Category Archives: Business Education

Does an MBA Help in Running a High-Tech Business?

Question (on Quora): Does an MBA help in starting up and running a technology-based business? 

My Answer on MBA for High Tech

I have an MBA degree and I bootstrapped a software company past $10M annual sales and was a co-founder of another software company that went public in less than four years. And the truth is neither yes or no, but somewhere in between. The value of the MBA depends on who you are, what you want, what other options you have, what you give up, and where you are in career and the more important rest of your life, like relationships, having children, etc.

MBA degree for high tech business

My case with my MBA and high tech

My MBA degree made a huge difference to me as entrepreneur. I would never have managed without the general business knowledge I got in business school. Having a good basic idea of finance, marketing, product development, and organizational admin was essential to me. It changed my risk factors from too high to acceptable. I set out to build my business on my own without any savings or any investors and while being the sole income for my family (at that point we had 4 kids). Knowledge, in my case, reduced risk. So that’s a direct link to this question of whether having an MBA helps. I’m just one data point, but still … my experience is real.

For the record, my MBA wasn’t easy. It was a lot of sacrifice and a lot of risk. I did it at Stanford while married with 3 kids and paying my own way by consulting, supporting my family, without scholarship help. I quit a good job to do it, turned down a transfer from Mexico City to Hong Kong, which I had wanted for years. And I’m very grateful to my wife, who encouraged me to do it, and promised me she’d stick with me even if I failed.

Two important qualifiers

One important factor for me, which might be relevant for others, is that my MBA experience was rooted in the objective of changing careers. I wanted to change directions, not continue in the direction I’d been going. I’d been a business journalist and I wanted to move out of Journalism to business. I didn’t want to write about it; I wanted to do it.

Another factor for me that might help others is I didn’t expect magic. I was already 31 years old, married 9 years, father of 3. I didn’t expect to learn leadership, when and how to take risks, or how to deal with people (i.e. empathy) in a classroom. What I did expect to learn was the intricacies of finance and cash management, accounting, marketing, some sales (ugh – I’ve always hated sales), some product development, decision sciences, and basic analysis.

However, please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not saying that the MBA is good for every entrepreneur or any specific entrepreneur or you, specifically, as you read this answer. I am saying that it was extremely good for me, in my case, and might be as well for somebody else in similar circumstances. Can you afford to do it? Do you have the time? Are you in a position to take advantage of it? Are you already full speed in a career you love or looking to pivot? All of these factors are important.

Three additional thoughts

  1. There’s no doubt that times have changed, and that the relative value of an MBA degree in 1981 is less than it is now. MBAs are much more common these days than they were then and it doesn’t take an MBA degree to understand supply and demand.
  2. MBAs need ripening before they get their full value. Some would say that it would be a good investment to buy fresh new recent MBAs for what they’re worth and sell them for what they think they’re worth. I’ve been an employer for 30+ years now and I like my MBAs much better when it’s their second or third job out of school, or a few years after school.
  3. I believe the MBA degree these days is a lot more valuable from one of the top schools – Stanford, Harvard, Wharton, Northwestern, Babson (for entrepreneurs) and the like – than from second or third tier. The supply and demand factor has heightened the perceived difference.

Reflections on MBA experience

Gilded GraduationThe prestige of the MBA degree is tarnished quite a bit since I got mine in the early 1980s. And that’s for pretty good reasons. With the world of startups like it is, and the progress of high tech, there are some good arguments against stopping a career for two years to go back to school. Still, my two years with the MBA were the right thing for me, for my family, and for my entrepreneurship. Everything is case by case.

So I find myself reflecting on my own MBA experience, and MBAs as a stereotype, and what the MBA degree might or might not mean today. The following thoughts come in no particular order.

