The G.O.A.T. Labs Blueprint

They say if you make your intentions known to the universe then you have a higher probability that it will come true…So I’m going to try that with this blog post.

When I was growing up if someone would call you a “goat” they meant it in a demeaning way. Nowadays, when you call someone “G.O.A.T.” it’s a badge of honor. G.O.A.T. – Greatest Of All Time…very fitting for a basketball superstar like Michael Jordan.

Over the past several years I’ve advised many startups and one of the many challenges they all face is hiring technical talent. There is a real disconnect between the technology they teach in Indian universities/colleges and what is actually required in the real world. When I talk to my cousins they are learning old-school technology like .NET, MSSQL, cPanel, etc… The latest technology like mobile app dev, Git, NoSQL, React, React Native, etc…is all missing.

The problem statement is that students are learning all the wrong technology. I’m proposing to start something called G.O.A.T. Labs. In this case, G.O.A.T. stands for Goa Open Architecture Technology. Why Goa? Why not.

G.O.A.T. Labs has a simple mission to educate students on the latest technology and embrace the open source community. The spirit of the open source community will drive the learning of new technologies and enable students to review, remix and redistribute their ideas and source code.

Initially, I’d like to focus on 4 technology tracks:

  • Full-stack development
  • Mobile app development
  • App security
  • Internet of Things (IoT)

Below is an example of the IoT Track.

IoT Track

In the future, IoT will have many applications and it would be beneficial for students to:

  • Learn about the real-world use cases
  • How products are sold
  • How products are made
  • How products are designed

For example, the class can dive deeper into a specific product such as a smart energy plug.

  • They will review what is currently available in the market and understand the future growth trends for the market segment
  • They will order several smart plugs from the various e-commerce sites that are selling them and review how they are marketing the devices
  • They will review the packaging and start to tear down the device
  • They will note all the chips and parts that make up the smart energy plug
  • Generate a bill of materials (BOM) and the prices involved in building that particular product
  • Review the operating system or software that is running the IoT device
  • The students will upload their findings onto YouTube and various blogging platforms so others can also learn if they are not physically part of the class – open-source sharing
  • Using the information they have gleaned from other products, they can start to put together a feature list to build a better version or a completely different product for the market

As you can see the approach is not purely technical it’s all about giving the students some basic product and marketing skills as well. And lastly, have them share their findings with others who are not in the classroom. Students who go through the course will be well-rounded and have an added advantage when they start to interview for jobs at companies.

I’m hoping in the coming months I can update this blog post and talk about how G.O.A.T. Labs was implemented and progressing well. Till then, the universe do your thing.

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