I was walking down the street last year when I stumbled upon this building. Before I knew who is was for, and well before I knew what went goes on in this building—I thought that it was genius.
To me this building represents: a transformation, turning corners, and really gives me a sense of power. So, before I tell you what goes on inside of this building...you to take a guess. Go on. What does it say to you?
Here's what goes on in this spectacular modern sculpture-of-a-building: The Cooper Union is a privately-funded college in downtown Manhattan, New York City. Founded in 1859, established a radical new model of American higher education, is one of very few American institutions of higher learning to offer a full-tuition scholarship (valued at $130,000+) to every admitted student. And their art and architecture schools have lower than a 5% acceptance rate.
Once I saw the logotype on the of the building, I said "Oh. Of course". Reading the words 'The Cooper Union' instantly sent me into a flashback scene when I was applying to college in the 90's. At that time, there we're three types of colleges that were right for me. They we're:
1. Advertising College
2. Design & Technology College
3. Art College
One school in particular—The Cooper Union really caught my attention. At the college fair, their table was almost completely empty. No students we're chatting with the reps there. Just before I almost decided to approached the table, I was told "If you get in there they'll pay for your tuition." You have to be a genius though. So, what did I do? I didn't even apply. I chose the Design & Technology College because it had one thing—ice hockey. No kidding. Luckily going to RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) was a great choice for me in the end.
I'm not sure what the takeaway is for today's post, but It has something to do admiring an institution that breeds genius and invests in genius. It's kind of like the Charles Francis Xavier school for the gifted in X-men.
On the advent of change, this belief can be applied to who and how we hire people and find the best emerging talent. We rely on this new breed to move our ideas and our business into the future. And even once you commit to hiring geniuses to grow your business, you'll then find that it's even harder to find one. But what The Cooper Union does teach us is that one of the best ways to recruit genius is to only accept genius.
*The new Cooper Union building was designed by Pentegram.