Logan Dunn

How can I ask better questions?

This post is a much smaller post than the others I included in my personal strategy. The purpose of this post is to rehash effective strategies to asking the right questions that I picked up in my MBA 580 Strategy class taught by Paul Godfrey.

First off, why is it important to “ask the right question?” Isn’t it better to be able find answers? While answers are important, not all answers are created equal. The answer is only as right as the question you are asking. What happens if you find an answer to a questions that is irrelevant to the current situation? Obviously it is not going to help. “But I’m not that stupid. I’m not going to go after irrelevant information,” you might say. Wrong! Boston Globe reporter Leon Neyfakh studied this topic and claims we do this all the time:

“Adults tend to rush through [complex mental maneuvers that children naturally do], perhaps because they seem like second nature. But figuring out what makes a good question—or rather, what kind of question will get us the information we want—isn’t such a simple thing, even for grownups. It requires stopping to think about what we’re trying to find out, what the person we’re talking to might know, and what words we should use to coax them into helping us. …

“That can get harder as we get older, in large part because we grow more confident that we understand the world around us, and lose the capacity to see past our own beliefs. This is a particular concern in the business world, where companies hunger for advice on how to break out of their patterns.”

Leon Neyfakh, Boston Globe

So what makes a good question? Good questions are open-ended and answer one or more of “the journalist’s six”: what, how, who, where, when, and why. Good questions go beyond the obvious, they are penetrating, they unmask the hidden, they open new alternatives, they are specific, they challenge assumptions, they are timely, and they demand commitment. In contrast, bad questions are simplistic, leading, preloaded, and shut down rather than open up.

So how can we ask better questions? In an optional session on asking questions, Prof. Godfrey gave some sound recommendations:

  1. Be like Sherlock HolmesYour questions are only as good as your knowledge. One must pay attention to the details (both what you see and what you don’t see). As you gain knowledge, you must suspend judgement until you have all of the facts, or at least as many as are possible to gather.
  2. Be like a toddler and play the “why game.” Ask “why?” at least five times and don’t stop at the “adult reason” (see above).
  3. Be like Winston Churchill. Study the history behind the topic at hand so you understand the borader context.
  4. Be like Paul Van Riper. Avoid information overload and seek out forecasts rather than current conditions.

But while those suggestions are great, it is definitely easier said than actually becoming like Sherlock or Churchill. Perhaps the biggest factor we discussed in the session was the need to budget 1-2 decades to the effort. Asking good questions is a skill that gets picked up over time, to the point that in a “blink” we can understand a situation and formulate the right question. We discussed a couple of ways that we can begin to cultivate experience and expertise, so we can be excellent question askers as we progress throughout life:

  1. Be more diverse. Cultivate other perspectives, build a network of diverse people, and touch the elephant in different places. Diversity is critical to asking good questions. This allows you to have a broad range of experiences and perspectives to draw from, so you can avoid the problem mentioned above of “seeing past our own beliefs.”
  2. Seek to continuously learn. Never go on a plane without a book. My favorite quote from Prof. Godfrey on this subject is to “read promiscuously,” that is, seek out many, diverse “partners” when it comes to literature: philosophy, science, geology, history. If it is interesting and it will broaden you, read it.

I love to learn, in fact I have goals to read a certain number of books over the summer, but where I really lack is diversity. I am from Idaho; I went to school there; I moved to Utah for work… Yeah, you get the point. I did spend a few years in Venezuela on an LDS mission, which was a perfect opportunity to cultivate diversity, but I still need to be more diverse.

So what can I do to be more diverse? Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Travel. Nothing exposes you to diversity like putting yourself in another’s culture.
  • START SMALL. You don’t need to be a globetrotter tomorrow.
  • Eat out at different restaurants (or even order something out of the ordinary).
  • Watch diverse movies and read a varied selection of books.
  • Go to cultural events (plays, celebrations, etc.).
  • Say “Hi” to new people. Put yourself out of your comfort zone and meet more people.

Do my resources match up with what I want out of life?

You can talk all you want about having a strategy for your life, understanding motivation, and balancing aspirations with unanticipated opportunities. But ultimately, this means nothing if you do not align those with where you actually expend your time, money, and energy.

In other words, how you allocate your resources is where the rubber meets the road.

Real strategy— in companies and in our lives— is created through hundreds of everyday decisions about where we spend our resources. As you’re living your life from day to day, how do you make sure you’re heading in the right direction? Watch where your resources flow. If they’re not supporting the strategy you’ve decided upon, then you’re not implementing that strategy at all.

