May 06, 2007

All Marketers Are Liars

I just watched this video of Seth Godin speaking to Google employees in early 2006. Mr. Godin mostly talks about the implications of network effects on product/market development. (Network effects come about when there the strength of a product to an individual depends upon the number [and importance] of other users.) I suppose that it really isn't something new... I'm sure that every MBA strategy class discusses network effects to some degree, and every marketing class discusses the importance of early adopters. (I remember the case study on contact lenses for chickens.) But maybe the technological development of the past decade has really enabled network effects in areas where they haven't been before.

Mr. Godin advocated getting your customers to talk to each other. Certainly there are many more ways for people to communicate. And communicate with strangers and those outside geographical bounds. Blogs, newsgroups, rating sites, portals, wikis, etc. Happy customers are the best spokespeople. (The flip side is that it takes only a couple of missteps to ruin one's reputation.) On the other side of it, the companies can use those same tools to find small subset of people that are really interested. I like the idea that the most profitable advertising is the most focused, i.e. spam, mass mailings, and other interruption-based marketing don't work.

Anyway, I had watched the video because I was interested in Mr. Godin's presentation skills. Well worth it. His blog seems interesting, too.

June 25, 2006

End of FEMBA

Most of this post was written just after I finished the final exam for my last class of the Fully Employed MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. This has been a very busy, very enriching, very worthwhile three years. I admit to feeling a bit nostalgic already, and I wonder what to do next.

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April 21, 2005

Honeywell Event Study

Yesterday, Honeywell released its quarterly earnings report. The stock price also tanked. Are those two items related? What is the influence of the overall market movement? Are there certain typical stock price trends around the release of earnings, and can those trends be exploited?

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March 25, 2004

Test Strategies

The academic season ends with a bang. I finished the second quarter of MBA school last Saturday, by taking both the Economics and Finance finals. It was grueling: The day started with an Econ mini-review at 7:30am, the test itself began at 8:30am and lasted to about 11:30am. Finance began at 1:30pm, and ended at 5pm. At the end, I was exhausted mentally, and (after a long hard run around the neighborhood) physically, too. On the plus side, I think that I did fairly well.

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December 13, 2003

End of Quarter 1

Today, I finished my first semester of the UCLA fully-employed MBA program. The final obstacle, the statistics final, was met and exceeded.

So what do I think of my experience to date?

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September 04, 2003

Group Decisions

Sure sure, my previous entry talked about the interesting intellectual activities in the MBA program. But that stuff seems to be less important when it is after midnight and your group has been meeting for five hours (after you have worked a ten hour day at your real job). And you will have to give up time with your girlfriend on Sunday. And getting any kind of progress out the group is like pulling teeth! Arghh!

September 02, 2003

FEMBA Orientation

This past weekend, I (along with the rest of the class of 2006) attended the UCLA FEMBA Leadership Orientation, which was a sort of four-day immersion training. We began each day at about 8 am, and ended after 9 pm. Food and creature comforts were provided, of course. There are about 180 incoming students, broken into three approximately equal-sized sections. We had several full-class lectures, section meetings, and eight-person group projects. (The group projects ended up taking the most time, as we had to read a case and prepare a presentation for our section.)

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June 08, 2003

MBA Offer

I received the acceptance letter from the UCLA Fully-Employed MBA program on Saturday. This is excellent news, as it is a new challenge and a great new opportunity.

I have questions, though: Is it the best opportunity available to me right now? If I were to accept this offer, would I get enough out of the experience? Would it be worth the time commitment? Am I doing this too early in my career, when I should be concentrating on growing other skills (e.g. technical abilities)? Where does it fit in my scheme of values? The world is large, and there are many interesting things to do.

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April 29, 2003

Influences Essay

Yet another FEMBA application essay. How have people, events, and / or situations in my life influenced who I am today? Continue reading for my response.

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April 28, 2003

Distinctions and Awards

One of the sections in the UCLA FEMBA application asked for a list of "distinctions, honors, awards, and other recognitions of achievement", with the basis of the selection for each. The response had to fit within 21 lines of text.

Read on for my response.

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April 24, 2003

Why MBA Essay

Another essay for the UCLA FEMBA program: Why have you decided to enter the Executive or the Fully-Employed MBA Program? Why is this the appropriate time for you to begin?

Continue reading for my response.

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April 22, 2003

Professional Accomplishments Essay

One of the essays for the UCLA Fully-Employed MBA application asked: What do you consider to be your most important personal and professional accomplishments to date?

Read on for my response.

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