  1. The curriculum used to be a lot more about business analysis than about doing business. Things have changed for the better though, because now entrepreneurship is all over the MBA world now, and MBAs are much better off for it. When I was at Stanford University the entire “small business” curriculum was one course — an excellent course, but still, just one — taught by Steve Brandt.
  2. I screwed up the recruiting process myself and chose the wrong job for the wrong reasons. That story is in this blog as a stupid mistake. I was hardly the only one. I saw somewhere that 80% of the MBAs of my time changed jobs in less than a year after graduating.
  3. The two years I spent studying business were among the best of my adult life. My wife and I and our three kids moved from a fifth-floor apartment in Mexico City to a townhouse on campus at Stanford, for half the rent. I enjoyed the classes immensely.  Our kids had great elementary school on campus. We needed only one car.
  4. I had a friend a few years older than myself who already had the MBA degree when I met him, before I had thought of it. He always said “it’s just a union card. You get it so they pay you more.”
  5. After the first quarter as a full-time student I couldn’t take the pressure of the bank account going one way only, withdrawals and no deposits. So I worked as a market research consultant with Creative Strategies for the rest of my time studying. I made a  full-time consulting income, but  because I was a an early adapter of technology and I did most of my work at home, it was still a good time for family.
  6. By the end of the two years, some of my classmates were disappointed that they had been taught business analysis more than business. I wasn’t disappointed at all, I had learned what I went there to learn. I expected them to teach me stuff that lent itself to chalkboards and lectures and readings and they did.
  7. I wasn’t the typical MBA student. I was 31, married, had three children, and had supported my family for years as a business journalist in Mexico, making more money freelance than on salary. I figured that whether I knew how to deal with people or not, they weren’t going to teach me that; they were going to teach me what I wanted to learn, the analysis.
  8. Getting there was hard for us. It involved quitting a fairly good job in Mexico City and moving back to the United States without a job. I had just won a long-sought-after transfer to Hong Kong, which I had to turn down. That was a hard choice. I’ve never regretted it.
  9. It was expensive. I paid my own way.
  10. Samuel Johnson said that the ultimate happiness is anticipation of happiness rather than realization. During those two years studying, family life was close to idyllic for us so the present was really good, and the grapevine kept telling us that the future would be much better.
  11. It was a lot of work, but it was good clean work, and it made sense.
  12. I’ve dealt with some young people fresh out of business school with shiny new MBA degrees who were full of themselves, ignorant and arrogant. I’ve dealt with some who weren’t. Generalizations suck. Still, generally you want an MBA 10 years later, not in his or her first job out.
  13. I hated the group projects. I had a family to go back home to, and consulting work to do, and group projects had too many people who liked the social aspect of group meetings too much. I usually tried to negotiate a chunk of the project we could separate from the rest so that I could do my part on my own, without going to meetings.
  14. I had been doing business-journalist work for several publications, of which the most well known was Business Week (as McGraw-Hill World News correspondent for Mexico). I was amused sometimes that some of what I did after the MBA was very similar to what I’d done before the MBA, but for much more money.
  15. MBA studies are best for people who’ve had significant work experience first. I don’t know if that’s three years, or five, or seven, or what. I had been out of school eight years when I started.
  16. What’s with the people who put the letters onto their business cards and behind their names on websites, like they were CPAs or doctors or something? Isn’t that awkward? I always think if it isn’t MD or PhD or maybe CPA (for commercial reasons) then it makes me nervous to see it there. Is that just me or what?
  17. Final thought about MBAs: I deal today with a collection of very smart people between the ages of 30 and 40 who have picked up so much business savvy in 10 or more years of high-tech business that I don’t think they should go back to school and get an MBA degree. I do wish there were a test somewhere, like the GED for high school, so these people could take the test and get the [expletive deleted] MBA seal of approval they deserve.

So how to conclude? It’s up to you, and your situation, whether it’s right for you. And, at the very least, don’t hold the MBA against those who have one.

Does Business Education Stifle Creativity

Business Education vs. Creativity

Education

Does business education stifle innovation and creativity? You probably already know Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, from 2006, Do Schools Kill Creativity? It’s one of the five or so most viewed and most discussed TED talks. His basic idea is that school focus too much on the academic, not enough on other kinds of intelligence. He was talking about classic elementary education mostly. What about business, and business education?

I have trouble myself with some of the recent themes about education and entrepreneurship. I shudder when people ask, “Why get an education if I’m going to be an entrepreneur?” And then there’s the other one, “you can’t teach entrepreneurship.” I’m somewhere in the middle on these controversies; I believe general education makes life better; that the value of education isn’t to be measured in earnings dollars after education; that a liberal arts education is great preparation for entrepreneurship; and that an MBA degree was useful to me and can be to others, but isn’t a universal requirement, by any means. I’ve posted here previously 5 things business schools can teach and 5 things they can’t. And also, can business schools teach entrepreneurship?

