blog post or syllabus

When it comes to startups, very little in the way of "traditional education" is going to help you succeed.

MBAs can be of some help, as can attending a school like Stanford that's already embedded into a local community of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

But there is an inextricable divide between school and the startup, a blood barrier, and it rarely gets crossed because there is a misalignment of values.

  • Academia favors the experimental and the theoretical -- either reproducible scientific evidence, or philosophical frameworks that have been socially validated, through peer review.
  • Startups favor learning on the job, persistence over consistence, documenting what you've done rather than doing it according to the documentation.

This last point -- documenting what you've done -- is why the vast library of blog posts on the internet is actually such a strong place to learn about entrepreneurship.

From Paul Graham's site to patio11's longer Hacker News comments, these articles (which blur the line between "content," it should be noted) are the primary method that the startup community uses to scale wisdom and experience and convey it to others. It's no substitute for working at or founding a startup and learning from direct experience, but it is a kind of syllabus. Studied well, it can be a lot more powerful than a traditional education in business.