Learning by selling

Arnold Kling:

I’ve always felt that going to business school was a substitute for being an entrepreneur, not a complement. Those who can, sell. Those who can’t, sit in class.

Kling goes on to say that activities like product design and pitching to investors are sitting in class equivalents.

I couldn’t agree more. I’m guilty of metaphorically sitting in class and of hypocrisy–I’ve seen the urgent need for plain old selling in just about everything I’ve ever been involved with, and encouraged those with officious responsibility for marketing and sales to get out and sell, sell, sell, all the time avoiding doing any sales myself.

Technical people aren’t responsible for selling, right? The wise ones make themselves responsible. I’m a slow learner.

4 Responses

  1. […] The only brief time I’ve felt flow was during creation of Meta e-zine (including selling ads), but the persistent bit was not set. In other matters I’ve been fairly persistent, but at a pathetically high level of distraction (just one example). […]

  2. […] There were a surprising number of panels more or less concerning entrepreneurship. I only attended one of these, Sink or Swim: The Five Most Important Startup Decisions. It was very mildly amusing but as far as I could tell the only important decision discussed was whether to look for outside funding or not, a well-trod topic if there ever was one. There was even one panel on Selling (Big Ideas to Big Clients). […]

  3. Kling has another post on the importance of selling, this time contrasting sales and raising money from investors:

    I’ve met with dozens of entrepreneurs over the past decade, and I never encountered one who I thought should have focused less on selling and more on raising money.

  4. […] seem to present any. I don’t hold being an excellent salesperson against him, indeed I think selling is undersold, but then he doesn’t advise people to learn or earn by selling, as far as I can […]

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