The James March Question

But there’s also this idea, always in the back of my mind: the talk I had with James March, way back in the 1980s, about how higher education teaches us to do what everybody else has done, not to do things differently.

The best class I took at the Stanford Business School during my MBA years (1979-81) was taught by Professor James March, co-author of the book An Introduction to Models in the Social Science. It was about the same subject. He was funny. He was contrarian. He was brilliant. He had a mathematical model of a cocktail party that predicted how many people would be passed out at the end of the party, based on inputs including how many couples, how many singles, and, particularly important, how many more male singles than female singles. That may be too gender-specific for today’s world, but it was applicable 30 years ago.

I liked and respected Prof. March so much that in the middle 1980s I tried to get him to join me in what would have been a venture to create a game that teaches business. Prof. March didn’t join me and I didn’t create the new venture. I continued with my business plan consulting instead.

I’ve never forgotten the conversation we had in his office that day. I can’t remember the exact words, of course, but Prof. March reminded me that there is an underlying conflict between education and creativity. He was an educator, but he was also a contrarian and a thinker, so he enjoyed flanking our standard assumptions.

“Schools teach conformity,” he said. “Education is about reinforcing the supposed right way of doing something, meaning the way we’ve always done it, the way the establishment expects us to do it.” Schools taught that the world is flat until a renegade proved otherwise.

“New ideas come from people that haven’t been indoctrinated,” he said. This was of course before the phrase “think outside the box” came along, but he would have referenced that if we’d been later in time. Schooling is about learning how to think inside the box. If you believe this line of reasoning.

Here again, I run into paradox. I believe in education but I also believe what Prof. March suggests. Is the answer that you have to know the fundamentals before you transcend them?

We’re Raising Girls to be Perfect, Boys to be Brave

Friday video, a TED talk, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani is out to change the way the world looks at girls, tech, and girls in tech. Her non-profit Girls Who Code inspires high school girls to study computer science.  She aims to enroll one million women in the program by 2020 — and tech has stepped in to help: Google and Twitter are backers, and engineers at Facebook, AT&T and others have signed on as mentors.  Here’s a quote:

Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they’re adults, whether they’re negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they’re habituated to take risk after risk. They’re rewarded for it. It’s often said in Silicon Valley, no one even takes you seriously unless you’ve had two failed start-ups. In other words, we’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.

For the original on the TED site: http://www.ted.com/talks/reshma_saujani_teach_girls_bravery_not_perfection

 

Two Big Problems with MOOCs

You know of MOOCs, right? Massively Open Online Courses. It seems like such a great idea, a solution to education, productize courses and make them available. If only it were just about the learning. We have Udemy, Udacity, Khan Academy, and dozens of others. After all, learning is learning. It doesn’t take tens of thousands of dollars in tuition. Does it? But there are two big problems with MOOCs.

I believed in the allure of massive online learnings since the early 1980s when I was first exposed to it. The idea has always made sense. We could spread learning out into the world much faster using technology.  Reading. Listening. I taught myself computer programming (early 1980s BASIC, then Pascal, then Visual Basic). So of course I see the value. And I’m even offering my own MOOC right now, as author, with my course on Lean Business Planning hosted by the Economist Group at Learning.ly.

Problem One: MOOCs and Certification. Degrees Validate.

The first problem is about certification. A degree is certification. It means somebody followed the rules, completed tasks, buckled down for a period of years. It means an institution looked over their shoulder while they did. A college degree means so much more than just learning. Completely aside from the learning, it’s a standard used by employers and clients. It means an acceptable minimum of doing hard things, meeting deadlines, getting stuff done. And as a society we’ve confused the learning with the degree.

NYU prof and entrepreneur writer Clay Shirky writes (In David, yes. This. — Medium):

 “The jury is still out on the long-term effect of MOOCs, but one thing we now know for certain — the unbundled value of the content of an Ivy League classroom is $0. Similarly, the job premium for getting an excellent education but falling one credit short of a degree is smaller — considerably smaller — than getting a mediocre education with a degree. Certification, not learning, is the thing the market says is worth paying for. There are still fields where there are alternate-to-college certificates (physical therapy) and even quasi-collegiate training programs (cooking schools.) There are still fields where you can apprentice and work your way up (restaurants). But the big arc of work in the U.S. since the early 1970s has been to group all work into two categories — pays well, requires degree, and pays badly, does not require degree.”

