Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cool Mobile Apps

Nokia is working on some new applications for mobile phones. Check out their site, http://www.widsets.com/. The application lets you add mobile widgets to your phone to track blogs, news feeds, online communities, etc. Currently it works with Flickr, Digg, Engadget, Meetup, Simply Hired, and many others.

While I was out in Vegas in January for CES I got to meet the co-founder of Soonr. The application lets you access any files and programs on your home computer through your phone. It also lets you designate shared files that others can access. The power of the application is that it can easily access programs like Skype or your Outlook over almost any phone. It could also be a great tool for sales people who need access to materials or want to share designated files with prospects. The company is backed by Intel Capital and the application is currently free. http://www.soonr.com/

Nokia at Sloan

Today Taneli Ruda a Director of Strategic Projects for Nokia spoke at Sloan. Taneli focused on Nokia's view of internet enabled phones. He brought with him the N95, N800, N76, and N8801. Nokia believes that an increasing value of the cell phone will come from social networking applications, location based services, and mp3 functionality. As consumers get increased value from their cell phones Nokia hopes to see a higher average selling price. They believe that the iPhone will be good for their business as it will increase user adoption of higher priced mobile devices. Although I agree with this I wonder if Apple's good customer service and innovative designs will give them a big advantage over Nokia. If I'm going to buy a $500 - $800 phone you better believe that I want to know that I can get good support and repair. Check out some pics of the N95 (retail price $800) on Engadget:

Monday, February 26, 2007

Steve Wozniak at MIT

Check out a great video of Steve Wozinak's visit to MIT last fall as part of his book tour for iWoz.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Meebo CEO at Sloan Today

The MIT Innovation Club hosted Meebo CEO, Seth Sternberg, today. Meebo lets AOL IM, Yahoo, Google Talk, and MSN users chat directly through their browser without downloading any software. Corporate users who cannot download software will find this especially useful (at least until the page is blocked). Currently the site is getting about 80 million instant messages daily. They also just received $9 million in funding from Sequoia and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MIT Deshpande Center IdeaStream

The MIT Deshpande Ceneter will be holding their annual IdeaStream Symposium on April 12th 2007. This is an invite-only event that brings together venture capitalists, MIT researchers, and successful entrepreneurs. Focus areas include energy, health care, transportation, and communications. To get an invite you must submit your idea by March 1st, 2007.


McKinsey Business Technology Case Competition

Today McKinsey announced their first business technology case competition. For a chance at $10K you can bet I'll be signing up. This past fall I competed in the Darden Innovation Challenge which was a great chance to evaluate Web 2.0 trends for financial services. My team didn't end up in the top 3 but two other Sloan teams competed in the finals. Hopefully, this will be another good learning experience.

The McKinsey Business Technology Challenge invites teams of 3-5 MBAs from Berkeley Haas, Kellogg, MIT Sloan, University of Chicago GSB, and Wharton to show how a breakthrough technology could transform one of the world's leading
companies. On Friday, April 13th, we'll reveal the technologies and companies.
Your team will then have 48 hours to develop a plan for how one or more of the technologies can create extraordinary value. The incentive? $10,000 for the Campus Winners and an additional $20,000 for the team that wins the National Competition, to be judged in New York on April 20. Plus, the winning team will receive the first-ever McKinsey Business Technology Prize. Interested? Save the date: April 13. We'll be sending you further competition details, including registration information, on March 1.

InnoCentive Co-Founder at Sloan

Yesterday the Co-Founder of InnoCentive, Alpheus Bingham, spoke to students in Tom Malone's Organizational Design class. The class focuses on innovative organizational designs and the future of work. InnoCentive is one of the companies demonstrating innovative organizational structures. The company was founded as a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and later spun off. They post scientific challenges in the areas of biology and chemistry and reward solvers with compensation between $10,000 and $100,000. They have posted roughly 400 - 500 challenges and over 25% have been solved.

InnoCentive is particularly interesting because it demonstrates a potential structure for the future of the knowledge economy. By outsourcing these problems companies have the ability to reduce the risk/expense associated with R&D. In addition, the InnoCentive network harnesses the power of the masses to tackle problems that have been unsolvable. InnoCentive will not replace R&D in organizations; however, it can reduce the expenditure on in house knowledge workers. As companies become more comfortable using this type of service we will hopefully see an increased rate of scientific breakthroughs at a reduced cost. Given their current success, the company is planning on expanding into other technical areas.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wharton Technology Conference

Wharton is hosting a technology conference this Friday, February 23rd, focusing on monetizing innovation. Topics include clean technology, digital content, globalization in venture capital, e-fraud, and more. It looks like they have a good list of speakers including the CIO of FedEx Robert Carter, Keith Rabois VP of Business Development at LinkedIn, Marc Pecen VP of Advanced Technology at RIM, and Anil Vijendran Director of Mobile User Experience at Motorola.