—Christensen, Clayton M.; Allworth, James; Dillon, Karen (2012-05-15). How Will You Measure Your Life? (p. 62). HarperBusiness. Kindle Edition.

As you can see in the quote above, the effective execution of strategy really depends on whether or not we devote sufficient resources to that plan. In a discussion on Clayton Christensen’s book How Will You Measure Your Life?, our strategy class discussed successful resource allocation. As an exercise in personal resource allocation, the professor recommend that we track our time for a week and then evaluate that time on to how closely it aligns with our personal strategy.

I decided that would be a good idea for me since I was currently in the process of defining my personal strategy, so I tracked just over a week’s worth of time to see how strategically focused my activities really are. I then followed the professor’s advice and evaluated my time based on his recommended 1-5 scale:

  • 5 = Strategically focused
  • 4 = In the neighborhood of strategy
  • 3 = Getting work done
  • 2 = Fighting fires
  • 1= Recovery

I did tweak the evaluation a little. After having already tracked my time in calendar software, I saw that it would have been better to divide my time into 30-minute blocks rather than by individual activities (often much longer than 30 minutes). From there I could have assigned each block of time the 1-5 rating and then counted based on the 30-minutes increments. Instead, because I rated it by activity, all I can see is the numer of activities devoted to each rating rather than the amount of time devoted. When I do this again, I plan on using Excel, which will allow for easier analysis.

My findings were still very insightful and what I found surprised me. Here is my analysis from the past two weeks:

 

Week 1

Week 1 (click to enlarge)

Week 2

Week 2 (click to enlarge)

 

Just tracking my week so thoroughly brought insights, but really the first part of my analysis involved counting how many times each rating appeared:

  • 5s – Strategically focused – 20 activities
  • 4s – Neighborhood of strategy – 33 activities
  • 3s – Getting work done – 55 activities
  • 2s – Fighting fires – 9 activities
  • 1s – Recovery – 16 activities

By far the majority of my time was spent in “getting work done.” So I work hard, but who at the graduate level doesn’t? I don’t spend near enough time engaging in level 5 activities, those activities that really set me up for the future. Additionally, five of those level 5 ratings are because of LDS General Conference and two from working on my personal strategy project. Most likely, had I not had conference or my personal strategy portfolio, I wouldn’t have used that time in level 5 activities. That would put me back to 13 level 5 activities.

To be fair, some of my level 3 and 4 time could count towards my strategy. I classified school work as a level 3 activity and MBA classes as a level 4 activity. Those do play into my personal strategy (getting an MBA), but I ranked them as lower-than a level 5 activity because there will always be work required to fulfill my strategy. I will eventually be in the workplace, but I wouldn’t count all my work hours as fulfilling my strategy. The same is true for my school work. There are pockets of school work I felt like were perfectly aligned with strategy, such as working on my personal strategy project, my final brand management presentation, and a visit we had to Durham Brands.

I spent far too much time in recovery. Granted this could be because it’s the end of the semester and stress is mounting, but I would still consider some of that “recovery” wasted time. Recovery is important, but I believe it is overused and becomes a vice in most of our lives. This pattern is seen on my personal diamond as well. I often engage in activities that feed a weakness, love of entertainment. A questions I am still trying to work out in my personal study is, “Why can some people just go and go and never tire/need time for recovery?” President Eyring, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the LDS Church, is a shining example of this.

The remainder of my level 5 activities are centered around serving others, which I consider a priority in my life (see the diamond again). What I really desire, though still need to improve on, is using my time for doing good. My patriarchal blessing talks about me “always be found doing those things that are right.” To me that means that I use my time engaging in the right activities, these level 5 activities. But how do I get there?

To help with this I have a few goals to improve:

  • Start small: I want to lower the amount of time I spend in self-entertainment and focus that time on serving others/developing myself (see my blue ocean strategy for my self-development plans). To do this I will set a weekly goal to complete one or two level 5 activities before I can use entertainment. I will start small with these activities and work up to greater activities as I am more accustomed to using my time in that direction.
  • Weekly strategic thinking: I have been trying to write two journal entries every week where I reflect on my personal strategy. Again I am starting small. They don’t need to be anything long and wordy.
  • Weekly planning session: I have a new years resolution to conduct a weekly planning session where I evaluate my goals and priorities for the past week and plan for the future. I want to continue this as well.

