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I’m Gennaro Cuofano, founder of FourWeekMBA; feel free to connect with me over LinkedIn.

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Business Engineering

Business Engineering is the foundational discipline built by FourWeekMBA. It combines various disciplines in one powerful subject so that you can become a much more effective business person!

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Back in 2011, I enrolled in an International MBA. Coming from a law background, to me, an MBA was a way to change direction quickly.

I wanted to undertake a career in business (more as an entrepreneur than a manager). And I wanted to quickly find a career path to move to the US (I’m originally from Italy).

Fast forward to 2013, after finishing up my MBA, I managed to land a job in California as an Analyst, after completing my MBA, with an emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy.

However, rather than becoming an entrepreneur, I had become entrenched in a fixed career path, where I was supposed – like in the military – to take a few linear steps and wait a few more years to move up the ladder.

Fast forward four years since my MBA had started and three years into my new life in California. The career journey I had gotten into through the MBA wasn’t satisfactory to me.

That’s not why I enrolled in an MBA. So I resigned, moved back to Italy, and started my own digital business (a lot of things happened in between, like me moving to NYC for a few months, but for the sake of shortness, let’s skip that part, for now).

I figured that most of the things I had learned at business school, while very useful, for a linear career path, in a corporation.

They weren’t as useful to me as a digital entrepreneur. So I had to go back to study on my own, experiment a lot, and in the process, learn a bunch of new things from scratch.

To make things more interesting, I also joined a high-tech startup back in 2016, for which I still lead the Enterprise unit.

As a result, the FourWeekMBA was born!

The FourWeekMBA is a real business world journey and a set of resources I learned the hard way over the years to help you progress into an uncertain business world.

Now you can also talk to FourWeekMBA through our AI Chatbot. If you also want to have an AI ChatBot which learns from the content of your blog, like ours, fill this out and we’ll get back to you.

Business Engineering

Business Engineering is the foundational discipline built by FourWeekMBA. It combines various disciplines in one powerful subject so that you can become a much more effective business person!

The primary aim of FourWeekMBA is to bring advanced business education to as many people as possible.
FW is not about quick business education for the sake of it; it’s about the minimum dose of business education that leads to action rather than paralysis;
to spark your understanding of the business world.
FourWeekMBA Is about original and independent research, the fruit of thousands of hours of analyses, studies, and critical thinking.

Let me start with what FourWeekMBA it’s not! 

Not a shortcut 

The name might trick you into thinking that you can learn all there is to know in four weeks. 

Instead, FourWeekMBA is a concept about starting a journey, where in a few weeks, you can learn and apply basic to advanced business concepts to the real world.

However, learning is continuous, it never stops, and it takes years to internalize some concepts. 

Therefore, there is a deep distinction between learning and internalizing. 

Learning can happen quickly and mechanically. Internalizing takes time, a lot of time. 

Personally, it took me years to master some of the concepts I covered on this blog, and often the transition was about forgetting things that weren’t relevant anymore or that had never been. 

Not a size-fits-all

The real world is highly contextual. Things that work in a context won’t work or worse off will be disastrous in a new context and environment.

That is why I try to keep the FourWeekMBA agnostic. There are tons of tools, frameworks, and methodologies that you can use, but each should be assessed against the environment you find yourself in.

What matters though is the process. The process stays, as it helps you gain an understanding of the context quickly. 

Why did I start it? 

When in 2015 I completely changed focus from my previous career to building digital businesses, I found that the education I had acquired via an MBA didn’t help me much to build up a digital business.

That is why I set to document my new journey and as I went through it I thought about building the resources for the business school I wish I had when I was building my own business.

Therefore, from an individual endeavor and passion for the business world, the FourWeekMBA was born!

As I released more and more things out into the world I could gather feedback on whether those resources could be valuable to other practitioners in the real world and that is what fascinated me and still, it’s what keeps me going.

When I hear people sending messages about how they acted upon the resources from FourWeekMBA; how they got their business started; how they transitioned in career or started into a new role, that is what gives me satisfaction and happiness.  

FourWeekMBA as a bootstrapped company

In order for me to keep financing my passion, research, and enable more and more people to learn advanced business concepts, I had to make FourWeekMBA financially sustainable.

The blog gets monetized primarily via premium products (courses, books, subscriptions, sponsorships) for people that wanted to take their knowledge to the next level. 

People that come to FourWeekMBA are extremely happy with the free resources available. While those people who are willing to take the next step to join our premium resources. 

Whatever step you decide to take, you’re welcome here!

What about the advanced educational business world, is there a transition going on? 