Problem Two: MOOCs and Education and Learning Together

The second problem is the common confusion of education with earning power. I posted earlier this month about the common lie that pits education against entrepreneurship, as if they are opposites. Underneath that lie is the problem of people thinking education, the college degree, is just about increasing earning power. The assumption is that the value of education can be calculated by subtracting tuition costs from the increase in future earnings. But it’s not that simple. Unfortunately education is more than learning, and more than earning power.

Is the MOOC ever going to really disrupt education? I don’t know. I found this infographic interesting:

History of MOOCs

Does Business Education Keep You in a Box?

Last week, I posted a rant about the stupid meme that pits entrepreneurship against education, as if young people are supposed to choose one or the other, but not both. I called it Young Entrepreneurs: They are Lying to You.

But I like paradox, and I like uncertainty, and I also like to remember that you could argue that education—especially business education—teaches people how to do what their elders did. It teaches them to color inside the lines. It teaches them to think inside the box.

On the other hand, you have to know what you’re rejecting to reject it. People who learned the classics are better positioned to reinvent them with something new.

Or are they? What do you think?

Young Entrepreneurs: They Are Lying to You

All over the web, on Q&A sites, blog posts, and so on, in panels and conferences, and in the occasional book, know-it-all alleged experts are lying to young entrepreneurs about the value of education. They sprout clichés that are unrealistic, impractical, and that when taken to an extreme, are even tragic.

Lie: A startup is better than an education.

orangutang_istock_000003420564xsmallIt is so not true, but sadly also so widely believed.

They say education is a waste of time. They say that a “real” entrepreneur skips school to do a startup now. You’re in high school and they tell you being an entrepreneur is a viable alternative to getting an education. You’re in college and they tell you to drop out. They’re tricking you.

That’s crap perpetuated by wishful thinking. Sure, starting a business sounds better to you than sitting in a classroom or doing homework. And, when studying bogs you down—as it does at some point for all of us—they tempt you with this lie you can turn to instead: “You don’t have to do this. You’ll just be an entrepreneur. Way more fun.”

Tragic? Yes. They throw you off track. Tragedy is what might have been, but isn’t because something—lies, maybe laziness (that’s what makes those lies work)—got in the way. I learned that in a classroom at college. They are like those beautiful sirens—mythological Greek ladies, sexy as hell, singing from the sidelines—who lured sailors off course and into the rocks.

But no, wait. You don’t have an education, so you have no idea what that reference is about. Unless you saw it in some low-grade movie.

[see-also]Should Entrepreneurs Attend Business School?[/see-also]

Truth: Get your education first.

Don’t kid yourself: You get the education when you’re young because it makes your life better.

First, it means doing something hard, something that takes a few years, and that builds you up. You do homework, you take tests, you write papers. You lose sleep turning work in on time. You grow. You face challenges and overcome them. The best path goes uphill sometimes. You can’t always take the easy route; you’ll end up nowhere.

Second, you learn to think, digest information, communicate, discuss ideas, evaluate options, and make decisions. You acquire skills and mindsets that make you better.

Third, it’s about options. Ten and 20 years will go by really fast. If you have a degree, then you have options. You have more choices. If you don’t get an education, someday there will be a thirty-something-year-old person living in your body, cursing you.

And, by the way, study what you like doing. I majored in lit, then did journalism in grad school. Ten years later, I went to business school. I ended up a software entrepreneur, writing my own code in the beginning. Your business success—or lack of it—isn’t what you learned or didn’t learn in school. It’s who you are. Life is way better with an education, but it doesn’t have to be a business education. Your education is part of who you are. Business is fine if you want to study it, but if not, no sweat. You can still do your own business later.

Yes, there are an extremely rare few who have earned the right to scoff at education. Peter Thiel, for one; nobody can doubt his credentials. He’s not just another amateur expert reading what everybody else says. And yes, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and a few other rare exceptions. Each of them is one in several million. And all three of them were dragged out of education by one of the biggest deals of the last 100 years. Rumor has it that Jobs actually got the education by auditing—without getting the paperwork—at Reed College. And you won’t find either Gates or Zuckerberg claiming others should drop out. And you aren’t them. They are exceptions, not the rule.

Don’t risk real life betting on yourself as that one in a million. Give yourself options. Look at the odds.

Give yourself time. Startups take seasoning.

