Thursday, October 9, 2008

From Olympic sponsorships to Obamanomics...

Chicago GSB was in the news last week for some very interesting reasons:

Obamanomics: CBS carried news about Prof. Goolsbee’s work with the Obama team to formulate much needed economic prescriptions for the American economy. It talks about Goolsbee standing out from the ‘Chicago’ school of thought, which in my opinion, is an integral part of the ‘Chicago’ school of thought (questioning everything). Some of us who had chosen Goolsbee’s course “Economics and Policy in Media, Technology and Telecom” had the highest expectations from this course and most of them were fulfilled. Not only did the class help us understand why the telecom industry is shaped the way it is, but also made a strong case for the role of government policy in shaping the structure of an industry – quite fascinating and incredibly insightful. The prof’s dedication to teaching is legendary; his web-page has a photo of him in his wedding tux, in the classroom… as is obvious, he has an amazing sense of humor and this takes the edge off the heated debates that usually happen in class. Check out his obit for Milton Friedman in the NY times – very much Chicago, of course.
PS: The best part about this class is that Goolsbee allows auditors – so if you’re interested in his class and can make a meaningful contribution, you are allowed to get his permission and sit in class – without enrolling for the course! Some professors allow this if they see evidence that you can contribute (prior industry experience, future career interest etc) whereas others just allow you to join in the fun…isn’t that awesome?

WINning at the Olympics: Mark Konjevod, a GSB alum, never could get the odor out of his shirts after his marathon training runs. Instead of changing his detergent time and again, he set out to create a new product and ultimately ended up as the official detergent for the US Olympic team! You can check out his fascinating story at this WSJ link. This quarter, I have a course “Building the New Venture” by Waverly Deutsch – an amazing professor who teaches the everyday dynamics of entrepreneurship. Chicago GSB’s entrepreneurship faculty lineup is full of rock stars:
Steve Kaplan who focuses on private equity and entrepreneurial finance.
Scott Meadow who teaches “Commercializing Innovation”
James Schrager and Susan Hapak who teach “New Venture Strategy”

Along with Waverly Deutsch and the Polsky Centre, these professors offer a great start to would-be entrepreneurs, covering the entire spectrum of conceptual and operation skills required to kickstart a new venture… no surprises when they go for the highest points in the course bidding process!

Want to discuss this topic some more? Head on over to the Chicago GSB Discussion Forums