Headlines for Wednesday:

  1. Cross-fertilization 11:37
  2. Meeting about courses 14:00
  3. Pampering myself 22:54
  4. I heart the Toronto Public Library 23:14

Work on research



1. Cross-fertilization: 11:37

I'd love to take a business-related course to round out my education and widen my network. If I can convince the Rotman School of Management to let me take an MBA elective, that would totally rock. Alternatively, I could cross over into CS. Here's what I'm looking at:

MGT 2019: Commercializing Technological Innovations
How *does* one value innovation, anyway?
MGT 2050: Skoll Project: The Technology/Management Interface
Directly related to my research into adoption of technological innovations. I might be able to talk my way into this. Geared towards large companies.
MGT 2017: Strategic Networks
Directly related to my interest in supporting social networking. I might be able to talk my way into this based on my research.
Marketing High Technology Products
CSC2527H The Business of Software
Sounds like a terrific course.


MGT 2019: Commercializing Technological Innovations

This course is intended to improve your ability to determine whether, when and how to commercialize technological innovations. It will also enhance your ability to manage your firm’s technology strategy post-commercialization. As such, this course will be of particular interest to students interested in technology-driven businesses and new ventures, as well as financial analysts interested in how to assess and value a firm’s technology-related activities and even policymakers interested in formulating supportive technology policy. This course is highly complementary with several other strategy electives including Cooperative Strategy, Corporate Strategy, Game Theory and Competitive Dynamics, Strategy in the Creative Industries, and Technology Strategy.

Commercialization of technological innovation entails facing a host of challenging questions including: What is the value of an innovation? What is the right way to commercialize it - when is licensing preferred to joint ventures or diversification? How can I understand and anticipate technological change, and pursue strategies to take advantage of my insight? Can technology strategy be a source of competitive advantage?

This course will introduce you to the issues and analytical arguments behind these questions and others, drawing on recent advances in the literatures on competitive strategy, organization economics, industrial organization and technology management. The theoretical arguments developed in the course will consistently be applied through case analysis and the course project. In addition, the course will provide insight into current "hot" technologies, including nanotechnology and information technology.

The overall objectives of this course are to provide you with analytical frameworks and tools that will sharpen your ability to:

  • Recognize and evaluate commercialization opportunities;
  • Anticipate problems faced by technology-driven ventures;
  • Understand the relationship between market and organizational characteristics and the success or failure of an innovation;
  • Develop and assess an overall technology strategy.

MGT 2050: Skoll Project: The Technology/Management Interface

Technology and innovation must be actively managed. This course focuses on the concepts, techniques and processes used to facilitate successful technological innovations in firms. The objectives of the class are to (1) introduce students to the multiple factors involved in successful technological innovation in firms and (2) provide students with opportunities to integrate and synthesize the multiple demands and requirements faced by managers in innovative firms. This course is a requirement for all students in the Skoll BASc/MBA program. Other MBA students interested in technology are encouraged to take this course.

MGT 2017: Strategic Networks

The purpose of this course is to learn how social networks affect the organization and coordination of work, and create economic value. In particular, we will focus on network entrepreneurs – individuals or organizations that use social networks to discover and exploit economic opportunities. We will begin with some recent examples of network entrepreneurs, and then introduce the underlying network principles, followed by a discussion of network forms of organizing. The course will focus on the relevance of social networks for both the formulation of strategy for new (i.e., entrepreneurial) ventures and the implementation of strategy in existing organizations. Social networks will be examined at the individual level (e.g., the pattern of friendship relationships among individuals in a firm) and at the organizational level (e.g., the pattern of strategic alliances among firms in an industry).

Marketing High Technology Products

The rapid evolution of high-tech products and their technology offer many new challenges to the marketer. Marketing start-ups as well as established products, managing the introduction of upgraded or innovative products, distribution channel selection, branding, advertising, the use of media such as the Internet, and developing strategies to profit from the convergence of previously diverse technologies, are some of the topics covered.