I think it does and this is one of the reasons why I started FourWeekMBA back in 2015. 

Has the advanced education business world changed?

The business world changed quickly; the digital world has changed how entrepreneurship works and understanding those dynamics has become critical. That is why I’ve built up this blog. I documented here all the lessons learned throughout the years and as I did so I made them available to you so that this could become the go-to place for digital entrepreneurs, executives, and business people.

When I first started in digital marketing, I came from a completely different background. Graduated as a Lawyer, after an International MBA I worked as a Financial Analyst for a real estate investment firm. That experience taught me to look at hard numbers and dissect the balance sheets of any company to understand the business logic behind them. When you understand how money moves, you can also make sense of the strategic thinking behind any company.

When I approached digital marketing, I was looking for ways to break free from the usual 9-5 work and be on my own. The issue was that all the things that were most visible on the web ended up being the least useful. I shortly learned that visibility doesn’t mean relevance. However, I wanted to put out there practical resources anyone could use to grow their business or at least to have a better understanding of the business world. 

Then I joined a tech startup. There I helped the company since the end of 2016 to develop its business operations. One thing that was clear to me since the first day was that a solid distribution strategy is critical for any company’s success. From there I set to learn anything I could about business modeling, business strategy, distribution strategies, and growth marketing

Enough about me! Let’s see what is happening with business education, instead. 

What’s going on with higher business education?

An MBA can still be a valuable program for people that want to progress in their business careers. And for aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there are some fundamental aspects of MBA programs that make them too risky for today’s standards.

As the business world changes at a faster and faster pace, the opportunity cost associated with enrolling in an MBA program has become too high for many people to bear.

That is also why there seems to be a sharp decline in interest in this program:


What’s happening?

A good chunk of this sharp decline seems to be related to a drop in international applications.

However, this is only part of the story – I argue. Indeed, today MBA programs have become too risky for a few reasons:

  • Length: being out of the job market for over two years has become a time range no longer acceptable in today’s fast-moving job market
  • Cost: fewer and fewer people can afford dozens of thousands of dollars to enroll in an MBA program
  • Outdated business education: as the business world moves faster, business schools might fall behind and teach things that have become pretty much worthless in the real business world

Does the MBA need a new business model? 

On this blog, I cover business models. And I focus much of my attention on those models that are changing the game. To be sure this isn’t much about disruption. What we accept and give for granted, is a modern model of business and education. However, that model has its basis in the world which got shaped in the last decades.

Many contemporary business models that have reshaped the business world, and rewritten the rules, seem to be going back to a previous era. Where centralized and closed models won in the last decades. New technologies finally allow the decentralization, disintermediation, and delocalization of companies, processes, and teams. 

Thus, on FourWeekMBA you will be able to learn anything related to business growth, distribution, business modeling, and digital entrepreneurship.  

One of the most significant lessons learned when studying tech companies is how distribution and the ability to design a sustainable business model are among the most critical aspects. The more a company is based on a tech product or service, the more the founders will be technical people (engineers or programmers). While this is great and it allows us to build an incredible product. That can also lead to oversight of proper sales and distribution strategies that will enable the business to take off and become sustainable, quickly! 

As Head of Business Development, I also focused my efforts on finding the right strategies, distributions, sales processes to speed up the growth of digital businesses. It is critical never to lose focus on the product and customers’ needs. From the encounter of a great product built on top of customers’ needs, distributed through the right channels, I believe any company can achieve success, quickly and sustainably. 

What can you learn here?

  1. Assess the proper distribution strategy.
  2. Design a business model.
  3. Design effective revenue generation strategies.
  4. Find a product/market fit.
  5. Build up sales processes.
  6. Assess distribution strategies.
  7. Sales, distribution, and digital marketing strategy.
  8. Business development.
  9. Growth marketing.
  10. Content strategy.
  11. Business strategy.
  12. And much, much more!

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The Community Says

I learned more in 90 mins in a coffee shop from the resources of FourWeekMBA than in three years of part-time MBA

Helen Rankin
Director of International Space City

I’ve been delighted with Gennaro’s steady stream of excellent briefs and prolific insights from the FourWeekMBA. He is one hard-working and responsive producer.

Bruce Terry
Former CEO of Mayfran International

Thanks to the FourWeekMBA I have learned about some of the fundamental business concepts everyone interested in business should know and about the business models of the companies shaping the world.
Laura Soto von Arnim
Senior Information Security Specialist – Risk Management at MediaTek

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Or to get an understanding of the current business landscape, start by reading the analyses below:

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