Monday, February 19, 2007

MIT Sloan Tech Trek in Forbes.com

While I was out in San Francisco I spoke with a reporter from Forbes Magazine about the types of jobs MBA's are looking for this year. Check out the full article in "Follow the Talent" by Elizabeth Corcoran:

In three days, the visitors from Boston enjoyed a whirlwind of introductions and sneak peeks. They talked with executives of fledgling start-ups and toured companies with market caps in the billions. They chatted with venture capitalists. And of course, they lunched at Google.


Sony Customer Service

I just have to take a second to rant on Sony customer service. Over the summer I purchased the Sony Light Blue Earphones, model number MDREX51LP. This is the second pair of these that I have purchased. For $40 they have decent sound and are comfortable for extended listening. However, they only last about six months before they stop working. This being the second time buying the earphones I decided to purchase the optional $10.99 two year replacement warranty.

When I called up the number listed on the warranty I was told that they don’t cover the product for the first year and so they would transfer me to Sony technical support. Sony technical support told me that they only cover the earphones for 90 days and I should call a different extended warranty number which just happened to be disconnected. Now I’ve called the original support number and the Sony number twice and spent 30 minutes on hold each time I’ve called. At this point I’d rather just go buy a new pair of earphones but I’m too stubborn to let them keep my $10.99. Thanks for nothing Sony. Can I have two hours of my life back?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

New BlackBerry 8800 Announced

MIT Sloan Innovation Club partner Research In Motion is set to launch their new BlackBerry 8800 on February 21st. The device will be available through the new AT&T and will be the first BlackBerry to have built-in GPS. In addition, the 8800 incorporates trackball navigation, a multimedia player, and Push To Talk. Members of the Innovation Club have been testing two different BlackBerry models for the past year. Unfortunately, I was not one of the chosen few but hopefully it was worth the wait and I will get my hands on one of the 8800s. Check out the RIM website for all the specs.

RIM Co-CEO and Founder, Mike Lazaridis spoke at Sloan last week as part of the Dean’s Innovative Leader Series. Members of the Innovation Club had the opportunity to have lunch with Mr. Lazaridis and hear more about the company’s current strategy. Check back soon for video of the speech.

Sloanies Trek to Silicon Valley, Seattle to Experience the Best of Tech, Networking - MITSloan News

A great article by Jen Laio in the latest edition of Fifteen:

Sloanies Trek to Silicon Valley, Seattle to Experience the Best of Tech, Networking - MITSloan News

To kick-off 2007, Sloanies descended upon Silicon Valley and the Emerald City to get a taste of technology companies, start-ups, and the city's nightlife. The treks were hosted by the MIT Sloan MediaTech club, drawing almost 40 students to the Bay Area and over 20 to Seattle. Silicon Valley The Silicon Valley Tech Trek (SVTT) spanned 4 days and involved 25 companies; students visited on average three companies per day. In the evenings, they networked with alumni at the Menlo Circus Club and attended an Open House at the Plug & Play Center...

A watch fit for James Bond - Student Life

Check out my article on the Suunto n3i SPOT watch that I have been testing out courtesy of Microsoft:
A watch fit for James Bond - Student Life

SPOT, or Smart Personal Objects Technology, watches were first released in early 2003. These watches offer automatic time adjustment, customizable faces, news, weather, traffic, stock quotes, sports scores, instant messaging, Outlook synchronization, and other advanced features. The information is continually updated through low-power FM frequencies and requires a subscription to MSN Direct services.

Externship Report: My Month with Harrah's - MITSloan News

Externship Report: My Month with Harrah's - MITSloan News

Harrah's Corporate

Originally uploaded by dodge2315.
I spent the month of January working for Harrah’s Entertainment corporate IT group. Harrah’s is well known for being the first casino company to implement a nationwide rewards program. They are widely recognized as the industry leader in the use of technology and have been the recipient of many IT awards. For my month long project I had the opportunity to do some research for one of their strategic initiatives and present my findings to Harrah’s CIO, Tim Stanley.

Check on my article in the MIT Sloan newspaper, Fifteen, to hear more about my Vegas experience.