1st Rez- Let the games begin

Back in school, and I’m pumped. My Tanzania pics are all online if you want to check them out.

Had a phenominal first res, getting to network with the new class and getting back to the fast pace of Presidio life is always thrilling. In keeping with the academic nature of this blog, I’ll put the top-line takeaways from each class:

Marketing– Big class discussion about what marketing is, with a focus on getting us to see marketing in terms of tactical effectiveness rather than with a moral lens. Advertising (which is not marketing) has a lot of negative effects, and we need to start focusing on HOW it works as a tool so that we can learn how to optimize it’s impacts. I like this approach, and it’s end goal (of optimization rather than mazimization.)

Personally, I still feel like there’s a qualitative difference between public discourse which builds well-rounded communities and public discource which replaces those communities with unidirectional materialism. I’ve got a hunch that the former will trump the latter in a marketing war, and I’m hoping to spend this semester figuring out how.

Products and Services– Darius, Darius, Darius. Master of systems thinking, he loves powerpoints of big, complicated slides with complex systems on them that we get to frantically try to memorize and understand, which is useful for making sure that we take the extremely multifaceted notions of product design into account. A guest speaker gave a great place to start in all of that mess- deliver meaning to the customer. Meaning exists on a level deeper than your product, the way it makes people feel and the value that it delivers and gets to the fundamental things that put a person or organization’s life in balance. I’m into it.

We also did an egg drop product dev exercise, video above.

Finance- There was a children’s concert going on outside of this class, and music kept wafting in and going to a cresendo when he made a salient point. It was finance magic.

The class focused on giving a context for how financial decisions are made, with a focus on the idea that they are about optimizing value across multiple dimensions rather than maximizing value in one. We talked about the scope of finance in terms of capital acquisition decisions (debt, equity, profit, etc), payout decisions (investment v. dividends) and investment decisions (conditions for ROI, which our professor assures us we don’t really understand yet.) We closed class by looking at some ratios used in financial analysis and applying them to tell a story about a given company and its competitors.

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