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Showing posts from January, 2009

Failing Fast

I'm reading a book now entitled "Subject to Change," written by the folks at Adaptive Path. The book is about putting the focus on the experience and systems of interaction a customer has with a product or service. So far, I've picked up nice insights such as the importance of context in coming up with product/service design and innovation.

I like what I've read so farm, but there's one part in the book that resonated with me. In the chapter about exploring what tradeoffs you should make when you develop your "experience strategy," someone from McDonald's innovation center said this:
It [the innovation center] allows us to fail fast so we don't invest in the wrong things.
Well, I'm not sure if  all companies can afford to build a lab or innovation center to try our new products, but what I like is the idea of "failing fast" -- failing sooner than later so that you can adjust and adapt to your situation.

I'm not saying everyon…

Substitute Teacher

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Yesterday, I substituted for Prof. Richard Cruz in handling the second session of the Online Marketing elective that we're handling with Prof. Titos Ortigas. The class was a lecture and I discussed foundation topics on internet advertising, particularly Google's AdWords service.

I think it went pretty well, considering it was my first time to teach in a class at the Asian Institute of Management (I've taught at the University of the Philippines prior). Good thing the session was more of a lecture than a typical case discussion, because I think one needs a great deal of time honing the skills needed to handle a classic Harvard-style case discussions.

As a student, I want to think I did OK on case discussion on the subjects I liked (anything that doesn't have finance on it), but I think it's totally different where you're on the other end of the room, standing in front of the class. There were times in class where I would just go into cruise control-- I just too…

Do I Need a License to Blog?

If the Philippine government would have its way, I would need a license to blog.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has put forward a memorandum that, in effect, requires all people and companies that provide content (blog posts, music, ring tones, logos, video clips, etc.), information, applications, and games that use network infrastructure (mobile phone networks, internet) to secure a license to operate. The total cost of the license is PhP 6,300.00 (US$133) per year.

After reading the memorandum, I think it was primarily intended for the big companies that develope value-added services and content providers for the mobile phones, but inadvertently, the memorandum's scope could cover citizen who just are member of social networks or bloggers.

I've mentioned in the past that it was only a matter of time before the government will propose a "Blogging Tax" and this license is one version of it. But here, the goverment can shut you down and revoke your…

Change

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With the inauguration of Barack Obama into the White House, there's one word thats sweeping America and perhaps the globe: Change.

Obama campaigned to the Americans as "The Change We Need," and his message resonated well and strong to the country that was stuck in recession and in need of, well, change. Obama's timing was perfect.

Here at the Asian Institute of Management, change is also forthcoming: AIM President Francis Estrada will be stepping down this coming May. Mr. Estrada has been the president of the institute since May 2006 and his term was also marked by changes, both good and bad. To get a better idea, here's a chronology of news items that covered AIM during Mr. Estrada's term so far:

Francis Estrada elected new President of AIM
Management is key to a just society
AIM goes into outsourcing business
2 professors suspended as AIM pay spat escalates
Ready, AIM, combustion
Technology business incubator launched
Suspension of 2 AIM professors illegal – NLRC

Keeping Busy

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People say that life's a journey. If that's the analogy, I'm probably at that point where at the airport waiting for a connecting flight-- with 18 more hours before the plane arrives.

I graduated last December with full knowledge and expectation of the uncertainty in global business today: financial security won't be handed over to me wrapped in shiny paper with a ribbon immediately. I've never been comfortable being idle for extended periods of time and given that the prospects of setting that career (or business) is going to take some time, I knew I'd better keep myself productive.

I've mentioned before that I'm doing a little project for AIM where I'm co-developing elective on Internet Marketing. That project is turning out to be a nice little surprise because of the people I'm working with share my passion for the web and making things better. The folks I'm referring to are Prof. Ricky Lim, Anton Diaz (of Our Awesome Planet fame) and Jayv…

I Write Bad. But Who Cares?

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If you've followed this blog for quite some time (if not, try to randomly select a month from this blog's archives), you will see that I don't write well. Grammatical errors are abound, wrong spellings that will get flagged in Microsoft Word and composition that will make Prof. Gloria Chan, our Management Communication professor, revoke my grade.

But ironically, based on the reader survey so far, people like my blog posts. I've thought about it while I was talking to somebody and I came to the conclusion that people like my posts because they see through my bad writing and see the essence of what I want to say.

I'm not making a case for bad writing, but good blogging-- writing that has heart.

Job Application Rejection Letter

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This early on my pursuit of continuing to establish my career, I've already gotten some negative replies in a matter of days of submitting my resume to a company. Here's one letter that's sitting in my inbox as of late:
Dear Regnard,

Thank you for your application with [name of companny].

We have given due consideration to your credentials and career aspirations and were impressed with what you have to offer us. However, we regret to inform you that we are unable to identify a suitable job match for you at this point in time.

We greatly appreciate your interest in [name of company] and wish you all the best to your career.You gotta like how they want to give me a "graceful exit" by buttering me up with a compliment before laying down the boom. Sheesh.

A former professor once told me that MBA graduates send out 400 resumes to companies before they get "The Job To End All Jobs." If that's the going rate, I still have a lot to go and even a lot more re…

Job Hunting Season

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As early as now, folks from our class who are here in Manila are having mini-"reunions" not just to catch up on what people did during the holidays, but also to look for jobs.

"Job" may be a short word, but it's the biggest thing in the minds of folks these days. Of course, people want something that would give the ROI of the MBA education at the Asian Institute of Management. And given the economic crunch the globe is facing right now, a good job may take a little time to find and won't come in a silver platter. (gasp!) Yeah, this doesn't help AIM's reputation on the placement front.

Am I looking for a job? I'm more like looking for a career at this point-- I'm willing to hold out to find something that clicks. Well, not just little click, but more like the sound of a big machine's gears falling in to place. I've heard from professors and a few alumni that the best offers, corporate or not, come in a couple of months later. Someone…

The Pigeonhole

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Yesterday, I got an email from saying that the pigeonholes for our class would be cleared to give way for the next class. I'd like to pay a little tribute to that little box where a good portion of my student life revolved around in.

So what is the pigeonhole? In the life of a student at the Asian Institute of Management, the pigeonhole is often the source of many good and bad things.

As each student is allotted one pigeonhole located in the dorm building, it's a multi-functional compartment that students would check at least once a week to get the case packs. It's also a place where the exam results are placed after the professor has marked it (often with results that irks the student). The pigeon hole is where the long Friday evening starts as the dreaded WAC cases are dropped in at 5pm.

Some students also use the pigeonhole as a makeshift locker where items from food, papers and books are placed. (I think I still have a few items stored in my pigeonhole). Whatever the …

Now Comes the Hard Part

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Now that the emotional high from the graduation at the Asian Institute of Management has more or less worn off, I guess it's time to take a look at what's ahead.

In the career front, things are still not crystal clear for me. At the time of graduation, an estimated 30% of our class have a job waiting for them as soon as we got our diplomas. I'm part of the 70% that have yet to chart my career path. The default option seems to be get a nice corporate gig that will get the ROI for the MBA studies. As far as as short term returns (and alignment with my personal plans), this seems to be the way to go. For some reason, I've imagined myself having a sign "Have MBA, Will Work" painted on it when I thought about going corporate after school.

There's always the option of pursuing something entrepreneurial, but I'm taking baby steps in this aspect. I'm going with projects that I'm familiar with, mostly internet-based. I just launched a new website call…