In the real world—for the rest of us—actually starting a business takes seasoning first. You need some time. Work as an employee, keep your eyes open. The right time will come. It’s not one of those “now or never” situations until you pass 60 or so. Most of us need a decade or so in the work world, at least, before we’re ready to start our own business. I was 33 when I went out on my own, and 45 when it finally took off.

A few decades ago, before this craziness started, I took a course in entrepreneurship from Steve Brandt, at the Stanford Business School. Look him up on Amazon. It was a privilege I still appreciate.

Toward the end of the course, he paused, looked up at the lot of us, and said (something like): “Listen. I’m not saying you’re supposed to pass this class, graduate, and go start a business. That’s not realistic. You’re too young. You need more experience. So, if you’re serious about this, what you do now is choose the stream you want to swim in. Take a job in an area that interests you. Wait until you’re ready.”

A few decades later I was teaching entrepreneurship part-time, having built my own business, when one of my students asked me how he could set up a business in coffee roasting right out of school. He wasn’t the typical undergrad. He was married and in his middle twenties. I told him to work with a coffee roaster first. He did, for two or three years. Today, about 10 years later, he and his wife own a successful multi-location coffee roasting business called Back Porch Coffee in Bend, Oregon.

[see-also]10 Lessons Learned in 22 Years of Bootstrapping[/see-also]

Data? You want data?

Still, you want more?

If you do get that education, you’ll have a huge advantage over the uneducated in distinguishing data that matters from data that doesn’t. So you’ll realize I’m right. But for a quick data fix, check out what the Kauffman Foundation discovered when they analyzed 479 successful high-tech startups. Here’s what they say:

  • The average and median age of U.S.-born tech founders was thirty-nine when they started their companies. Twice as many were older than fifty as were younger than twenty-five.
  • The vast majority (92 percent) of U.S.-born tech founders held bachelor’s degrees. Additionally, 31 percent held master’s degrees, and 10 percent had completed PhDs. Nearly half of all these degrees were in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related disciplines. One third were in business, accounting, and finance.
  • U.S.-born tech founders holding MBA degrees established companies more quickly (in thirteen years) than others.
  • Those with PhDs typically waited twenty-one years to become tech entrepreneurs, and other master degree holders took less time to start companies than did those with bachelors degrees (14.7 years and 16.7 years, respectively).
  • U.S.-born tech founders holding computer science and information technology degrees founded companies sooner after graduating than engineering degree holders (14.3 years vs. 17.6 years). Applied science majors took the longest (twenty years) to create their startups.

Conclusion: They are lying to you.

Before you swallow entrepreneurial advice from anybody, ask first whether they’ve ever built a business. And even then, don’t believe them; think about it, and decide for yourself.

Don’t believe me either. Look around you.

I Want to be An Entrepreneur. What Steps do I Take?

What Steps to be a Tech Entrepreneur?

I’m 18 years old and want to be a successful tech entrepreneur. What steps should I take?

That one, specifically, popped up in my email today from Quora, the excellent questions-and-answers site that I frequent often. But that’s just today. I saw a very similar question from a different person yesterday, and another on Monday. So that question, in various versions, has become one of those questions that pop up everywhere.

Here is My Answer:

Get Your Degree

Steps to EntrepreneurshipThere is only one obvious answer that will be generally true for anybody your age that asks this question: focus on completing your education. Get yourself a college or university degree, the classic BA or BS.

Choose your course of study as if you knew you were going to die when you graduate. Whether it’s computer science, engineering, math, pure science, liberal arts, fine arts, or business, if it is what interests you and what you want to study, then that’s the right step to take. You’re young and the world is full of options. If you study what you want, you discover who you are. You are quite likely to change your mind once or twice after you start – most students do – but that’s also fine, it’s part of the normal course of education, you’re in a discovery phase.

Education is About Clear Thinking and Communication, Not Specific Knowledge

Your education isn’t about specific business knowledge. It’s about clear thinking and communication. It’s about skills and understanding that apply to whatever else you do for the rest of your life. It is not easily measured by direct correlations to what entrepreneurs need to know or do. Yes, it is true that there are many parts of entrepreneurship that can’t be taught in a classroom. And it’s true that you can pick those up elsewhere. But it is also true that what you do learn as you get that degree is extremely important for your long-term career, and happiness; and will be directly applicable to what you have to do to be successful as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship, business, and tech startups require a lot of common sense, a lot of clear thinking, a lot of hard work, and usually a significant dose of experience too. Studying some business topics can accelerate learning. Cash flow, for example, is a body of knowledge worth learning in a classroom. But all of these can be learned outside of the classroom too.