What are my strengths and how can I avoid becoming a victim of my own success?

To start to answer this question, I conducted an analysis using the diamond below.

diamond

Paul Godfrey, BYU MBA 580

 

Values and Priorities:

  • Creating meaningful relationship with my Heavenly Father and my Family
  • Keeping my commitments (to Heavenly Father, to my family, to my friends, and to my teams)
  • Meaningful work (work that has a purpose, is challenging, and provides intrinsic rewards)
  • Collaboration and humility (I’m not the smartest guy in the room and seeking input/counsel from others leads to a better product)
  • Constant improvement (both mentally through learning new things and physically through exercise and sports training)
  • Giving back through service (reaching out to others, giving time to my team members, making a difference in the community—i.e., It’s not about me)
  • Integrity (absolute honestly; being the same person in private I am in public)
  • Balance (making sure I keep that which is most important in perspective)
  • Succeeding in my internship this summer (making a difference for my company, learning new things, building meaningful relationships, and getting the offer)

 

Capabilities:

  • Able to quickly grasp tech and development principles
  • Ability to understand complex problems
  • Capable of front-end web development and other online marketing tasks
  • Willing to seek out knowledge through others
  • Desire to collaborate with others
  • Dedicated to completing commitments
  • Willing to work hard to get a job done

Assets:

  • Incredible access to learning materials through technology (Mac, iPhone, Kindle)
  • Sufficient financial resources to invest in self-education
  • Years of experience in online marketing
  • Training in development fundamentals
  • Personal website (to try out new knowledge)
  • Bikes and outdoor equipment (encourages outdoor activities)
  • Personal network and social media connections in the Web industry
  • BYU/LDS Network
  • Spanish language skills

These first three parts of the diamond are meant to be building blocks to my activities below.

Activities:

  • Constantly have a book on the reading desk (goal to read two improvement books over the summer and at least one enjoyment book)
  • Listen to multiple educational podcast each week
  • Volunteer to help whenever I can
  • Always put in best effort in tasks and assignments (perfectionist mentality: do it right or don’t do it)
  • Devote time to church calling
  • Love to spend time with friends/family being social
  • Rarely miss deadlines
  • Utilize online tutorials to strengthen online skills
  • Consistently exercise, compete in triathlons, and spend time outdoors
  • Spend too much time in mindless entertainment (watching shows online)
  • Wait until pressure builds to complete tasks (constantly putting out fires)

Strengths and Weaknesses:

  • Strengths
    • Love of learning
    • Quickly pick up tech stuff (I just get it)
    • Speak fluent Spanish
    • Do well in school and in structured programs
    • Rely on the Lord
    • Strong Interpersonal Skills
    • Take Initiative
    • Balanced lifestyle (family, physically health, work, spiritual)
  • Weaknesses
    • Desire to be entertained
    • Easily distracted
    • Take too much onto my plate at a time
    • Difficulty writing (I feel like I am a good writer, but it is a slow and painful process at times, thus I often avoid it)
    • Insufficient forward thinking

 

This activity was essential to me as I crafted my deliberate strategy and my blue ocean strategy. As you read those strategies, you will find that I have tried to leverage my strengths in learning, passion for tech, spanish speaking, and balanced lifestyle. I do feel like I have a bit of a disconnect between my activities and my strengths and weaknesses. My activities may be feeding more into my weaknesses rather than into my strengths  You can see it in the way I allocate my resources (which is in my post on how I use my resources).

Getting my diamond into order should help me boost my level of success in life. Thinking about success led me to think about this idea of becoming a victim of my own success. What does it mean to be a “victim of my own success?” Well, we see it all the time in famous individuals. He or she will make it big, get a lot of money, and then blow the money on lavish, unnecessary things. The individual gets too much money or fame for his or her system to handle. From there, a lifestyle begins to develop and the person will have more and more pressure to succeed to maintain that standard of living. Often an overload will happen in the form of a breakdown, sending the person into drugs, alcohol, and dishonest lifestyles.

Author Michael Ellsberg says there is just too much energy for that person to handle:

“To use an analogy, just as a system which depends on electricity can have too little electricity running through it (and not turn on), if that same system gets a rapid, unexpected, and overwhelming jolt of electricity, the whole system can fry… except, in our own human nervous system, we don’t have fuses which blow first to save us… we just have nervous meltdowns.”

