Hell, Bill gates is a drop out.
pioneers of industry and technology often are not formally trained, because the training implants the current paradigm. wrapping your perception, and honing your skills within the current paradigm, does not lend itself to development of different ideas
the educational-industrial complex, which has really been exposed the past 10 years or so with exploding tuitions and student debtloads, is not really conducive to new developments. i love college, but it's become very homogenized
the thing about the internet that really changed the game was now you have millions of people writing code, communicating with each other, and developing ideas on their own that serve certain needs. these needs may start out on the individual level of the developer(s), but as we've seen with napster, they can offer things that have a much, much wider appeal. that is just amazing. even if only 1% of the ideas/tech developed have mass appeal, with all of the stuff that is being developed, you're going to have some societal game changers
i mean the technology from the time i started middle school until the end of high school made a major leap (we're talking end of cassettes and beginning of CDs into the napster time period). that was 7 years. now think about how much faster things changed from 2001-2008. it's improvement by a factor of 10+