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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 74. Hey Entrepreneur—Please Get an MBA

A few years ago I was working in a job I loved with a company that was doing highly sophisticated technical work (i.e., not what most consumer web companies do). I loved my technical role and the challenges and freedom it afforded me, but I felt that there was a whole other side of the world that I didn’t understand.

I enrolled in a part-time MBA program in a well-ranked business school and got to work on case studies, networking, and all that good stuff on nights and weekends. My relationships became tired and strained, and I literally sweat through managing both a technical career and a demanding academic curriculum. It took me some time (almost five years!), but I graduated with an MBA.

If you were to listen to some startup types (or worse yet, your early-stage VC investors), you’d skip grad school and stick to ramen in your garage while trying to nail a huge viral coefficient and plastering whiteboards with agile index cards and a huge-ass lean canvas. After all, the only things that matter to your business are your user acquisition techniques and the number of people on your LinkedIn that are wearing hoodies in their profile pictures, right?

This is why, if you’re serious about being an entrepreneur, an MBA will give you an extra edge.

1. What You Actually Learn

MBA programs vary from school to school, but you can be sure that by the time you’re out you’ll be conversant in a range of topics. You’ll know enough of everything ...

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