If you like data to go along with this, check out the Kauffmann Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. What you’ll find is that success seems to correlate mostly with having education and experience both. Successful entrepreneurs tend, on average, to be in their 40s and holders of one and often more than one advanced degrees. But dig deeper into degrees and you’ll find very little correlation between what they actually studied and their success. Look around you and you’ll find that the liberal arts people are as likely to be successful as the tech and science people. What matters most is the ability to bear down and do the work, and clear thinking, and sticking to goals.

Don’t Measure Education in Earnings

Don’t get distracted by those studies that relate degrees or areas of study to future earning power.  There’s no direct connection between what you study and what you earn for your lifetime. What happens in real life is that getting a higher education degree only happens for people who can stick to a goal for several years, get work done when they have to, follow through on assignments in time and as needed, and accomplish something. Of course what happens is that people who can do that end up being more successful because of what they learned how to do and the simple fact that they stuck to it long enough to finish with a degree; but it isn’t they they know something special that made them worth more money. It is that they worked more, smarter, and better.

You Aren’t Jobs, Gates, or Zuckerberg

Those amazing billionaires who dropped out of Harvard and Reed College, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs, are about one in ten million. You aren’t them. In each case they were seriously engaged in getting an education when the big idea changed their lives, made them obsessive, and became the business history we now all know. Two facts are very important: 1.) there are ten million or so of the rest of us for every one of them; and 2.) they weren’t skipping steps or avoiding anything, they dove towards something. First they fell in love with the idea and the possibility of a specific business, then they dropped out. (Steve Jobs doesn’t quite fit that description, but then he didn’t quite drop out either; he hung around Reed College, auditing courses, and got his education before he started Apple. He just didn’t pay tuition so he didn’t get the formal certification of his education.)

Give the Big Idea a Chance to Reach You

I think there’s an interesting similarity between successful entrepreneurship and successful marriages. The people I know who end up as successful couples, married for decades, generally fell in love with each other first, then got married, and then continued learning and evolving over decades as they grew together and changed together. Similarly, with the great tech startup successes that I’m aware of, there was a spark as the key people fell in love with the idea, the mission, the way they were going to change the world. They had that burst of passion first, and then followed it for years with learning, evolution, and course corrections.

If your question were about how to develop and pursue this amazing thing you want to do that is going to change the world, I might give you a different answer. But face it, you’re like me, like most of us, you’re trying to figure out not how to get to some specific destination, but rather what direction to travel in, generally. You aren’t blessed with the actual spark of the entrepreneurial idea. Don’t worry, though, very few of us are.

So you get your education now because that gives you future options, skills, and experience sticking to something. You advance your possibilities and give your career a chance to develop.

For the record, my own career shows that I practiced exactly what I’m suggesting here. My advice is based on what I’ve seen work, in the real world, and is what I did myself.

Infographic: Stats and Rankings on Schools Teaching Entrepreneurship

I don’t agree with everything in this infographic,but at the very least it’s an interesting summary. Notice the huge increase in the number of institutions offering courses on entrepreneurship.

The question it asks — can schools teach entrepreneurship — isn’t one to be answered with statistics and rankings. Of course that takes a qualitative answer, sifting through what elements business schools can teach and what elements business schools don’t teach. I say in those posts that schools can teach cash flow, business planning, general business fundamentals, communications skills, and skepticism. And they don’t (I wrote don’t, not can’t) teach dealing with people, right and wrong, having a life, managing risks, and when to give up.

And I don’t think listing famous people who did or didn’t have formal education does anybody much good.

But still, this is a nice summary:

Entrepreneurship
Source: TopCollegesOnline.org

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Top 10 Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs

For some really good startup advice, and lots of good reminders, here is Guy Kawasaki’s Top 10 Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs, on YouTube, courtesy of Stanford Business.

I don’t agree with everything Guy says here but I really like his being comfortable with his own opinions, and how he presents them as opinions, not fact. This is a really good one for startup founders and in a classroom situation, for teachers of entrepreneurship to share with students. 

 

(If for any reason you don’t see the video here, click here for the source on YouTube.)