I heard recently that in the 70s there were something like 10 universities that offered entrepreneurship courses. But currently it’s over 1,700. So entrepreneurship education is booming.
But what is interesting to me is that the most successful business people of all time come to lecture at business schools, and the people in the audience are the students, some of whom actually run a business, but most do not.
That seems like a major waste to me, a disconnect, because the people who need to hear the keys to success aren’t even listening.
Meanwhile, the millions of entrepreneurs trying to run successful businesses don’t go to the business school lectures, where they could learn so much. One lecture could change their future. Like the branding talk I heard in Philadelphia in 1996 that led us to spin Ancestry.com out from under the Infobases umbrella and try to turn it into the world’s leading genealogy brand. That was all inspired by a lecture I heard on branding. I don’t even remember who the speaker was!
I don’t know why the real business world and academia can’t somehow get mixed in with each other in very significant ways.
Business schools should/could reach out to the local business community and invite scores of entrepreneurs to learn from the great guest lecturers that come regularly.
I personally like to maximize the results from the time I spend doing anything.
I have found the greatest satisfaction in teaching entrepreneurship when they are actual business owners in the group I’m teaching.
I probably won’t do many lectures to high school students, for example, or get involved with young kids who may be in business someday, because by the time they are in business they probably won’t remember a single thing that I taught.
I get much more satisfaction from teaching people that are running a business, can run right home and try something new and immediate that I’ve taught them like search engine marketing for example, or using Google Alerts to monitor their competitors, or how to increase their web site conversion rate.
On the other hand, I don’t like seeing or hearing myself talk, so I find myself saying no when people want to video tape or do podcasts of my lectures. In reality, if I were willing to be recorded when I’m teaching and allow that content to be freely distributed online, I could really maximize my impact and better use my time.
I need to get over that hangup and be willing to be video and audio-taped more often, so that I can help more people.