An Auspicious Autumn quArter

Minute Before the Flash Mob

Less than three months have passed since my summary post on Summer quarter. We are through all the coursework and more recently the Thanksgiving break, final exams, a holiday party and a quick North-Western study trip to Seattle. Time has come to close off Autumn and the 2012 calendar year with it.

Before it’s too late I’d like to apologize for the miserable alliteration attempt in the title. And I’d also really like to be able to skip the clichés like “time has just swooshed by” and “it feels like it was just yesterday!” but… it has and it does. We’re half through to graduation as Class of 2013 in June.

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Week 14: Confucius, Shrek, Devil’s Advocates and the Board

Stanford GSB Sloan Study Notes, Week 4, Autumn quarter

Covered in this issue:

  • How Confucius helps the Chinese to consume free MP3s
  • How a CEO is stuck between the Board and his team in a complex matrix of conflicting loyalties
  • How a side-effect of managing a few trillion dollars in your funds is the need to do a lot of board voting for your shares
  • How high-profile VCs can keep your loans in the bank and close your hires
  • How startups should tell their story the way seen in Shrek
  • How to make the devil’s advocate a resident part of participatory decision making culture
  • How citizens should break the government monopoly of environmental and pollution mapping

And here on to the full notes: Read the rest of this entry »

Sloan Study Notes, Week 1

Now with first week of classes behind us and the pile of week 2 reading still looking daunting on Sunday night despite the efforts of the day, I am stuck with the question if and how I want to keep any notes on what we learn here.

As a tip from a 2012 Sloan, I will at least try to log some “aha” moments encountered on a way. Expect most of these things be quite random, not rocket science or revolutionarily new. Just something about them (wording, angle, connections with my experience, who knows) clicked with me. Hope this collection will later be helpful as a memorization tool for myself, but also help shed some light for those curious what kind of topics Stanford GSB and the Sloan program in particular entail. Especially if this little routine survives all other calendar pressures, don’t expect a high level of editorial polishing.

Also, probably most interesting new thoughts already in week 1 came from real-life stories shared by classmates inside the theoretical context framed by professors. As an unfair teaser I can say we’ve already heard about topics as varied as debt collection related deaths in Asia, media relations management around an international security operation in an Arabic state or competition-orchestrated manipulation with local community opinion in Australia. But as we’ve agreed the details of the discussions in class need to be confidential and trusted to be truly open, I won’t be able to share much more in this post nor in the future. Unless any of the sources would be willing to share them themselves, dear Sloans? 🙂

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Getting Settled at Stanford

Stanford Graduate Business School

I considered writing a “how to” kind of a post for grad students arriving to Stanford for the first time, but got lucky – my GSB Sloan 2013 classmate Herbert already did just that here. So if that’s the web search topic that got you here – go read what Herbert says, I (for the most part) fully agree.

But nevertheless, let me add a few more random thoughts, impressions and inspirations from the first 2 weeks:

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