My stance on MBAs working for us

My stance on MBAs working for us

I recently presented at a mobile panel and got a nice email from a woman after the event:

"Hi Daniel, I really enjoyed meeting you this morning at Mobile Outlook 2010. As you may recall, I'm just finishing my MBA in Marketing at [XXXXX]. I've attached my resume as promised and would love to hear from you if you think there are any opportunities in your company. If not, then I'd also appreciate any referrals that you might be able to offer. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!"

I've gotten interest from MBA's on a regular basis, and yet none of them have ended up working for us.  It's a trend that's happened often enough that I want to write a blog about it.

The first thing that I would say is that we'd love to have MBAs working for us.  Having said that, I find it very unlikely that it will happen.

Here's why:  The entire reason you go to get an MBA is to increase your marketability.  Yes, sure, you do it to be a better businessperson, but at the end of the day, the reality is that you can make 20%+ more in the exact same job just by having an MBA.  So by working at a big company with your newly minted MBA, you'll be able to greatly increase your salary.

At a small startup like PointAbout, we won't be able to pay you for your MBA degree.  The reality is that you'll be able to apply your MBA skills in a small company to a much greater degree than you could at a big company, but you won't be paid for your greatness.

I call this the "MBA Catch-22":  Your MBA is very most at a small company, but most monetizable at a large company.

All the MBAs I've met to date have chosen to monetize their MBAs after considering this Catch-22.  And really, I can't blame them.