Does Hiring An MBA Reduce Your Startup's Chances Of Success?

Written By: Dharmesh Shah March 18, 2021

MBAs have had a bad rep in the startup world for a while now.

This short, fun video I did captures the sentiment -- and also answers the question: Does hiring an MBA into your startup reduce its chances of success?


The video shares a story from the early days of HubSpot. 

Here's my advice: Don't shy away from hiring the right kind of  MBAs in your startup. 

What are the right kind? You want the good side of MBAs: The fact that they're analytical, have learned some critical thinking, have likely dug into business cases, can think more strategically, etc. And, you want that in combination with a proclivity to get things done and execute.

The MBAs you don't want are those that would rather spend most of their time writing business plans or forecast spreadsheets (and other works of fiction). Instead you want those that will have animated, well-reasoned debates around hard decisions with tricky trade-offs. You want those that don't just understand the "market" at a macro level -- but understand customers at a micro level.  You want those that will bring a smart, diverse perspective to the table, because they've been exposed to different things -- and have had different experiences than you have.

There's more to creating a successful startup than just building the product. And often, MBAs are a great choice for helping with the rest and putting an operating system in place that will power your startup. 

p.s. I just started my YouTube channel (less than 24 hours ago). I had 2 followers (one of whom is my wife). Will be interesting to see where it winds up in the next 48 hours.

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