Fabian Pfortmüller on Why to Work in Between High School and College

In Chapter 1 of 19 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, community builder and entrepreneur Fabian Pfortmüller shares why he chose to work after high school and wait until turning 25 to enter college. Upon graduating high school, Pfortmüller pursues an entrepreneurial passion until he builds an intellectual curiosity in the college experience. Only then does he choose to attend Columbia University while continuing to build upon his passion for bringing startup ideas to life as an entrepreneur. Pfortmüller is co-founder of Sandbox Network (www.sandbox-network.com). He also co-founded an innovation think tank, Incubaker (www.incubaker.com), and is part of the group's first spin-off, Holstee (www.holstee.com), an apparel brand for people who would like to wear their passion. Pfortmüller graduated from Columbia University and its school of General Studies.


Erik Michielsen: How did holding off a couple years on attending college impact your professional development?

Fabian Pfortmüller: I think for me this has been one of the best thing ever, I tell you what was the source of my entrepreneurial desire: being bored at school, okay? Like the reason I become an entrepreneur was that I was so bored at school and that it drove literally into trying entrepreneurial things and I realize that when I was going out of high school that I was suddenly free and that I could do whatever I wanted that why should I go back to school at this point?

And I believe it was a great experience to use that energy and that curiosity then for doing work and trying out different things, especially coming out of high school you have nothing to lose, right? I mean what do you have to lose? You know I felt that working was a very fulfilling experience but it wasn’t the most intellectually challenging one. It took me to be twenty-five to feel that intellectual curiosity and I felt that it was a much better moment to go then back school.

And the same time also being at school having all that experience, having managed your own company, built complex projects and I don’t know managed teams, that helps you to deal with the hustle and bustle of school life and I’m sure I have no idea how I would have managed through school being twenty and I’ve very impressed with the others who do that, I would have just kind of collapsed probably.