Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I’ve had a couple crazy moments recently, things that were so weird and out of place that I wondered exactly what’s been going on.

I think I’ve been like, actually learning stuff at business school.

It’s been weird, when I’m just minding my own business, thinking to myself, and something from one of my classes pops in my head when I’m thinking about some kind of problem.

As an example, I was walking across campus the other day, thinking about my group project final for my technology strategy class. We’re picked a company to analyze and as a part of that, we’re spending time figuring out the technological forces and changes going on in media content distribution (I know, me working on a media-technology convergence project, such a surprise)

Anyway, I was thinking about the interfaces on most streaming web TV sites and thinking about whether it would be advantageous for any of them to adopt some kind of software algorithms to recommend other programs viewers might be interested in. Because as of right now, I don’t think they have that capability, and it would be really beneficial for some of them that have a couple really popular shows and many more smaller ones to prod viewers to their other content (and ads)

Obviously not a new idea, TiVo does it I think, and I believe Netflix at one point issued a challenge to the internet community for someone to develop just such an algorithm.

And so I started to think about how I would think about doing it, when out of the blue, a perceptual map jumped right into my brain from marketing.

Then I saw something shiny and got distracted, but then I starting thinking about what dimensions would be appropriate on such a map for television/movie programming.

I’m not sure how to deal with this, it’s like I’m building some kind of tool box.


Also, today I totally got the chance to do a very UChicago thing and sit and hear a Nobel economist speak. That was definitely pretty cool.

The topic was essentially covering the increasing returns on education across the world as well as male/female splits of people pursuing education.

Most of it I was already pretty familiar with, but I thought the suggestion that the increase in female’s going to college is because the supply of women is more homogenous and therefore, more elastic (and if you ever want to get slapped in a bar…try going up to a woman and saying, ‘baby, you’re so homogenous’)

Anyway, the idea that women are more homogenous was supported by the fact that women in college have far smaller standard deviations in their average GPAs. I’m not sure that’s conclusive, but I thought it was a really interesting argument.

It was also good to hear that I share many of my personal beliefs on the education system with a Nobel economist. Crush teachers’ unions and pay based on merit.

My words, not his.

His probably have a lot more nuance and many more graphs.

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