The “Full Stack Professor” who Left Academia for the Internet

This post is inspired and informed by the podcast “Unbundling Professorship with Justin Murphy” with Erik Torenberg on Village Global’s Venture Stories Podcast and a conversation I had with Justin.

Justin Murphy quit his academic career to research and teach on the internet full-time. Justin saw the University system as bloated and bureaucratic. He was frustrated with the paperwork and the politics.

Justin decided to leave his academic career as a professor to do what he planned in the first place – seek truth and communicate the best ideas into the world.

He felt that he could best achieve this goal by using the power of the internet. He is learning, experimenting, and growing like a Silicon Valley startup. But rather than taking on the legacy taxi or hotel business, Justin is taking on the University business.

It’s working. Justin creates his own Teachable courses on topics he’s genuinely interested in. Driven students pay per course. In addition, he connects with people through books, podcasts, and his 16k Twitter followers.

When I spoke with Justin, he noted that he has created a philosophy course with Nina Power, PhD. It’s called “The Philosophy and Politics of Georges Bataille.” A quote from one of his past students shows that Justin is tapping into something very interesting.

“My thinking was challenged, exposed, and reshaped… Justin’s social network brings together rogue intellectuals, experimental musicians, martial arts teachers, conceptual artists and entrepreneurs from all over the globe. Collaborations have outlasted the length of the course.” – Raven Connolly.

The picture below is from his course and shows how Justin has built a classroom for himself.

 

 

Justin calls himself a “Full Stack Professor.” It’s a play on full stack developer – a software engineer who builds both the front and back ends of a website.

A Full Stack Professor handles all aspects of the professorship online and without the University. Research, publishing, bringing students together, creating classes, and building community is all part of the stack.

I discussed MyMBA with Justin and what it means for students in addition to professors to break off from Universities.

MyMBA brings business professionals together to create an MBA education for themselves at a fraction of the cost. Learn more here: Introducing MyMBA.

MyMBA Members take business classes online from top MBA programs, meet and collaborate with each other and business leaders, and create content on personal websites to prove their learning.

Justin inspired me to think of MyMBA in relation to his experience. In a way, MyMBA Members are creating the “Full Stack Business Student.” MyMBA Members strive to complete everything a traditional business student does using the resources of the internet.

Similar to the Full Stack Professor, a MyMBA Member believes that with deliberate effort, they can make the most of the infinite resources online and pave a way for themselves without the University.

Taking it a step further, one can see Universities as a third party. They are the intermediary between students and professors or students and employers. Justin works without this third party by communicating directly to students. MyMBA works without this third party by communicating directly to employers.

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