Forget The MBA: How About a Masters In Startup Awesomeness?

Written By: Dharmesh Shah November 7, 2011

This weekend marks the 6 year anniversary of (it was launched on November 5, 2005).  The OnStartups community has grown -- a lot.  There are now over 30,000 RSS subscribers, and 218,000 members in the OnStartups LinkedIn Group -- making it the largest entrepreneurial community on LinkedIn.  There's also OnStartups on Facebook, with over 27,000 people there.  And, of course, the Q&A OnStartups powered by StackExchange. 

Thanks very much for all of the support and encouragement over the years.  The blog started as a birthday present to myself, but it also had an academic purpose.  I was working on my master's degree at MIT at the time, and as part of my degree requirements, I had to write a graduate thesis. The title of my thesis was “On Startups: The Patterns and Practices of Contemporary Software Entrepreneurs”. I needed some “real world” feedback from actual software entrepreneurs to include in the thesis. I figured out quickly that this would involve talking to humans (something I found reasonably unpleasant). And, I had heard about this “blogging thing” so decided to give it a shot. I took the first two words of my thesis title, tacked it together, and came up with onstartups

I had a really good time in business school at MIT. Learned a lot, met some exceptional people.  But, I think the whole MBA thing is a little old-fashioned. How many people do you know that want to get really good at business administation? What would be cool instead is a Masters in Business Awesomeness.  The coolest would be a Masters in Startup Awesomeness. Of course, there is no such thing, and no university you can go to get that degree yet (but there should be).  The good news is MIT -- and other great universities are starting to introduce much more entrepreneurial content in their programs. [Shout out to my friend Bill Aulet, chair of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center]

So, below, are some of my favorite (and I think most useful) articles from 6 years of If I were to design a curriculum for the Masters In Startup Awesomeness, some of this material would likely be included. I recognize that this a lot of stuff, so feel free to just bookmark this article and read later.

The Best Articles From 6 Years of 

Sales and Marketing

Startup Websites That Work

Startup Marketing: Tactical Tips From The Trenches

17 Mutable Suggestions for Naming A Startup

The 5 Minute Guide to Cheap Startup Advertising

Building Startup Sales Teams: Tips for Founders

How to Pick a Company Name: Tips From The Trenches

A Geek's Guide to Hiring Marketing People

5 Startup Sales Tips From Turkish Rug Dealers

The 900 Pound Gorrilla: Why Strategic Partnerships Aren't


Choosing A Minimum Viable Co-Founder

14 Ways To Be A Great Startup CEO

The 11 Harsh Realities of Being An Entrepreneur

SaaS 101: 7 Simple Insights From Inside HubSpot

Startup Founder Compensation: The Good, The Bad and the Irrelevant

17 Pithy Insights for Startup Employees

Startup Hiring: Why You Should Date Before Getting Married


Important Questions Startup Co-Founders Should Ask Each Other

How to Price Software Without Just Rolling The Dice

Startups and the Challenges Of The Freemium Pricing Model


4 Quick Tips on Raising Funding Without a Plan or a PowerPoint

14 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Startup

The @dharmesh Test: 16 Questions for Better SaaS Companies

Startups: 10 Things MBA Schools Won't Teach You

Startups: Your Customers Are Not Ignorant, Selfish, Control Freaks

Development Shortcuts Are Not Free: Understanding Technology Debt

17 Pithy Insights for Startup Founders


Thanks again for all of your support.  If you want to find me online, I'm @dharmesh on twitter and +Dharmesh Shah  

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