Why The Most Interesting Things Happen Where Disciplines Intersect

LittleBits Founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir reveals the importance of taking your own track through education and life—even if it means going slightly off the rails.

Editor's Note: This story contains one of our 10 Best Business Lessons of 2013. For the full list, click here.

LittleBits Founder and CEO Ayah Bdeir didn't want to be an engineer, despite what her diploma tells you.

So while she completed her education at the American University of Beirut, Bdeir explored the discipline she did have a genuine interest in: design.

"What I ended up doing was talking classes in design and spending a lot of time in the design departments even as I was doing my engineering undergrad and those classes were not required," she says. "At that point that was only to fulfill my interests and keep me from being bored, but ultimately that really changed my life and really influenced very much what littleBits is about."

Ayah Bdeir

And it worked. Bdeir is now one of Fast Company's most creative people, and her company littleBits is making all kinds of noise around town.

Bottom Line: "I think it's really really important to make your own track and not be compartmentalized into disciplines. The most interesting things happen at the intersection of disciplines and that's something that should be embraced and not shunned."

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