Summary of Roadside MBA

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Roadside MBA book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


While many economists analyze grand global trends and forces, microeconomists study individuals and organizations such as small businesses. Three professors in that field leave their classrooms, books and spreadsheets and hit the road in search of real-life business lessons from small-town entrepreneurs. Northwestern University’s Michael Mazzeo, Stanford’s Paul Oyer and the University of Utah’s Scott Schaefer embark on an entertaining, educational road trip across the United States. They set out to determine if “Mazzeo’s Law” applies as much to small businesses as to large corporations. Mazzeo’s Law says in part that the correct answer to any strategic business question is, “It depends” – if you can figure out “what it depends on.” They also wanted to know if the lessons they teach MBA students apply to real-world small businesses. The result is a fascinating collection of case studies and amusing anecdotes rendered in a down-to-earth, relatable tone. The professors make the fundamentals of microeconomics accessible by using plain language and illustrating their concepts with concrete, memorable examples. getAbstract recommends their lessons to business owners, entrepreneurs and anyone intrigued by the lives, characters and opportunities off the superhighways and down America’s rural roads.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What common tactical challenges many small-business owners face;
  • How entrepreneurs can promote growth; and
  • How small businesses can use barriers to entry, targeted marketing and other strategic measures.

About the Authors

Michael Mazzeo is an associate professor of strategy at Northwestern University, where Scott Schaefer, a business administration professor at the University of Utah School of Business, is a visiting professor of strategy. Stanford University Graduate School of Business economics teacher Paul Oyer is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.



Making a Small Business Grow
“Mazzeo’s Law,” coined by Northwestern University professor Michael Mazzeo, posits in part that the answer to any strategic business question is, simply, “It depends.” The “trick” to business success is discovering just what “it depends on” for your business...

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