The Computer Science department is also offering an interesting course this fall:

CSC2527H The Business of Software

The course identifies the principles for starting and operating successful and growing software venture. Students are expected to understand the “why” of these principles by the end of the course. Student work is centred on building a real business plan for a software venture with a group of other students. The intended audience for these business plans are potential investors, including angel investors and venture capital funds. Guest entrepreneurs and other industry participants provide ‘real world’ perspective.


The main objectives of this course include development of:

  • An understanding of the high-technology business environment in general and of the computer and software industries in particular.
  • An understanding of the basic principles involved in crafting a small healthy growing business within the software industry
  • The ability to write, present, and critique business plans and to formulate basic computer-based financial forecasting models.
  • A capacity to analyze the first-person perspective of entrepreneurs and other industry participants.


Topics will include the definition and scope of the computer and software industries; an analysis of the sources of innovative opportunity; a discussion of strategy and, key trends such as open source, outsourcing and ‘software as a service’; software market planning and product planning; the management of R&D and software development; software product marketing; software sales and sales management; software support; the financing and financial management of high technology ventures; legal protections for software as intellectual property; and leadership, management, and human resources for high technology industries.

The class will be enriched by the participation of guest entrepreneurs – skilled practitioners active in the industry.

On Technorati:

2. Meeting about courses: 14:00

I met with Mark Chignell about the courses I should register for this term. He suggested signing up for all of them, attending the first few lectures, and choosing the one I like the most. I'll have to rely on my intuition for this because the course descriptions all sound good. If I get along with the professors, I might even be able to explain my personal background and goals and get their help in figuring out which course would be best.

We'll meet again tomorrow to flesh out my research plan.

Next action: Brainstorm a few things I can prototype. Also, take care of some paperwork.

On Technorati:

3. Pampering myself: 22:54

Wednesdays are for catching my breath. I spent the evening pampering myself.

I lathered my face and wiped the suds off with a soft washcloth, poured boiling water into a large bowl and steamed my face for ten minutes, and then used some tissue to extract some of the oil from my skin. (Must get ingredients for clay or strawberry mask.)

I scrubbed my feet with pumice, soaked them in a warm bath (the cleaning bucket is *just* wide enough to accommodate my feet crosswise!), and scrubbed them again.

For good measure, I decided to have a proper bath, too. Self-massage, mmm. I read a book until the water cooled a bit, then I ran cold water in to energize me.


Next week, maybe I can try adding a few cups of milk or some drops of essential oils. A little bit of indulgence...

4. I heart the Toronto Public Library: 23:14

I can't believe it took me a year to get around to making the most of the Toronto Public Library. I grew up in a country without a good public library system and thus had no idea just how cool one could be. Fortunately, two of my friends are avid fans of the TPL. (Hi Dan Howard! Hi Quinn Fung!) Quinn's always telling me about some book or other that's available for pick-up, and Dan told me about the trick of reserving one gazillion books.

Today I gave the web-based library catalogue a spin, and promptly requested dozens and dozens of books. I knew they'd take some time to be delivered to the branch nearest me, but I headed to the College and Spadina branch anyway as it was just a few blocks away from my residence and I wanted to raid the stacks for interesting Wednesday night reading.

It was a good thing I took my wheeled grocery bag, as I ended up checking out far too many books. I winnowed the list down from the stack of books I'd pulled off the shelves for browsing, but was still sorely tempted to push the library limit of 50 (50!) books checked out at any given time.

I've already finished one: Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever, by Judy Sheindlin (of Judge Judy fame). The main thing I took away from that book is that guys aren't built to be nurturing, and there's nothing wrong with nurturing myself. I knew that. =) Also, the book had interesting anecdotes from the life of a no-nonsense judge. Not a bad read.

I heart the Toronto Public Library. It's pretty up to date - lots of 2006 titles, yay! - and the web-based reservation system totally rocks. Sweet!

UPDATE: See also Bookmarklet for the Toronto Public Library

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