When I was returning from the NetHope summit in Seattle, I had to stopover in Seoul airport for a few hours. After being watching all the Korean couples wearing matching track suits (so 80’s!) and remembering my fantastic experience working there 5 months earlier, I went to have a look in the terminal bookshop and stumbled across this book “Building Wealth” by Lester C. Thurow.
The books a little dated now with its examples (it was published in 2000 showing how fast times are changing nowadays!) but is a great introduction on the economics of wealth creation and what countries must do to compete effectively in the global knowledge economy. I couldn’t put it down during my 6 day stopover in Dubai a couple of weeks ago, I basically spent most of the day sitting in the sun smoking shisha and reading the book!
However it was not the insights into economics that left me thinking but, as Lester Thurow is the former dean of MIT Sloan, it was the talk about the MIT Sloan MBA program, its focus on entrepreneurship and innovation and the 100K competition. I’ve got to admit, I’ve always been dismissive of MBAs for people aspiring to be entrepreneurs (my goal is to create a high-tech start-up), I always thought MBAs were about creating the next generation of “corporate tigers” destined for the Mckenzies and JP Morgans of the world, not entrepreneurs! But MIT Sloan has so many classes, events and programs for creating entrepreneurs according to the book, the way he described it definitely didn’t fit into my idea of what an MBA was!
As my dad always says, you can’t “create” entrepreneurs by studying, but I now believe after reading the book, and also based on my own experience when I attended MIT Sloan and Cambridge University’s “Enterprisers” week back in university, it could help someone with the right attitude and clear aspirations by providing the environment and network of like minded people to inspire and develop!
So I’ve decided to look into doing an MBA, maybe I’ve been wrong all these years, but if I do end up doing one, this book will probably have been one of the most influential books I’ve read to date! Give it a read, you may not get the same things as I did from it, but you’ll definitely learn a thing or two 😉