Monday, March 21, 2016

Only 1/3 of "Entrepreneurship Professors" Ever Started Companies

I quit my research early only after 31 data points.

And the reason I quit my research early is, frankly, because "I have shit to do."  I run a real business, that no matter how obscure, has paying clients unlike today's topic - "Entrepreneurship Professors."
And since I don't have the time to prophecize, theorize, and pontificate all day to naive 20 year olds, I decided 31 datapoints was enough, as it was time to move on with my day.

In short I took the time to scratch a curiosity itch I've had for quite some time:

Precisely what percentage of entrepreneurship professors have experience starting and running a business?

I knew the whole concept of an entrepreneurship degree was flawed (because you get a degree to get hired by an employer - the antithesis of entrepreneurship).  And I also knew most professors are scam artists who could never work it in the real world, and thus sell worthless, over priced pieces of paper to naive millennials.  But there was also a piece of me who theorized there MUST be some old timer who retired, made their millions, and just wanted to share their experience to help young, budding entreprenuers.

Oh, foolish Cappy.  You had an idealistic thought didn't you?

The truth is 66% of the "entrepreneurship professors'" resumes I searched had NO experience in being entrepreneurs.  The vast majority of them, like all their professor brethren, were the epitome of "those who can't do, teach."  Merely bystanders, spectators, studiers-of, and observers of real entrepreneurs in the real world making real change.  Simply the marching band who lacked the talent, skill, and work ethic required to make it on the football team.

But even those who listed "entrepreneurship" experience in their resumes were questionable.  A significant amount of professors claimed they were a "founding partner" of some kind of venture capital group.  Or sat on some board of a company they invested in.  Another great one was where they run some kind of "consulting company" that advises (you guessed it) entrepreneurs on how to start up their companies!  A further layer of dubiousness was added when it was obvious nearly ALL these "real world entreprenuers-come-professors" relied on teaching as their primary source of income and NOT (ironically) their super-awesome successful businesses they started.  In short, NOBODY STARTED A FREAKING BUSINESS AND BUILT IT FROM THE GROUND UP!  They simply either consulted or invested, but NEVER "entrepreneured."

In short, my suspicions were correct.  Not only is entrepreneurship logically a stupid degree, it is just another field of academia that is populated by a world of losers who couldn't hack it in the real world, and now suck off the blood of naive youth to sustain their parasitic existence.

Were there some genuine entrepreneurs who had a passion for business, made their wealth, and wanted to share their experiences?

Of course.

But they are rare for the real entrepreneurs out there are too busy and too successful making money to piss away 4 years of their lives getting a "PhD" in "entrepreneurship" just so academia will deign them "qualified" to teach about the topic.

It is the epitome of "those who can't do, teach" in the world of "entrepreneurship professors."
Post notes:

Research was done by google searching "professor entrepreneurship".
The majority of datapoints/resumes were selected from the Carlson School of Management (which has a surprisingly high percent of real entrepreneurs), Babson, and some other college whose name escapes me now.
If you doubt my figures, or don't like what I'm saying, or don't think 31 datapoints is enough, then you take time out of your precious day to research it (unbiasedly, I'm sure) and come up with your own damn study.  I'm sure you have the time.  You're an academic.  I unfortunately don't.  I'm an entrepreneur.


Anonymous said...

Just like law professors, most of whom have no to little experience of practising law and who spend their time writing articles on increasingly obscure topics that no-one ever reads, except perhaps other law professors. In the Rumple series, a law professor asks Rumple what the practising bar thinks of academic lawyers. Rumple responds "Well the truth, old darling, is that we hardly think of them at all".

BDFT said...

When I started my first business I had dozens of unsolicited "experts" rush to my side to tell me that I would fail. Ten years later, when I closed that business, they rushed back to tell me "I told you so" and that they knew I would never make a living doing it. When I pointed out that the business closed due to changes in the marketplace and that I had made a living for ten years they nodded sagely and wandered off. People did the same for the next two businesses I started. There never seems to be a shortage of experts willing to tell you what to do and how to do it. Many of these experts could easily have taught a class in entrepreneurship. Assuming they knew how to spell it.

liberranter said...

Yeah, I also thought that the 33 percent figure was unrealistically high. Like you said, what entrepreneur worthy of the title would waste his or her precious time teaching a college course in something for which a college degree is not only not needed, but is probably a hindrance to success?

Let's see now: "teach" brainwashed speedbumps (for peanuts) something that can't be learned in a classroom, or spend the time making more REAL money?

Tough choice, that. /sarc

Anonymous said...

Students are braindead after a dozen years of public 'education', they wouldn't know or understand what you're trying to say here, explaining it to them would be met with a blank stare.

I met a UCLA MBA student, she wanted to work for a non-profit, and she was shocked, Shocked!, that some of her economics professors were real 'capitalists'. We're doomed.

Mark said...

Only an academic would think you can teach Entrepreneurship and Critical Thinking - something you either have or do not..

Anonymous said...

Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, examine/inspect!

Anonymous said...

The French don't have a word for Entrepreneur!

John Chittick said...

"Simply the marching band who lacked the talent, skill, and work ethic required to make it on the football team." Obviously, you weren't in the marching band as those folks were the ones with the attributes you claimed were exclusively limited to the football players. Otherwise right on the money.

j blog said...

Did security at a Babson concert. My question to all of them... Why not just buy a business for 250k?

Anonymous said...

Entrepreneurs teach...however, they usually teach their eventual competitors. How many times do you hear of a "success" saying he learned the business from an older entrepreneur for whom he worked. If anything, entrepreneurship/trades are very hands on and require years of "training" but not in a classroom.

Anonymous said...

I usually find the old saying about those who can't do teach ignorant, but then again my teachers in life not only did, but were still doing when I learned from them, and those teaching me now can much do. In the case of these professors, smh,shouldn't be in a classroom except to learn themselves.

TorrenteXY said...

Probably one of the best video in this topic. Makes me warm and fuzzy.

Dragons Den - Jobloft

David in Cal said...

I'm not a Stanford alum, but I live near that school. My impression is that Stanford does a good job of helping its students to become entrepreneurs.

josephpmartino said...

I once knew an entrepreneurship professor who had actually started his own business. Unfortunately he died several years ago. Al Shapero, who at the time of his death taught at Ohio State, but had formerly been with Stanford Research Institute. They're not exactly as rare as unicorns, but they're pretty scarce.

James Lynch said...

Those who can, Do.
Those who can't, Teach.
Those who can't teach, administrate.
Those who can't administrate, go into politics.

PS: Politics - many (poli) blood-sucking creatures (tics).