Why you must unlearn your MBA

From times to times there’s this recurring topic which pop up on BOS (Business of Software forum)

“Should I get a MBA or create a product/Micro ISV”

Generally the answer is : go to the product creation route.

DHH confirms that in this great talk given at Stanford :

Why you should unlearn your MBA :


A must see, mainly if you’re planning to get a MBA
(might be useful if you just want to be a manager at Procter & Gamble or IBM, but certainly not if you want to create a small dev/consulting shop)

97% of what DHH learned at Copenhagen business school is totally irrelevant from what the real world look like at 37 Signals,
the 3% which was relevant was pure common sense, ie: a product must have a price, you should be able to make a decent margin and being able to sell & market the product …

It’s not exactly what you learn that is important, it’s a state of mind. You learn how to be inquisitive, how to research, how to think about things, how to process information.

Hi Daniel,

Agree with your inputs, but being able to be inquisitive, having good research, problem solving skills, being analytical is something which is also taught at engineering schools or even entirely self-taught trough experiences and reading books.

So all the video is saying is that when you’re a small shop and want to keep it that way, you really don’t need an MBA to manage the business, unless you’re doing big things, ie opening a factory in China, being in charge of rolling out a restaurant chain.

Personally I think the single best thing being a MBA alumni brings you is the networking, for landing your next job or for contract opportunities you can always rely on your good old university buddies

Disclaimer : Peace & Respect to all the MBAs holder out here :wink: The last thing I want here is this thread to end up as a MBA flame post, it was not meat to be.

Best Regards,