Special Topics in Management
Every business depends on information — about customers, competitors, trends, performance, etc. Entire curricula have been focused on the technological, systems, strategic, and management challenges associated with that dependency. This course, however, looks at a different intersection between information and business. Specifically, it will explore how entrepreneurs across the world are developing ventures fundamentally centered on new and emerging information technologies and the business models and strategies they make possible. These include not only the Googles, Amazons, and Facebooks of the world, but also ventures like Comat and Samasource. In some cases, these are efforts on the proverbial cutting edge of technology; more often they involve creative application and/or integration of existing information technologies in innovative ways.
We will first examine the key elements of business models and the entrepreneurial process, before looking in more detail at a variety of ventures leveraging information-based technologies and strategies in an array of markets. Using of mix of case-study discussion, short lectures, and focused conversations with active entrepreneurs, this will be a highly interactive and collaborative course — not a sit-listen-take-notes type of class.
Expect to be actively involved in a series of in-class and outside assignments, both individual- and team-based, that will help you develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs are using information-centric technologies to create new markets and redefine old ones, and the lessons learned along the way. You may also explore your own ideas for new ventures along the way.
This course is designed to give participants a practical overview of the modern lean/agile product management paradigm based on contemporary industry practice. We cover the complete lifecycle of product management, from discovering your customers and users through to sales, marketing and managing teams. We'll take an experimental approach throughout, showing how to minimize investment and output while maximizing the information we discover in order to support effective decision-making. During the course, we'll show how to apply the theory through hands-on collaborative problem-solving activities. There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.
In Fall 2015 & Fall 2016, this course was offered for 2 units.
Delivering value to enterprises and ensuring long-term career success requires much more than pure technology skills. This course is an industry technology executive’s view of how, as information becomes increasingly strategic for all organizations, future technology leaders can accelerate career growth and bring value to their organizations more quickly by developing this core set of business skills.
This course will explore a series of critical business topics that apply both to start-up and Fortune 500 enterprises. This course is divided into three primary sections, delivered through a series of readings, industry guest speakers and hands-on practice of business skills:
Examining business models and strategies: How do companies plan to succeed? What are their business strategies and how do those translate into technology strategies and investments in support of these plans? Secondly, how does one analyze whether an organization’s culture is enabling or inhibiting that success?
Interacting with SF Bay Area technology executives: Students will have access to C-level executives in an intimate classroom setting as they discuss their organizational strategies, cultures and technology styles. How do they trade off speed, quality and features? How do they manage innovation when they also must operate? Currently scheduled speakers include:
- Dick Daniels — CIO of Kaiser Permanente
- Michael Kelly — CIO of Red Hat
- Hugo Evans — VP of Data Science at A.T. Kearney
- Roy Bahat — Head of Bloomberg Beta Venture Capital
- Diana McKenzie — Former Workday CIO, current advisor and board member.
Enhancing core business skills: Presentation skills, negotiations, leadership styles, organizational change, personal brand and future career vision are topics that will be explored in class and in written assignments. A brief presentation will be required from all students.