I’m debating between going back to school for an MBA or diving in and launching a startup. How important is getting an MBA for running a startup?
More education never hurts. But you don’t need an MBA to run a startup. Experience is always the best teacher.
In fact, many MBA schools don’t teach you what you actually need to know in order to run a startup. They’re more geared towards traditional businesses.
Did Bill Gates have an MBA when he started Microsoft? Did Steve Jobs have an MBA when he started Apple? Did Mark Zuckerberg have an MBA when he started Facebook?
The list goes on. Being a successful entrepreneur means understanding your business inside and out. An MBA can never teach you this. You have to know the space and the industry and have the mind to innovate and improve upon it.
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That said, many of today’s MBA schools are changing with the times. They’re incorporating more entrepreneurial programs and altering their curriculums. So getting an MBA from the right university may actually help.
All in all, I believe the school of hard knocks is the best way to learn.
Do I have an MBA? No.