Jul 27, 2020
Michael Hartl - PhD In Physics Turned Education Entrepreneur #77
Play episode · 51 min

Welcome to another episode of Develomentor. Today's guest is Michael Hartl

Michael is an education entrepreneur and the founder of Learn Enough. 

Michael is the author of over ten books, including the Ruby on Rails Tutorial, one of the leading introductions to web development, and received a Ruby Hero Award for his contributions to the Ruby community. He is also the author of the influential mathematical essay The Tau Manifesto and founded the internationally celebrated math holiday Tau Day in 2010. 

Previously, Michael taught the core physics curriculum at Caltech, where he was a popular instructor with the students and received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a graduate of Harvard College, has a Ph.D. in Physics from Caltech, and is an alumnus of the Y Combinator entrepreneur program.

Apart from his interests in education and entrepreneurship, Michael enjoys choral singing, studying languages, and reading old books. He is also an advanced student of Krav Maga, holding a Level 5 rank (a “black belt in self-defense”).


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“It took me a while to figure out as an entrepreneur that what should I be doing is taking the teaching and writing skill sets that I learned in grad school and applying them to product creation.”

“Don’t all move to Silicon Valley. Realize that Silicon Valley is on the web and you can find it with a web browser.”

—Michael Hartl

Key Milestones

  1. What inspired Michael to start companies and to be in tech?
  2. Michael recalls some of his early failures as an entrepreneur.
  3. Insoshi was a Y Combinator backed social network that Michael founded. What was it like working with Y Combinator in the early days?
  4. Michael shares his path for becoming an education entrepreneur
  5. How was Michael able to write a book on coding without having the a computer science background?
  6. What is some background on Michael’s tech education company Learn Enough
  7. What does Michael you have against the number Pi? 
  8. The Tau manifesto

Additional Resources

click here for full episode show notes

Essays by Paul Graham (one of the founders of Y Combinator) –

Ruby on Rails Tutorial – tech book written by Michael Hartl

Learn Python the Hard Way: by Zed Shaw 

The Tau Manifesto – Michael explains that Pi isn’t all its made out it be –

Connect with Michael Hartl

Follow Develomentor
Twitter: @develomentor

Connect with Grant Ingersoll

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