Yesterday, I was focused on thinking inside boxes. Today, I was reminded to think outside the box again by an article from Erica Sadun over on TUAW.com. The article detailed how Big Nerd Ranch CEO Aaron Hillegass worked around Apple’s Developer NDA in order to train students to use iOS even though his company was under an NDA to not speak to anyone about it.
You wondering about his angle? It was brilliant. He hired all his students as contractors. As contractors, he could discuss iPhone development with them. So, that allowed him to teach them how to develop for iOS. Now, of course, it’s not enough to say someone is a contractor. There needs to be work done and money exchanged. So, each student was under contract to deliver one line of code by the end of the course and he paid them $1 for that work. Loop complete and NDA breach avoided. It was very neatly done.
Now, I need to find a way to think outside the box and flip that paradigm around. How can I get people to pay to work for me? A paid apprenticeship maybe? Hmmm…I actually think that could work for some people. It would probably have a higher return than a lot of degrees these days. I might just have to look into that.