…nervous meltdowns at the expense of our loved ones.

So how does this apply to my life? It may not be lots of money, but what about success in the workplace? What happens when I start to perform well and the business demands more and more? Will I divert more and more time from my family to work, so I can maintain a fast and faster pace? Businesses will run you as hard as you can go. I need to decide where my stopping point is. On the other end of the spectrum, I can fall victim by thinking, “Hey, I’m seeing some great success. I guess that means I am doing pretty good and can take a break for a while.”

From stressguide101.blogspot.com

From stressguide101.blogspot.com

How do I avoid becoming a victim of my own success?

I have thought about a few things I can implement to avoid falling victim to my own success:

  • Continuously develop my skills – By continually learning new knowledge, skills, and personal capabilities, even when I am seeing success, I can avoid falling into the trap of thinking I am good enough.
  • Know my priorities – A firm understanding of my priorities (as seen above) will help me focus on what is most important so I can more effectively allocate resources.
  • Practice balance – I need to realize I have many stakeholders in my life and giving too much to any one of those stakeholders will surely frustrate the others. There are times when I need to assess where my resources are going, what my true priorities are, and how to rebalance those resources (often at the expense of another stakeholder).
  • Learn how to say no – I can’t catch every boat. I need to know when to quit, when to say “no,” and when my plate is full. This is often difficult for me because I have a desire to please others, but this is necessary because there will always be more to say “yes” to.

What is my deliberate strategy and how can I remain open to emerging opportunities?

 

From http://www.web-books.com/eLibrary/ON/B0/B58/031MB58.html

From http://www.web-books.com/eLibrary/ON/B0/B58/031MB58.html

 

Deliberate vs. Emergent?

A deliberate strategy is more than a goal, dream, or hope for the future. It is a written down, deliberately focused on plan for the future. This is where you intended to go if all goes according to that plan. An emergent strategy, on the other hand, really represents the unanticipated problems and opportunities that happen as you are seeking to fulfill your deliberate strategy. Ultimately, those emerging problems and opportunities should merge with your deliberate strategy, resulting in what is actually realized in the end (see above).

In his book How Will You Measure Your Life?, Clayton Christensen uses the example of Honda Motorcycles to illustrate deliberate and emergent strategies. Honda came to the U.S. intending to compete with big bike brands such as Harley Davidson and Triumph. Due to equipment problems and high shipping costs, Honda was headed for disaster (its deliberate strategy was not working). During this difficult time, an employee took to the hills on a small off-road bike meant only for employees. Up there someone saw that employee and wanted one of those cool “dirt bikes.” From there Honda picked up traction in the off-road segment, and the rest is history. Honda adapted its strategy to the emergent opportunity creating a much stronger realized strategy in the end.

What is my strategy?

For the longest time I have believed more in allowing opportunities to come my way. Sure I have had plans before, usually fairly vague ones, but I always had at least some direction. In addition, my plans were almost  always for the next step of life and not for far into the future. That was the extent of my deliberate strategy.

I have historically leaned towards emergent, “whatever comes my way” opportunities. I link emergent opportunities to those plans that God puts into our paths. For that reason I have focused too much on saying, “I will just submit to the will of God and go where He wants me to go.” While that is a good thing, I am beginning to understand that Heavenly Father will provide the most guidance when we make our own decisions, plans, and strategies, and then seek His will for confirmation or changes.

From a scriptural standpoint I think about the story of Nephi in 1 Ne. chapters 3-4. Nephi went with his brothers to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates (a history of his fathers and commandments from God), but when they got there they found that Laban, who had control of the brass plates, would not give them up. Nephi and his brothers sat down and came up with a plan to pay Laban with the family riches to “buy” the plates off of him. That didn’t work either. With their plans exhausted, but attempted, the Lord then intervened and lead Nephi by the spirit to dispose of Laban and get the records. Another example is found in Ether chapters 2-3. In this case the Lord commanded the Brother of Jared to devise a strategy for lighting barges to cross the ocean. After the Brother of Jared came back with a plan, only then did the Lord confirm that plan and help them cross the ocean. There are many other examples from the scriptures of the Lord requiring his children to devise a strategy before help/guidance is given.

That is strong evidence to me that emerging opportunities given from above are meant to work with the deliberate strategies we already have in place.

So what is my deliberate strategy?

