The smartest kid in the class at an elite professional school could turn out to be the dummy in developing new business. There has been a dramatic shift in buyer behavior for all professional services.
In an article on MBA dropouts in BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK, Victoria Black captures that in the story about Natasha Pecor. After one year in the program at Duke she decided to toss it for a job with a startup. Pecor's take is:
"People care about the competence level I'm at; they don't care how I got there."
Maybe pedigree or "how you got there" still opens doors at large organizations. But, as we all know, from the ongoing horror stories of those who can't stay in once in, the value of an elite education has diminishing returns. That's not all. An elite background such as working at big brandnames doesn't get all that much either. In listening to a pitch prospects want concrete evidence that we understand their problem and have a solution. Being good on our feet and then getting results fast are what keep us in business.
Shame on me. A few times I did introduce pedigree on a sales call. The eyes glazed over.