Is it worth getting an MBA before doing your startup?


Would you recommend getting an MBA in order to be better positioned to run a startup? If not, what are some concepts that MBAs learn that one can study on their own time?

MBA Learning Education

asked Apr 18 '14 at 19:55
Ronald Ramos
12 points

2 Answers


If your main goal is to start a company of your own, than your time and money would be better spent just doing it and learning things on your own, especially if you consider being self-funded.

An MBA from a high-profile university (Stanford, MIT, UCLA, Harvard) would help with 1) building a network 2) raising funds (mostly because of #1).

If you don't feel prepared to start your own company consider working for a small to mid-size startup and learning on the job while also reading blogs and books.

What to learn. MBA programs cover variety of industries and company sizes when learning business concepts. Some of those concepts don't necessarily apply to early stage startups, where founders start, so you are better off customizing your learning.

Suggested concepts: lean startup, product/market fit, MVP, customer development, business canvas.

Suggested books (for early stage): The Lean Startup, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, The Founder's Dilemma (this one is more about readiness to start a company).

Suggested Blogs: Steve Blank (customer development), Andrew Chen (marketing), Clarity (various topics).

Twitter accounts to follow (my faves with high quality ratio): Clarity, Kissmetrics

answered Apr 18 '14 at 23:57
2,835 points


If you look at most of the successful startups, only a small fraction of the founders actually have an MBA. So, clearly, it's not required to be successful. All you need is a product that provides value, and customers who have a need for that value.

I would recommend browsing through MIT's MBA OpenCourseWare that lists all the classes in their MBA program. Pick ones that you find interesting, or want to learn about, and just learn it on your own.

answered Apr 19 '14 at 08:46
Bruce Schwartz
767 points

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