Monday, June 7, 2010

To MBA or Not to MBA, A Few Funny Thoughts About The Techcrunch Post

You know, there's a funny subtext to the MBA question referenced in the Techcrunch post that I linked to in this recent post. Simply, it's this idea that there's a set recipe for success, be it start-up or otherwise. In the formula, people are like eggs or flour or some basic protein -- add some basic ingredients, take them through a set process and presto, you have a successful entrepreneur.

How many students attend Le Cordon Bleu? How many students do you think that they turn out every year? One school, one city -- maybe twenty every four months? Let's aim low -- maybe twenty a year. Imagine those numbers mean on a global scale. Multiply that by all of the cooking schools in all of the cities. With all of these professionally trained chefs entering the work force every year, how come we are so often subjected to so much crappy, poorly prepared food?

Consider this: there are written recipes for much of the food that we eat -- formulas for an established, repeatable process; culinary schools teach the mechanics involved in precision execution of cooking processes; and, in contrast to an MBA program, a cooking school is focused on a single core curriculum as opposed to a broad-brush sweep across marketing, finance, operations, and more. All of that and yet, we still find ourselves eating crappy, poorly prepared food.

There are great restaurants out there. There are places that you can eat that can take you through transformational food experiences, tasting things in new ways, changing your relationship to an ingredient or a cuisine. And while you can probably extrapolate some common success points across the lot of them, if there was a simple recipe for success, none of us would have to suffer a bad meal.