Max Ventilla is someone who used to work for Google but has since made a switch over to education. With that said, it is clear that he retains influences from his tech background, meaning that it will be interesting to see how his current efforts continue to impact the field of education as a whole. Here are 10 things you did not know about Max Ventilla and his life.
1. Has Been Shaped By Serendipitous Occurrences
Like most people, Ventilla’s life has been shaped by a serendipitous occurrence, according to this. For example, he familiarized himself with the inner workings of computers because of a malfunctioning PC when he was still a student at Yale University. Likewise, while he was always interested in entrepreneurship, his entrepreneurial goals were very much delayed by a Google post that he couldn’t pass up on.
2. Started Up a Business in School
Ventilla became interested in entrepreneurship when he was still a student at Yale University. After all, he was still an undergraduate when he recruited some of his friends for the purpose of starting up an enterprise software company. On the whole, Ventilla’s initial foray into entrepreneurship was successful enough for him to sell the enterprise software company, but he felt that he needed some more experience before he could take things further.
3. Left Google Earlier than He Expected
With that said, it is amusing to note that Ventilla left Google earlier than he had expected. In short, he wanted to pursue entrepreneurship once more while he was at Google. However, he was waiting because he needed to build up funds, connections, and other useful resources. Said plan changed when he ran into a friend who had been very successful in the business world, so much so that said individual was willing to bankroll a start-up from him.
4. His Start-Up Got Bought Out By Google
Said start-up was Aardvark, which used interested individuals’ social networks as well as their professional networks for the purpose of producing answers to questions without a simple and straightforward answer. Once more, said start-up proved to be successful, so much so that it winded up being bought out by Google. Due to this, Ventilla spent some more time working with Google before he decided to head out into the world of start-ups a third time.
5. Wanted to Work with a “Humanity-Scale Problem”
For his third start-up, Ventilla wanted to work with what he called a “humanity-scale problem.” Essentially, this refers to something that impacts the human species as a whole, meaning big issues such as living healthier lives and producing sustainable power. Out of the “human-scale problems,” Ventilla decided that education was the one that mattered the most to him, not least because both his mother and his sister are involved in the field of education. This is what led to the concept of AltSchool, which can be considered a tech company that specializes in education.
6. Runs a Company that Is Focused on Personalization
AltSchool is very focused on personalization. Something that wasn’t always possible in the past but has become much more practical in the present time because of the various technologies that can be used to collect information, interpret information, and then either make or help human users make important decisions based on that interpreted information. In particular, AltSchool is interested in offering students the personalized educations that is best-suited for their particular needs and skills, which serves to make them better independent decision-makers as well.
7. Has Run Into Profitability Problems
Unfortunately for Ventilla, AltSchool ran into some serious profitability problems, according to Bloomberg. In short, AltSchool was incurring enormous costs, both because of its schools and because of its research into tech that can be used to boost the performance of those schools. Meanwhile, while AltSchool might have been able to generate a great deal of interest from other figures in the tech industry, it was nowhere near as good at bringing in students, which is why it was burning through its resources at such a rapid rate that something had to be changed for it to survive in the long run.
8. There Was an Internal Struggle
Supposedly, there was an internal struggle in AltSchool between the faction that wanted to focus on schools and the faction that wanted to focus on the tech with which to help schools. In the end, it was the latter faction that managed to come out on top of its rival, with the result that AltSchool proceeded to cut back on its existing schools as well as limit its future plans in that regard. Instead, the company made a decision to focus on tech that could be sold to schools instead.
9. Ran Into Unexpected Problems with Its Experimental Schools
To a considerable extent, the decision to focus on tech rather than schools was influenced by the various problems that AltSchool ran into while running its experimental schools, which proved to be more complicated than what its leadership might have expected, per Forbes. For instance, its facilities weren’t meant to serve as schools, which resulted in serious issues such as the lack of either a gym or a playground. As a result, AltSchool had to have its teachers lead its students to public parks, which just created further issues that weren’t resolved until secure arrangements were made with various public and private facilities.