One of the ongoing debates in education and particularly in the field of entrepreneurship is whether learning can be purely through practice or whether theory plays a role. Students tend to prefer the practical and practice approach. I on the other hand prefer a blend of theory and practice. For example, many algorithms, heuristics and processes such as business model development, Porter's Five Forces and the concepts of value creation and value capture can help to prevent costly mistakes that squander capital for the entrepreneur.
Today's post in Equity Kicker has a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson which makes the same point eloquently.
"Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it. The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.