Do you need a MBA? If you’re a startup entrepreneur the most important thing is knowing the ins and outs of your industry. If you’re starting something new in publishing, know publishing, if you’re starting something new in biotechnology, know biotechnology, if you’re starting a new service that offers someone something, know that something and those someone-ones. Get it?
But what if you just happen to have a damn spiffy idea but don’t know the industry? You could of course try and get a job, lear everything you can, and then take the plunge – or you could simply just go get a good business education.
Why? Well the skills you pick up at a MBA are invaluable and will give you the necessary skill set to effectively tackle any problem, but only that, a MBA changes the way you approach problem solving and business in general. In all it’s a wonderful tool for anyone to have. This isn’t saying that a MBA is the end all answer to all business problems, but it sure is the next best thing.
However, even if you are a specialist in your industry, it doesn’t mean you have good business acumen. Let’s take an example of a group of engineers that developed an iris scan for a mobile phone platform. The initially decided to market the product through an app store directly to the population.
But the question begs, what on earth will the average Joe need an iris scan on his mobile for. In all likelihood nothing, but who may – the military, enterprises, biotech, etc…
Thing is, this group of engineers were excellent at what they did, but when it came to business, they didn’t know a business model from a hole in the wall.
So did these guys need a MBA? As individuals maybe not, you could clearly see that they had a passion for technology more than business, but one thing is certain, a MBA in the team would have been able to align them, point them in the right direction, save them what we can only assume were hours trying to formulate a distribution strategy that was faulty from the onset.
So to answer the question we started off, do I need an MBA. No, you don’t, but it would be a pretty good idea to get one, and if you’re not passionate enough to get it yourself, get someone on the team with one. Remember, the team that founds any project should complement itself.