Monday, July 25, 2005

DIY MBA

Are you thinking of opening a new small business (like me), but don't have the time or money to actually attend business school (like...er, me)? Why not just teach yourself? Even most MBA holders will admit that the majority of things they learned in business school can be learned by reading books instead - and in the age we live in, blogs, wikis and discussion boards can provide a cheap substitute for the interaction a typical business student might have with their fellow students and professors. (Now, granted, a self-taught MBA doesn't hold nearly the cache of, say, having Harvard Business School listed on your resume. But we're talking here specifically about small-business owners who want to learn the things that will allow them to actually open and run a small business - not 24-year-olds who are looking to impress potential employers at job interviews.) Anyway, a guy named Josh Kaufman has been noodling for the last six months with what he calls the "Personal MBA 40," a list of what he considers the most important 40 books in existence for such "DIY MBAers" to read, and finally has his official list finished and online. (Regular readers will of course know that this is exactly what I'm doing myself these days [that is, giving myself a self-taught business degree], and I was tickled to see that I've actually read seven books from the list on my own, before actually seeing the list itself.) This is just step one for Mr. Kaufman, frankly; he's also started up a Personal MBA website, which needless to say I will be watching this year with great interest. (Thanks to Slacker Manager for pointing this out; and if I haven't mentioned this recently, Brandon, I love your blog!)