A Course Goal

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SHIGERU MIYAGAWA: Particularly at MIT, but in other places teamwork is critical to academic success. One of the things I tell freshmen, is that I have been teaching at MIT now for a long time. And the students are wonderful and very bright, but what I've noticed is that every year I see two or three students really stand out after they graduate, and go on and do big things. And I see this year in and year out.

And all of the students are wonderful. They're academically gifted, and they're highly motivated. They have fire in their belly. So what's the difference between those two versus the rest? Well, one day I figured it out.

The two who go on to do big things have learned to work with others. That's it. There's nothing else that I could see. They have learned to work not only with people they share interests, but also with people that they don't necessarily share interests. That's the trick.

It's easy to work with people who are like you. It's harder to work with people who are not like you. But when you learn to be able to work across the spectrum of people, then you can basically tap their gifts. That's what entrepreneurship is actually.

And so this is a little spiel that I give them as part of why I have in my syllabus, a goal for this course is to learn to work in teams. I think I have that in every class I teach, doesn't matter what class. A goal of this class is for you to learn to work in teams.

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