As I have been working on my personal strategy questions, I have found they are all closely tied together. Part of my deliberate strategy depends on my “personal diamond” and my “blue ocean” strategy. From the diamond I use my values, priorities, capabilities, and assets to identify activities that provide personal strengths and weaknesses. I can then leverage those strengths to create my deliberate strategy for the future. From my blue ocean strategy I can find a unique combination of skills that gives me a competitive advantage against my peers. I can leverage that to provide distinct benefits to an organization and security in my career.

My deliberate strategy is to go into a more traditional marking role for the first 5-10 years of my after-MBA career and then to transition back to something in tech (preferably product management). I plan to gain those traditional marketing skills from a career in the consumer packaged goods world, becoming a full-on brand manager in the first 5-10 years.

In 10-15 years, I would like to carry that traditional marketing prowess back to a tech company. I haven’t decided whether or not I want to go to a large company or a small one, but when I do get back to tech, I would like to be a product manager. If I work on a large product, I want to specifically be over the consumer marketing aspect of it, but if I am on a small or medium sized one, I want to be in charge of the entire product.

I am planning on mixing CPG with tech because I feel like there is a big lack of traditional marketing experience in the fast-paced tech world. It’s been a trend of some tech giants to hire CPG brand managers to do consumer marketing on its products. For example, Microsoft has hired two BYU alumni to do consumer marketing in its entertainment division. One is working on Xbox as a Sr. Product Manager and the other on Windows Phone. The PM on Windows Phone worked as a brand manager at P&G for many years and then went to Kellogg’s before choosing Microsoft. The other worked in consumer marketing at Johnson & Johnson before going over.

I see this path as a strategic move for me. It is next to impossible to go from a tech background over to CPG. One really needs to use grad school as a launchpad to get into the CPG world. It’s a lot easier to go from a CPG company over to a tech company as illustrated by the BYU alums at Microsoft. To stay sharp on my tech skills in the meantime, I am further expanding my Web development skills (part of my blue ocean strategy). This will help me to specifically target a Web-based company upon my return. To advise me on my course, I am currently being mentored by the Sr. Product Manager over Windows Phone, Tom Hafen.

AStrategyDrivenLife_iTunesArtwork1

From http://www.personalstrategy.org/

My deliberate strategy is not just career oriented. Part of it is to continue to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle; thus, I want to put priority on my Heavenly Father, my family, and my physical health.

To maintain balance in my life I plan on making sure I work hard and stay focused while I am at work. This is easier said than done, however. So much time is wasted while at work. For me, I have goals for the summer (and my work-life in general) to not waste time on Facebook or other internet sites, to pay attention during meetings, and to remove distractions/interruptions. This will help me to be more productive so I can keep work at the office and not bring it home with me, helping me to be focused on family during family time, church during church time, etc.

When it comes to physical health, always having a race or triathlon on the horizon helps me to dedicate the necessary time to reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Still a work in progress

My strategy is still a work in progress and I am in the process of refining it. I have found that when I plan for the future without the right motivation, I never reach my goals. Perhaps that is why Christensen taught first about motivation before he spoke about creating a strategy:

“It’s impossible to have a meaningful conversation about happiness without understanding what makes each of us tick. When we find ourselves stuck in unhappy careers— and even unhappy lives— it is often the result of a fundamental misunderstanding of what really motivates us.”

–Christensen, Clayton M.; Allworth, James; Dillon, Karen (2012-05-15). How Will You Measure Your Life? (p. 25). HarperBusiness. Kindle Edition.

I am in the process of understanding my motivators. I believe the biggest motivator for me will be my personal vision, an understanding of what my purpose is and what I am capable of. I am seeking a greater personal vision through revelation. The best part about having a solid personal vision, is that I won’t always have revelation at my fingertips, but if I can solidify my vision through revelation, it can stand as an unmovable guide. Christensen spent years trying to understanding his purpose in life. What a driver that must be! I have a general understanding of my purpose, but I feel like I need to get a better vision of that purpose.

“Purpose [is] the critical ingredient that [guides us] in the application of the theory.”

–Christensen, Clayton M.; Allworth, James; Dillon, Karen (2012-05-15). How Will You Measure Your Life? (p. 195). HarperBusiness. Kindle Edition.

Emergence

My deliberate strategy is already shifting with an emerging opportunity at 3M. I will be doing my summer internship there. I know I will have at least one project in the consumer product world, but it will not be like a full-on CPG internship. This could be a great opportunity to tweak my deliberate strategy into sometime better suited to my skills and abilities.

