My 10 Best B-Schools and How They Can Help You Too

by Larry Chiang on December 13, 2009

Larry Chiang is an instructive humorist. If you liked “10 Things They Don’t Teach You at Business School ” and “How to Work a Cocktail Party“, you’ll like his newest submission: “My 10 Best B-Schools and How They Can Help You Too”.


Larry’s book release 09-09-09 and BIO: http://tinyurl.com/AmazonBio

Before he’s done, you’ll have built up your resume to the point that business schools will be recruiting you like a college basketball phenom.

By Larry Chiang

Have you seen the Business Week top B-School rankings?!

I do not qualify for any of them thanks to my tumultuous engineering undergrad career and that fact got me hecka mad. My pain is your gain.

Schools for learning about business enthrall me and capture my imagination. In the same way Jesus saw 12 rocks to sit on as a church, I see the “school for business” EVERYWHERE.

Here are my 10 best B-Schools and hopefully they will help you out-earn, out-flank and leap-frog hundreds of tier one MBAs who are neck deep in school loans.

-1- Working for your Alpha Uncle. Working for your alpha father (or worse father-in-law) is near impossible. Working for your dad’s brother is near ideal. He loves you  because he is blood and mentors you — but if and WHEN you start making dumb mistakes, he has enough separation to not take your temporary stupidity as a reflection of his genetic make-up.

-2- PaCC Law School. Here PaCC stands for Palo Alto Community College aka Stanford University Law School (SLS). Laws govern the rules of business so mastering the ground rules help you play the game.

SLS has outreach programs and open source learning agendas meaning you can learn what they learn if you buy the books and teach yourself. If you want to uncover even more, Hoover Institute hosts great guest speakers on cutting edge legal topics and has an email list open to the public.

-3- Small Claims Court. After learning laws, reading about torts and claims and studying contract law, it’s time to practice. I recommend small claims court where you file a case, read about procedures, prepare exhibits and present before a live judge. After my first win against an uninsured motorist, I even learned to collect on a claim by encumbering a driver’s license.

Getting back to legal basics is helpful. Similarly, the Cato Institute passes out Constitutions to congressman.

-4- Prison. Entering an environment with clear and ever changing pecking order is tough to swallow. My biggest lesson from prison / jail: Learn how to take it temporarily in the rear before exacting your revenge.

Knee-jerk revenge only lands you in solitary for a week while your enemy preps, plans and gathers resources. Setting aside your need for short-term revenge gratification is a lesson from my fave book, “What They Don’t Teach You At Stanford Business School“.

-5- The Univesity Club bar after 11pm on a Tuesday. I learn here when alpha males are dee-runk and confessional. Show you can keep a secret and you get a time extension to stay in this secret society. Prove you can keep a secret under the duress of interogation and you will be granted life-long membership.

-4- The Reading Room. I read at the Borders next to my dorm room in Palo Alto, California all-the-time.


My mentor, Mark McCormack, who wrote the book, “What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School“.

I also read good stuff on the Internet (i.e. My blog has my favorite sources). And when I go to conferences, I effen TAKE NOTES on how I’m gonna apply what was just said.

Art Moreno, founder of Universal Outdoor and owner of the Anaheim Angels, is one of the best note-takers ever. I wanna be a billionaire just like him.

-5- The Sales Floor of the Car Dealership. There is something gritty and granular about executing one of the largest transactions in a person’s life: buying a car. Village Pontiac in Naperville IL was one of my best learning experiences ever and I see it as pivotal in my current ability to outflank smarter VCs and CEOs with tier one MBAs. It taught me how to move product, prospect sales leads, sell on the phone, boil down complicated car loans and manage a team of sharks from stealing MY commission.

-6- The Scottsdale Bible Church Men’s Retreat. Scottsdale AZ has the best church ever and I crashed their annual Men’s Retreat. I learned that if you’re heart is not right, you’re not gonna stay a millionaire.

I also listened to the mistakes men twice my age made and I (as sure as mentor rose from the dead for about 100 days and was witnessed by about 500-600 people) WILL NOT MAKE THOSE SAME MISTAKES.

I call this leveraging OPE: Other People’s Experience.

-7- The blogger pit at TC50TechCrunch50 had a blogger pit which was the first four rows. 

I learned about how bloggers compose stories, networked with each other, shared sources and built comraderie.

-8- Mistakes-ville. This mistakes I have made are all in my personal love life. I avoid work mistakes by learning from OPE (point #6).

-9- Mentors. Mentors are great only if you listen. I write about how to attract a good mentor. My mentor lineage reads like Top 10 list of billionaires who are, street-smart, centered and philanthropic.

Read about how I woo them at

-10- The Movie Theatre.
Movies mirror life’s lessons and here are some great movies that teach about business.

Ironman. Peter Stark is the movie’s CEO and I summarized “10 Things Ironman Teaches about Entrepreneurship“.
Top Gun. Maverick gets mentored by “Viper”, ‘Goose’ and “Charlie”. These are superstar mentor, junior mentor and cohort mentor (respectively) and all in my Chapter 4.
Color of Money. Paul Newman educates Tom Cruise about how to work a pool hall.
Wall Street. Gordon Gecko educates Bud Fox on how to work Wall Street.


Larry’s book release 09-09-09 and BIO: http://tinyurl.com/AmazonBio


Larry Chiang is the founder of Duck9, which educates college students on how to establish and maintain a FICO score over 750. He has testified before Congress and World Bank on credit.

He will be a frequent contributor to Business Week’s blog on “What They Don’t Teach You at Business School”. His earlier posts at GigaOm include similar topics of: How to Work The Room; 8 Tips On How to Get Mentored ; and 9 VCs You’re Gonna Want To Avoid. You can read more equally funny, founder-focused-lessons on Larry’s Amazon blog.

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