Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Brave New World Options for Entrepreneurship Education 0

Take a look at this list: 20 Essential Open Courses for Budding Entrepreneurs. You’ll see Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, Rice, and — between the lines on that one — MIT, among others. Mark Juliano’s Entrepreneurship and Business, Chuck Eesley’s Technology Entrepreneurship

The post in question lists mainly general business courses. Aside from entrepreneurship, they have finance, financial theory, business communication, a couple courses on ethics … it’s not my ideal curriculum for entrepreneurs, by any means. But it’s a fascinating alternative to the more traditional warming-the-seat options.  

I’ve posted here occasionally on business education: try this link for the complete collection. The executive summary is: I’m in favor of it, but only when done right. I’ve got the MBA degree myself but I know lots of people doing just fine in business without it. And times have changed, no doubt. 

I’m thinking that the online availability is a huge step forward; except that it isn’t a step, but rather a series of steps that have been happening for years, in stops and starts. I see the rise in validation, accreditation, and certification of online learning, all of which are part of the problem. 

One of my mentors, a fellow Stanford MBA from a few years before me, always referred to the MBA as “a union card.” He would add: “it means you get to charge more.” 

I’ve never believed viewing the degree as merely that. I always see it as being about the learning involved. The growing acceptance of these alternatives force us to think about whether we’re doing it for the learning, or for the union card. Or not: because you can see in this graphic, some of these online courses come with accreditation and validation. 

Here’s something to think about: when you deal with somebody whose education includes the online courses, how much credence do you give that? As an investor, looking at a business plan? As a potential employer? As a partner?