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.

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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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  • Paul_Rand

    what's fascinating is that this person is advocating a multidisciplinary track for one's life without acknowledging her mastery of one subject first. Without defining yourself through one thing first you diffuse your attention and ability to become talented at any skill, task, sport, subject etc.... It's like trying to be a talented swimmer and studying archery, architecture, and metal smithing all at the same time and then deciding that you want to be an entrepreneur: How could you go to Olympics for archery if that wasn't entirely your thing? How could you be the best architect without endless hours drawing and making models etc? If all that time you had just studied business and worked hard at selling you just might cut it as an entrepreneur.

    I don't doubt exploration is important to finding one's own path, I just think it's important to focus on one thing. The most fundamental attributes of successful professionals all share similar traits. You will find them in any of the "COMPARTMENTS" which the subject of the video claimed that might be a detriment....