In his blog, Internet entrepreneur Stuart Wall wrote recently about the lessons he learned in starting Postabon.com that he and his classmates never learned while getting their MBAs at Harvard Business School.
“It’s been an awesome experience,” he writes. “The past eight months changed my view of entrepreneurship, the value of a degree, and a few mistakes that recent grads (myself included) seem make.”
Here, edited, are some of Stuart’s lessons learned:
Execution Matters. VCs don’t care about your PowerPoint deck. Postabon got venture-capital funding only after it proved it could produce.
“Tech trends like cloud computing, coding frameworks and better browsers means most consumer facing start-ups (without inventory) are really cheap to start," says Wall. "With three months and ~$10K, we created a bare-minimum website and iPhone app that allowed us to iterate daily based on consumer feedback. No amount of time in Baker Library would have substituted.”
Group Think – Figure out what’s popular, then do the opposite. (When 40% of Harvard grads went into finance, it was time to short the stock market.)
Team – The person sitting next to you [in MBA school] is a bad partner. Your best partner is the antithesis of you.
Entitlement – Your diploma won’t make cold calls. "Entrepreneurship is the truest form of meritocracy where “credentialing” counts for nothing."
You'll love the title of Wall’s post: Why MBAs Fail at Entrepreneurship.