Ashu Desai built his first iPhone app when he was 16; a 99¢ game called Helicopter. It was a modest hit, with 50,000 downloads. A few years later, sitting in massive lecture classes as a freshman at the University of California at Los Angeles, Desai found himself bored stiff.
"I was pretty disappointed in what I was learning," Desai says. He wanted to learn how to build more products, not regurgitate textbook chapters, and he began to doubt that the six-figure cost of a four-year degree was worth it.