When Yoonseo Kang left home at 18 earlier this year, his hometown paper in Mississauga, Ontario, wrote a story about the event. Kang had not accomplished something significant as a young go-getter. Far from it. He had simply decided to skip going to college—a move that baffled his family and townsfolk.
Kang is a Thiel Fellow, which means that the foundation of Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal (EBAY) and prominent Silicon Valley investor, will pay him $100,000 over the next two years to avoid college. Thiel loves to challenge the status quo and has funded 20 Fellows, betting that the group of brainy kids will go out into the world and do big things.
It turns out that Kang is now on a farm in rural Missouri, a compound known as the Factor e Farm. Kang, along with a dozen or so like-minded people, has set to work building 50 tools that man would need to start a civilization from the ground up. So they’re working on things such as bread ovens, brick presses, saws, tractors and bulldozers and then posting videos and schematics online about how to build these objects. The end goal is sort of an open-source attack on the traditional companies that manufacture our fundamental machines. Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.