Anyone with an MBA has studied accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations and more. While you'd think these people--experts in all things business--would make ideal startup founders, it's not necessarily true. That's according to serial entrepreneur Jeb Ory, cofounder and CEO of Phone2Action, a cloud platform which supplies social advocacy and civic engagement tools that connect constituents with their elected officials. He's qualified to tout such a contentious opinion--he has an MBA from Chicago Booth and an undergraduate degree from Stanford where he heard lectures from successful entrepreneurs who made him think he could do what they were doing. And while he credits his education for helping him today, he saw many of his classmates give up before succeeding as entrepreneurs--a temptation he also faced many times along the way. Here are his words about why MBAs don't make great founders.
1. MBAs are generally risk-averse.
Getting an MBA is calculated decision to use school as a platform to leave one industry and enter another. Starting a company requires a risky jump that many MBAs are ill-equipped to make.
2. Many MBAs view sales in a negative light.
Selling is one of the most important activities an entrepreneur does every day. It means selling products or services to customers, the company's vision to recruits and the company's equity to potential investors.
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The Social Network
Based on the true story of Facebook genius Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates and co-founders, this movie shows us how one idea can go from a thought in casual conversation to a world-dominating platform.
This film also brings to light the drama and behind-the-scenes tensions that arise when setting out to begin a new business or venture. We learn through Zuckerberg's faults in the movie that you must stay cognizant of your actions and the way that you treat people, or you may damage relationships with those closest to you.
In a classic awakening of the conscience, sports agent Jerry McGuire decides to write a letter to his entire company about how the hunger for deals and a profit are making it easy for everyone to lose sight of who they are.
This gets McGuire fired, and he must start his own business. With only one star football player under his management, McGuire learns what it really means to love what you do while still being able to sustain an income and sense of morality.
This classic has so much to teach us about believing in ourselves, believing in others, and how there is literally no one who can tell you what you're capable of doing other than yourself.
As someone who's mentally disadvantaged, Forrest lives a life that's anything but limited and does it all with a smile. His determination is admirable, and at the very least, this movie will remind you to never give up on the things you want the most. Mental fortitude is the most important thing.
Elle Woods is the girl you can't help but root for, right from the opening scene at the start of this movie. After getting her heart broken by her long-term boyfriend (whom she thought would soon be her fiancé), she learns that he'll be attending Harvard Law school in the fall.
Determined to both get him back and prove to him she's more than just a dumb blonde, Elle works harder than she's ever worked before (with the help of everyone she knows and loves), gets accepted to Harvard and finds herself on the defendant side of a high profile court case that forever changes her life and career.
Elle teaches us how to pool our resources and connections to get to our goals. The film also reminds us about how important friends and family are to have as a support system when you're taking on an endeavor that most people expect you to fail at.
Plus, she shows us that the seemingly impossible can become possible if you're willing to smile through it (and maybe if you put on a little pink!)
A classic tale of friendship and trust, Charlotte's Web will always inevitably give you all the feels. It reminds us all that by being kind and by simply being someone's friend, you can make all the difference.
The people who find the most success and get to where they need to be are the people who care deeply for others and expect nothing in return.
The film, as does the novel, can make anyone see that the relationships we build along the way become the best investments that we make.
This 2015 movie starring Robert DiNero and Anne Hathaway is feel-good film about a 70-year-old retiree named Ben Whittaker who, recently widowed, is looking to come out of retirement for something fun to do. When he sees a posting for am"senior internship", Ben believes he's the perfect fit.
Ben works under the owner of a fashion website (played by Hathaway) and the two form an incredible, honest bond. Their friendship shows that the most successful partnerships and ventures come from the most unexpected places.
It's a nice reminder that hard work, positive mentality and kindness will always be in style, no matter how old or young you are.
3. The MBA curriculum isn't focused on entrepreneurial endeavors.
Most business schools focus on a core curriculum of finance, accounting and operations. Relatively few offer classes on building startups, entrepreneurial selling and fundraising negotiations. And for those that do, the MBA students tend to think they are always the exception to the rule, and won't encounter the challenges inherent in starting a company until it's too late.
4. Most MBAs average $120,000 of debt when they graduate.
It's hard enough to invest in a business while foregoing a salary. Having a $2,000 or $3,000 a month loan payment on top of it makes doing so even more difficult.