In two busy weekends, this was the core focus of the class by Prof. Jonah Berger – can you systematically build a framework that makes it more likely that a product idea will stick, and that it will spread. With several interesting reading materials assigned to the class, and an interesting, fast-paced format to the lectures, we got a whirlwind tour of research done in this area so far by him and others. We also got to do a few do-it-yourself assignments to see how we would apply these principles to ideas or campaigns that we wish to transform. Was a useful exercise in getting hands dirty and trying this out. Working at a small startup like Blue Jeans Network gives the perfect lab to test these frameworks against, so that was the focus of my assignments. Dare I say I learnt a few concepts as well – hope it sticks since it was taught using the framework itself ;). We also bid farewell to the dozen or so classmates of ours from the East who made a lightning visit out here specifically for this class – hope to see you at the Philly graduation!
Another highlight of a busy three-day session a week ago was the Finance midterm. Lets just say that I wouldn’t want to talk to any of my teachers in engineering or math from years past about my analytical prowess. The concepts are so interesting, yet hard to digest and master. One has got to give it to generations of WEMBA Finance majors – it takes a new breed of masochists to learn cutting edge concepts from the best faculty in the world, and come out unscathed with mastery of the subject. Its an addictive drug, and quite a few of us might go on to do more of these challenging Finance classes next term – Investment Management, Advanced Corporate Finance, Capital Markets .. many ways to scratch that itch!
We also had our first session of Prof. Werbach’s class that focuses on the legal and ethical environment of business. The class is structured around classroom discussions facilitated by the instructor, followed up with assignments and writeups. This set me off on a book hunt for topics in this area – fascinating to read some of them. Expect to see more on that on this site in the coming weeks. In these difficult times a course such as this does give pause and allow for self-reflection and rebalancing of the moral compass. Can’t wait to see what’s in store in the rest of the term on this front.
On the more interesting front, the class celebrated a tough Friday session by hanging out and partying late at some of our usual joints. Was fun to get to know more members of this class as I transition towards being one of the 37s. We also had a fun time getting together at Vamsi’s house last weekend as plans are being made to do this more often this year.
As we progress towards the finish line, slowly some of the dots have started to connect, in terms of identifying concepts learnt in class and instinctively applying them to the real world. In a world where there is so much to digest from news headlines these days, much could be done if only we had the time to sit and mull over those weighty issues from the point of view of what we learnt in class. Still waiting for that day when there’s more time to do these things …