Friday, May 19, 2006

Re: 'Microsoft is not a monopoly'

At LBS I attended a lecture about monopolies and the case was ‘Microsoft vs U.S.Government’. Lately reading Joel on Software I came across and interesting excerpt which may help those who will present Microsoft case in future (if LBS will still use the case next year).
Briefly 'Microsoft' had to prove that they were good, that they were not a monopoly and the fact that they included Internet Explorer in their Windows System didn't mean anything.
Joel think it doesn't mean. If IE is good - it will be used. If not - nope.
…even though Windows out of the box can play MP3 files, everyone I know uses WinAmp, not the Windows Media Player, to listen to them. Even though MSN is on the desktop, everybody uses AOL. Back when the browser integrated with Windows was crap, Netscape had 80% market share. So please stop fretting about the power of bundling.
The full article won’t help to crack the case, but the site itself is really interesting (at least for an IT person who I am).

Offtop: Google gives some money for women-students in Computer Science and related

Sorry for posting this offtop on MBA blog, but maybe this post will help any of the readers.

* Scholarship up to $2500 to visit Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference in San Diego, California from Oct 4 -7, 2006
* Eligible women students specializing in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and the like - studying outside of US
* Deadline: Thursday, June 1, 2006
All other details and online application are here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Things that we shall learn at school, not business school

Today I was able to attend an event, organized by Chicago GSB Alumni Club and Ernst&Young. It was a lecture by professor Marvin Zonis. He was supposed to talk about transformation of companies in an uncertain world, and he indeed gave us some interesting statistics, but the main point of his speech, which I took home, was the following one. He was asked what his mission was and he said:
‘While I was at high school, I worked at a clothing factory. The work was so hard that I promised myself I would never work again – and I became an academic… *audience laughs*… Yes, I’m joking. In fact, I’m in education, because education can reduce the level of pain people suffer before they change their behavior. Let me explain what change I mean… No one who has lung cancer smokes. Why did they make themselves suffer so much to stop smoking? Why didn’t they stop while being healthy?’
I come to such events for those little things of wisdom. They are obvious when they are pronounced, but it takes a genius to formulate them on your own. So, education is the tool that people can use to learn from other’s experience and mistakes, but not to suffer themselves. On the other note, I believe, that this is the ultimate answer to the Divine Miss N question: why does Entrepreneurship club brings people who are not MBAs - aren’t MBAs make successful entrepreneurs? First, the club does bring just a very small amount of all entrepreneurs – namely – the successful ones (and how many of ‘not MBAs’ are unsuccessful? A lot more than unsuccessful ‘MBAs’, I think). Second, maybe when you know all the statistics, all the constraints and problems – you’re not that eager to try it yourself?
I wish you didn’t have to pay huge sums of money to learn ‘why you need to learn’. I wish more people would hear about it while at school, not business school.
It’s hard to stop doing what you do, even if you know that it may have bad results. That is why it so hard to change companies, even successful ones (especially successful ones!). That is why from the 500 biggest companies in 1947, only 74 of them remained in 1997. That’s why it took Lou Gerstner to take IBM out of crisis. That’s why Jack Welch travels around the world and reads lots of lectures.

Other interesting facts:
* Largest world consumer of gasoline per person… you’ll never guess… It’s Luxembourg!.. The gas is cheaper there than in Germany and France, so many Germans and French go there, buy gas and drive away. So, in fact, the largest consumer is, of course, USA – the first guess you probably had :)
* We will soon reach an oil peak (optimistic estimates – in year 2025), at which half of the oil in the world would be already produced and consumed. So from that point on the prices will go up and the world supplies will go down. Hmmm, maybe a car is not such a nice purchase after all? (No, that’s not the thing that can make me hesitate if I want to buy a car!)
* Bad fact for Russia: easy money (from oil, of course) haven’t helped any country in the world to build a market economy. Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, u-name-it – didn’t have and don’t have a market economy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Women in business schools

Tidying up my bookcase yesterday I came across a year old copy of 'Insead Quarterly' I have collected somewhere. I didn't have time to read it during the application process, so I decided eliminate this defect.

There was an article 'How business schools can bring more women into business', a part of which I want to share with all the readers of this blog:

Get 'em when they're young

One of the most obvious challenges that women face at top business schools is the age at which you are supposed to attend them. Since most schools want students to acquire a few years of business experience first, the average student age is around 28. It would be hard to imagine a more difficult time for women. By the time they graduate, they will be around 30, and will be looking for a job at the same period they're thinking of - or actually starting - a family.

It would be better to accept younger women into business school, and not just a year or so younger. Women should be encouraged to apply as early as possible. Two of the authors of this article entered business school at 21 or 22 and managed to launch their careers a decade before they launched their families, giving them time to learn and travel and work, concentrating on the professional dimension, before learning to juggle and balance between family and work. (It's easier when you've gotten better at your job.)

I agree with every word written here. I just wonder - does INSEAD walk the way they are talking?

UPD: I've been linked by Stacy Blackman Consulting. They have posted a very interesting interview 'Stanford's view on the age of applicant', check this out.