I don't take formal studies lightly in any way, but I consider that it's great added value if I continue them in a few years.
There really are people who can start a startup when they're 19. Sam Altman, the founder of Loopt, was 19. But for most people the lower bound is about 22. One reason is that most people need to experience what a job is like to be sufficiently motivated to avoid it. Another is that few people are forceful enough at 19.
Full disclosure: I'm in the range above, planning to start a company, and not trolling for Y-Combinator dollars.
The average age of YC founders is about 25.
After 2 years of corporate work, I'm ready to step out on my own as a result of frustration with what other people want me to do. Sometimes it takes the mother bird to force the chick out of the nest before it learns to fly ....
As for the women...well that is a whole other conversation. Andres, I know lots of women now that I'm married, let me know your type.
Social isolation helps if your intention is to get work done. In the words of the poet:
"Startups must be pursued for their own sake
and never to impress potential mates."
Plus you have to consider what a degree is going to get you. In most cases, at least for undergraduates, a degree is going to put you in a full-time, entry-level job. Not everyone wants that, and not everyone is meant to be in college.
You can argue this two ways. Your view is "you need to finish what you started, otherwise people know you're a quitter." I'm the type who says "I tried it, didn't like it, and now I'm chasing my dreams." There's no right or wrong here, it's all perception.
The social argument was bizarre, I agree. Campuses are great places to meet new people; most of my friends agree that starting work is socially a step down. And they're at least working for large corporations with lots of people in them. Working insane hours at a startup it's unrealistic to expect your social life to be an improvement relative to *anything*.
Plus i'll need a track record to build a kickass, disruptive nanotechnology startup which can impact on medicine - 12 years of the information age is just the fix i need!