arguing over how to interpret the data.

Just 56 of the 1200+ unicorn founders in the US are college dropouts:

College dropouts: 4.2%

Bachelor’s: 36.7%

Masters 37.4%

PHD: 21.6%

So while most people have the commonly held notion that founders of unicorn companies are typically dropouts of prestigious schools, seems like the data shows us otherwise.

Or does it?

Could it be survivorship bias.

We are focussing only on the founders that eventually become unicorn?

Do we consider that that are disproportionately more college students than PHD students in the first place?

Does it mean you are more likely to score a unicorn as a Bachelor’s than a PHD?

And does it bother anyone that the total doesn’t add up to 100%?

Analysing data and breaking it down to see where it originates from is a good way to understand it.

For example, using the pool of 1200 unicorn founders in the US, we can break down and see what their education levels are.

However, the reversal of logic isn’t too applicable here.

You cannot objectively say having a Masters will increase my chances of scoring a unicorn compared to a Bachelor’s.

It might really be a fruitless point.

Still interesting nonetheless to see that education really helps to some extent in successful founders.

How would you interpret the data?

Do you think having a higher education level increases your chance of being a successful startup?


#startups #business #startupx #growth #success #socialmedia #culture #entrepreneurship #strategy #educationlevel #readingdata #stats #unicorns #whatmatters #dropouts



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