Pedigree

I got this email tonite from a recruiter.  I won’t divulge the source.

The recruiter was looking to place a General Partner in a VC firm.

The client wanted someone with 3-5 years of VC experience.  No track record was specified.  No board experience was specified.  No deal experience was specified.

But it was required that the candidate have the following pedigree:

An advanced MBA degree from a prominent business school such as Harvard,
Stanford, Wharton, etc. is required for this role.

I have an MBA from Wharton and when I read stuff like this I just cringe.  Like an MBA from a prominent business school is some kind of quality filter.  Right.

I never place any value on the schools people went to and the degrees they have.  It’s bullshit for the most part.

My partner from Flatiron Jerry Colonna has a liberal arts degree from Queens College and he was one the best VCs I’ve ever worked with.

My partner Brad Burnham doesn’t have an MBA either and he knows more about startups, technology, and markets than almost anyone I’ve ever met.

I don’t have anything against MBAs.  Going back to school and getting an MBA can be a great break from the career path that allows someone to find out what they really want to do.  And you can learn some things along the way. 

But you can’t learn real life business in school.  That requires doing it, not studying it.

So I’ll take a candidate who’s got the track record over the pedigree any day.