A Pirate’s Note: 2 Years After MIT

August 18–22, 2014. Probably one of the most mind-disrupt and life-turning events in my life. That’s when I went to MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I was still an undergraduate at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) when I joined the bootcamp. Quite a competition to be selected as a participant from a pool of talented-and-passionate applicants around the world, moreover I got the merit-based scholarship to attend the bootcamp.

“Getting an education from MIT is like taking a drink from a fire hose” — Jerome Wiesner, Former MIT President [‘71-’80]

Class 1 MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.

It was tough. Very tough. Imagine that you have to build a startup in 5 days, with people you just met in person. Yes, 5 days, people! 5 days full of activities with less sleep. That’s what happen at that time. The bootcamp consisted of sessions with MIT faculty and guest speakers, then continued with discussion with mentors. Last day, we had demo day to present our startup in front of judges.

Baca juga: Leonika Sari, Founder Reblood: Setelah ke MIT, Ingin Fokus Bikin Startup

Pretty challenging, right? Yes. Then, what’s next?
It was a short-term euphoria for me. Such an accomplishment to be able to drink that much water from a fire hose. What a proud moment to graduate as MIT bootcamper, even I hadn’t graduated at ITS at that time. But all those celebration was continue with responsibility for the legacy I got after the bootcamp. It was a beginning.

“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy” — Steve Jobs

Class 1 MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. Photo by Siddharta Chaturvedi

There is a decision to be made, whether I have a corporate job or start my own startup. After the bootcamp, I’m 100% sure that I want to be a ‘pirate’. Is it the right path? One thing for sure: it would be very wrong if I took it later. I should have taken the path a year or two years before.

Baca juga: 7230 DONOR DARAH REK! Siapa Bilang Donor Darah itu Ribet!

It is not an easy decision. Personally, I’m fully confidence that this is the right path. However, it might be difficult to accept for family and relatives. Instead of working in secure and resourceful environment, I choose to work on a full-risk effort where failure is most likely to happen.

It has been 2 years. What happen after the bootcamp?
Well, startup journey is not a path traveled by most people. I am so grateful to have fellow entrepreneurs around the world. Their presence always reminds me that I’m not alone. Every time I remember the bootcamp experience, I always get a knock: “You were not in a bootcamp just to be like this. Don’t be lame”. Kind of motivation for me.

However, the same questions appear.

After all the struggle, is it still the right path? Is it worth to stay in this path?
Honestly, it is not easy. Challenges keep coming, and it’s not getting easier. Despite being on the Forbes Under 30 list, I’m still far away from the big picture I want. It is not that shiny and accomplished like many people think.

However, the more I sail the more I’m convinced, that I better die trying to change the world, than live with regrets all my life.

Baca juga: In.Code : Kolaborasi Teknologi dan Sipil Untuk Indonesia Yang Lebih Baik!

Tulisan ini ditulis oleh Leonika Sari dan sebelumnya dipublikasikan di sini.