The Cheapest MBA You Can Get

Half-way through my college education, I decided that picking up a Business minor, in addition to my Computer Science (CS) major, would be a good smart thing. My thought was if I couldn’t cut it in the development world, I could fall back to management or whatever else business majors do (I could never tell what they did, other than wear slacks and a tie, and pretend to be important).

Here’s how I saw it at the time:

CS + Business = profit.
CS + Business + MBA = more profit.

So, I signed up for a Business minor. Took some Economics classes. Trudged through some Finance classes. Elected to take an Operations Management class. Even took a Marketing class over the course of a summer so I could graduate on time. Thank God that was before “social media” existed.

Once I picked up Ruby on Rails, I stopped thinking about the MBA. Rails changed my perspective. On my education. On software development. And on my future. It tore down the barrier to entry on creating things. Useful things. Things I could get excited about. Like simulating Mendelian genetics, writing a guest-list management tool for my wedding, and tracking the restaurants I was eating lunch at.

I realized I didn’t need to go to school for another 18-24 months. I didn’t want to read more case studies on Starbucks. The Container Store. Or Wal-Mart. I wanted to find something applicable to my interests: software, profits, happiness.

Here’s my list of resources to help you skip the theory. Start doing something. And become the case study.

  2. Delivering Happiness
  3. YCombinator startup library
  4. Do. More. Faster.

What would you add to the list?


  1. November 17, 2010 at 8:41 AM

    A couple books on business that I’ve really liked:

    • The Go Giver - It’s fictional, but I value their perspective on business
    • Little Red Book of Selling - A very inspirational book on sales and marketing
    • Crucial Conversations - This one seems like an odd choice, but I think improving communication skills is a great investment.
    • Book Yourself Solid - If you’re starting freelancing/contracting/consulting this has a lot of great advice
    • Get Clients Now - Another great book for freelancing/contracting/consulting.