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Many would argue that key to success for most of these ventures was that founders (or VC financing them) were smart enough to know that while they had an abundance of education, they needed experienced managers to really run show.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin were college students when they started company that would become Google. They were smart enough to bring in Eric Schmidt to be chairman and CEO when business took off. Schmidt was former CEO of Novell and CTO of Sun Microsystems. A PhD, Schmidt is a man of education and experience.
Jerry Yang and David Filo were candidates in Electrical Engineering at Stanford when they started YAHOO (Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) in 1994. They brought in Tim Koogle from Motorola to run things shortly thereafter and now company is led by Terry Semel, who previously spent 24 years running Warner Bros.
Now on to experience. Is experience a prerequisite of business success? Again, not at all. Many experienced entrepreneurs gained their experience in failed businesses, so experience does not instantly translate to success.
So, when it comes to succeeding in business, which is more important: education or experience? While neither is as helpful as a rich relative, here's answer that will hopefully help me avoid those worms: Both education and experience can play a large part in business success.
The more important question is can you succeed in business without one or other, or even without both? And answer to that one is: yes. Can I get ketchup with those worms?
Many successful businesses were started by first time entrepreneurs who never went to college. Natural talent, ambition, drive, determination, and good old dumb luck have fueled many success entrepreneurs, myself included. I don't have a degree (I drove past a college once. It looked hard, so I kept going). Would a degree have helped make my business trek easier? Perhaps.
Then again, I know people with advanced degrees who are flipping burgers at McDonalds. It's good experience, I suppose.
A combination of education and experience (and a variety of other things) is best recipe for success. As old saying goes, "There is no better education than that which comes from experience."
In end, it really doesn't matter how much education, experience, talent, luck or money you have. It's what you do with it that matters.
Here's to your success.
Tim is the founder of DropshipWholesale.net, an online organization dedicated to the success of online and eBay entrepreneurs. Related Links: http://www.30dayblueprint.com http://www.timknox.com