It is important to remain open to emerging opportunities. Here are some ways that I can keep myself open to them:

  • HAVE A DELIBERATE STRATEGY (This will facilitate being open to emergent strategies that my Heavenly Father has for me)
  • Be more diverse (When I am in “the norm” I may not have many new, emerging opportunities. By putting myself in diverse situations I can expose myself to a larger number of opportunities.)
  • Be a life-long networker (Keeping a large pool of contacts will open the gate to new, and often different-than-I-am-used-to, opportunities)
  • Be a life-long learner (Continuous learning will allow me to develop new skills and find new interests in life)

 

 

What is my blue ocean strategy?

Red vs. Blue Oceans

Coming into the Marriott School I was surprised to find out my fellow classmates knew much less than I imagined about Web marketing.  When I think about the hours and hours that I have put in on the subject I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised: Let’s see, I worked on average 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, and 50 weeks per year for 3 years. That comes to 6,000 hours. According to Anders Ericsson’s 10,000 hour rule (made popular by Malcolm Gladwell in Outliers), I am about 3/5 of the way to becoming a master on the subject. To be fair, during those 6,000+ hours at work I wasn’t just working on internet marketing and development, but I did do a lot of work on the side, putting me thousands of hours ahead of my classmates. After learning about blue vs. red ocean strategies in my strategy class, my mind immediately went to my knowledge of the Web as a potential blue ocean strategy.

 

What is this blue vs. red ocean thing?

The idea of blue and red oceans comes from the book “Blue Ocean Strategy,” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne (who also wrote a summary of their book in HBR).Kim and Mauborgne created this idea in contest to Michael Porter’s “Five Forces,” thus the idea of blue oceans is for industry-level strategy. Basically, Kim and Mauborgne recommend that you stop competing in overcrowded industries, or red oceans, where it is a constant battle to outperform your rivals to get a bigger piece of the pie and higher profits. These red oceans will continue to fill with competitors, turing the water bloody. Instead Kim and Mauborgne recommend that you create a blue ocean, or an uncontested marketplace (or at least less-contested). “In blue oceans, you invent and capture new demand, and you offer customers a leap in value while also streamlining your costs.” To illustrate this, the authors use the example of Cirque du Soleil:

Value-innovation-Cirque-du-Soleil

From ityphoon.org

 

 

My blue ocean

So how does this strategy apply to me personally? Well, as Kim and Mauborgne highlight, the core of a blue ocean strategy is value innovation—creating differentiation from others.  I need to lower costs, or get rid of certain things that may be very costly to develop and maintain, while at the same time increase value to my buyers, or develop skills those key stakeholders in my life, such as the company I will work for and my family, will find beneficial.

As I mentioned above, I believe this is found in leveraging my understating of Web development and online marketing and combining that with an advanced understanding of business. That combination seems to be just technical and differentiated enough to be an area where few play.

blue_ocean_1

My blue ocean strategy

 

This blue ocean opens up options for me to be an online product manager, a role where I can leverage my development skills to “speak the language” of the programmers and at the same time leverage my business skills to strategically direct my product to success.

 

Another possible blue ocean

Having served a two-year LDS mission to Caracas, Venezuela, I believe I can use my Spanish language fluency to create another potential blue ocean. I can combine my language/culture skills with my blue ocean strategy mentioned above to further differentiate myself from others.

blue_ocean_2

 

 

Resources to strengthen this strategy:

I would say that I am far from proficient in this area, and a full-fledged Web developer who goes back to get an MBA will be able to pass/match me in many instances. My true blue ocean comes by excelling in both business and Web development. I need to be strong in business strategy and a very capable developer. To help me achieve this I have found a host of resources I can use to further develop myself.

To learn how to be a developer: Code Academy / Treehouse / Lynda.com

To stay sharp on the latest industry trends:

 

What are my goals to effectively carry out my blue ocean strategy?

I need to stay up-to-date on industry trends, and learn how to be a better developer. I also need to stay fresh on my Spanish and improve my business vocabulary. To do this I am going to take a business spanish class and look for opportunities to practice.

Goal:

  • Improve development skills through above resources
    • Study Code Academy 1hr per week during school (Saturday morning)
    • During summer study code academy for 1hr per day
    • During internship continue weekly study at rate that works with internship (at least 1hr)
  • Take business Spanish class next year
  • Read 3x business development articles per week