Eleven Fifty Academy’s founder Scott Jones is no stranger to success. From inventing transformative technologies to selling companies, his wealth of experience in tech and entrepreneurship means he’s a go-to resource for the keys to success. We asked Jones about his top pieces of advice for the aspiring entrepreneur, programmer, or anyone hoping to boost their career:
Find the right environment.
While finishing his degree at Indiana University, Jones had to decide between two job opportunities: a programming job at big company for a big salary, or position in MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, which paid little but allowed him to “rub elbows” with the best of the best in the field. He chose MIT. To this day, he considers it one of the defining decisions in his life that put him in the right environment to learn, meet key people, and lead him on his entrepreneurial path, co-founding the voicemail company Boston Technology Inc. across the street. Finding the right place “where you can figure out what you want to do and who you want to be” is key, and the earlier the better.
Learn to innovate.
It’s no surprise Jones has frequently touted the importance of learning programming. “The language of innovation is code,” Jones said in a 2019 Indianapolis Business Journal interview, and that’s why he thinks you should learn it now—even if you don’t have your sights set on being a programmer. Learning to code can also improve your logic skills and give you an inside look at how things work, especially as technology increasingly infiltrates our everyday lives.
Code every day.
Coding can be a use it or lose it skill. Jones frequently reminds Eleven Fifty Academy graduates you have to stay in the code every day to keep your skills sharp and set yourself up for success. The same goes for the casual coder; do a little every day to grow, improve, and refine your skills.
“Connect with the mecca of whatever you want to do.”
Jones’s own kids have been on the receiving end of this advice. It’s important to build relationships in the places where most of the action is happening in your chosen field. For tech founders, that’s typically the coasts. Jones has always been strategic to make sure he has strong relationships with those in New York and Silicon Valley, a move that aided his success.
Immersion in a new tech or skillset is one of the most powerful ways to learn it. In fact, Jones has previously immersed himself for months at a time when in the midst of building something new. His belief in this way of learning spilled over into Eleven Fifty Academy, where the curriculum takes an immersion-style approach to learning to code.
It’s simple: Without risks, you’re probably not going to succeed. Jones is a known fan of risks and celebrating failure because it means you’re one step closer to successful innovation.
Create the right office culture.
Stories of hostile workplaces are in abundance, but Jones believes intimidation doesn’t allow for “the best ideas to bubble to the top.” The best cultures are those where people are free to be creative and innovative without fear.
Build the right team and use them well.
Jones credits his high school basketball days with teaching him about teamwork. His biggest takeaway? It’s not about the star player; it’s about creating a successful dynamic among all the players to achieve a common goal. A leader knows how to build the right team for the job and utilize them.
Inspired to take action? We’re with you! Eleven Fifty Academy is here to help you uplevel your skills, transform your career, and find success. Talk to an advisor or learn more about our FREE intro courses in coding, cybersecurity, and python.