Business School Sucks

i’ve never dated anyone who went to business school.

i’m neither proud nor ashamed to admit this, as i don’t regret having the tenacity to get what i want in life.

starting, failing, and [sometimes] growing companies has taught me a few things B-School candidates may never understand. here are those lessons.

finance is not business

a lot of people go to business school to advance their career in finance.

join a Big 4 accounting firm as analyst, get promoted to associate, then somewhere before VP you take 2 years off for business school. many firms will pay your tuition and guarantee a job when you get back. sweet deal.

but knowing your way around a spreadsheet is not what business is all about. business is about sales.

finance stuff — cash flow, ebitda, pro forma — is a discipline businesses pay someone to manage for them. at Fomo i do some of this personally but hired out for bookkeeping, taxes, etc.

entrepreneur sets vision, specialists execute vision.

jobs don’t make you wealthy

most people go to business school to ascend the job ladder in their industry. presumably a business school graduate is ambitious and wants to be rich.

but you don’t get rich from salary jobs, you get rich from owning the means of production. someone who goes to business school feels elated to earn $200k+ after graduation, yet is promoted / given raises slowly over 30 years, potentially capping out at $500k – $1mm salary by the time they retire.

an entrepreneur, on the other hand, might make $3k /month freelancing while building software part-time, then make $1mm+ /year within 5 years for the rest of their career.

delaying gratification, therefore, is also not something they teach you in business school, because if they did, you’d quit.

resources are tight

i’ve hired and almost-hired business school graduates. a common thread among them on Day 1: what’s my budget, how many people can i hire?

business schools teach through case studies… big decisions + outcomes by huge brands. so it’s understandable B-School grads start new roles with the assumption of resources.

but the problem is 89%+ of Americans work for small businesses (< 20 employees) that don’t have room to flex about “resource allocation” and “head counts.”

in other words, business school grads are most useful at large companies, but they prefer to work at startups after big companies spit them out.

decisions aren’t case studies

speaking of case studies, during undergrad i wrote + reported on a handful of HBS cases, ie General Electric.

but now as a business owner, i recognize businesses move not by 1-2 “big” decisions but by dozens, even 100s of decisions per week.

because B-school teaches one to analyze decisions with a spreadsheet and hours of research, the average graduate is incapable of quick decision-making required to actually run a business.

B-school grads are paralyzed by a lack of information, and this too runs antithetical to the Real World.


perhaps someone will comment that i’m butt-hurt about business school. i’m simply more successful than most people who go.