Freeman Ding's Blog

Free is a matter of liberty, not price.

February 18th, 2010

A long day

After a long long time quiet in this blog, I felt I need to write something to show I am not idle.  Actually just too busy with too many things.  For example, today is a really long day:

7:30 AM, go to school.

8:00 – 11:00 AM, three hour long class MBA 295A Entrepreneurship.

11:00 – 12:00 PM, meeting with two fellow classmates for a project.

12:00 – 1:00 PM, grab lunch and do reading for classes in the afternoon.

1:00 – 1:30 PM, meeting with two other classmates for another project.

1:30 – 2:00 PM, meeting with teammates to discuss Oil shock case for Macroeconomics class.  The case write-up is due tomorrow Friday Feb. 19th.

2:00 – 4:00 PM, Operation class.  I usually do not have Operation class on Thursday, but because of time conflicting with next class, I switched to another cohort’s class today.

4:00 – 6:00 PM, Macroeconomics class.  I have two (four hours) Macroeconomics classes every week: Tuesday and Thursday.

6:00 – 6:30 PM, meeting with my teammates for Entrepreneurship project.

6:30 PM, go back home.

Tonight:  read and reply 50+ unread emails, do research on the IBD (International Business Development) project that I am working on, prepare for conference call tomorrow morning, and company visit trek to Palo Alto tomorrow afternoon.

What a long day!

October 20th, 2009

MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur Speaker Series

One of my favorite course at Haas School of Business right now is an elective course called “MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur”.  It is jointed hosted by Haas School of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (CET) at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering.  Basically each week one guest speaker was invited to give one hour speech, either at Bechtel Engineering Center in the College of Engineering, or Arthur Andersen Auditorium in Haas School of Business.  Most speakers are successful entrepreneurs or venture capitalists (usually these successful VCs used to be great entrepreneurs as well.).

This web page at CET center lists all the schedule and each speaker’s name and photo.  Among all the speakers so far, I particularly enjoyed following speakers:

From left to right:

  • Ted Hoff, Inventor of the Microprocessor.  I enjoyed his story of inventing the first generation CPU Intel 8086/8088.
  • Maurice Gunderson, Senior Partner, CMEA.  Mr. Gunderson is a veteran in energy industry.
  • Charles Giancarlo, Managing Director, Silver Lake.  Mr. Giancarlo used to be one of the most influential people at Cisco, LinkSys and Avaya.  He is really a senior executive with tons of experiences in Telecommunication, computer network and IT industry.

Just today Oct 20th, the speaker is a cool young guy Charles Huang, co-creator of Guitar Hero.

As I am an international student, I am not familiar with the name of Guitar Hero.  Now I learned it is a very popular music video game in the U.S.

Actually “MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur” is just one of the many “Speaker Series” courses under the same umbrella of MBA 294 series:

Course       Title

MBA294.1 Life as an Entrepreneur
MBA294.2 Real Estate
MBA294.3 Careers in Marketing
MBA294.4 Market-Based Approaches to Poverty
MBA294.5 Investment Management Spkr Series
MBA294.6 Microfinance Speaker Series
MBA294.7 Managing Internet & Digital Media
MBA294.8 General Mgt. & Strategy Spkr Series
MBA294.9 Careers in Consulting
MBA294.11 Education Leadership Speaker Series
MBA294.12 Private Equity Speaker Series
MBA294.13 Careers 101
MBA294.14 Topics in Technology
MBA294.15 Health Care Speaker Series
MBA294.16 Alternative Energy Speaker Series

Haas MBA body is pretty much diversified, so many classmates are taking other MBA 294.x Speaker Series, and it seems that almost everyone is enjoying it!

August 18th, 2009

First Dive into Case Method

We all know case method is a teaching method widely used in business schools.  In this Orientation week, I have gone through two sessions of case method.

One is the “Introduction to Case Method” in day one, August 17th Monday.  The case is a Market Entry Strategy problem for Dolby Laboratories.

The second case session is today Tuesday’s Company Workshops.   Actually HP, Adobe, Deloitte, LucasArts, Abbott, Chevron, and Del Monte each has a workshop today with us.   I attended the Adobe session.  A Director from Adobe discussed a real case with us today:  Suppose you are an Adobe Product Manager, you are trying to evaluate alternative monetization models other than traditional perpetual license pricing model.

We discussed different alternative monetization models such as:

  • Subscription
  • Free (actually tiers like basic edition for free, but charge with standard or advanced edition)
  • Advertising, like many share-ware, or GMail.
  • Utility.  End users only pay for what they consume, but you need some monitoring or measurement tools.

It is an interesting and valuable session.  I learned a lot from the Adobe director and my smart fellow classmates.

August 17th, 2009

Dean Lyons Leadership speech

As I mentioned in last post, today Monday August 17th is the Day One of the whole Orientation Week to our Berkeley Haas MBA 2011, the new first-year MBA students.

Our Dean, Rich Lyons, gave a great speech on Leadership.   If I remembered correctly, Dean Lyons mentioned a model originally from “What leaders really do” by John Kotter, HBR May 1990, 9 pages.  It said leadership is about three aspects:

Direction-setter, Alignment builder, and Motivator.

And they can be categorized as Strategic Leadership, Operational Leadership, and People Leadership.

Yeah, sounds a little bit academic, but a good way and framework to think about leadership.

Dean’s speech also covered other Haas characteristic/culture such as “Place, People, Culture”, “Confidence without attitude”, “Influence without authority” etc.

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