May 18, 2007

That theory of 'why MBA? do business' - bah!

Bet you've heard this before - "why spend 100,000$ at MBA and opportunity loss when you can invest the same and start on your own"? First of all, the statistical probability that you will actually succeed in your own venture is far lower than you finding a job after your MBA. Secondly, not everyone is a born entrepreneur. Thirdly, starting on your own is not a joke. Fourth - it's not 'either this or that'

Many tend to have a romanticized notion of what it takes to build a company - a common argument is the lowering cost of entry - i.e. the capital required to start on your own and the mediums available to advertise. With decreased cost of hardware and cheap Internet bandwidth, it also feels like everyone can start off at the basement. The reality is for every successful venture there are tens of failed ones - doing your own thing is a lot of hard work. Successful businesses combine passion, acumen, vision, persistence, perseverance, the right people you get onto your team, know when you relinquish authority, marketing, sales, support, handle on the market and domain knowledge.

Starting own your own isn't a substitute to doing an MBA. It's an overriding passion. Someone who's still wondering 'hmm..should I do my own thing or should I do MBA" doesn't have the hunger and single minded passion to build their own company, because the one common thing you will hear from every entrepreneur is that going their own way is not in place of something else, or an alternative - it's what they really, really want to do.

And many get there by using the MBA as tool to networking and gaining certain skills that help them. So that's my take on the argument - the next one on the plate is the interesting notion of 'visionaries are great but managers are not'...that's for next time.


Wannabe said...

good take!

Gabriel said...

They are two different concepts, there's not a reason to choose, I have tried both.

Let's say that there's much more to being an enterpreneur if you have the resources of a business school, and there's much more to learn and perceive in a business school if you have been a manager

best regards

necromonger said...


That's exactly my point (and conclusion). It's not one or the other - it's simply what you want to do and what you leverage. My objection is to the argument of 'you're stupid for doing MBA when you can invest in business' - it's not an alternative proposition.

Sudha said...

Real men don't go to b-school!!

but i must say, the world is rife with popular notions like that. just like ppl still think all consultants are dip$h%#$ and iBankers are arrogant. wherever u go, u'll meet tens of people who strongly believe in somthing like that and there's nothing u can do!

DTLF said...

Wait, you mean consultants aren't all dipshits and iBankers aren't all stuffy Eaton bred, Ivy-League finished, Brooks Brother sporting assholes?

I'll take their salaries, though. Hmm, is that why I'm really going to b-school? I thought it was all about the super-smart, incredibly interesting, ultra-gorgeous people?!