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Old 29th August 2013, 10:23   #646
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Default Re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

Aren't the MBA/PD/Blah blah type of institutes actually some kind of elite social network you need to get into to have contacts and move up the ladder. A glorified form of "Sifarish" facilitation? I did not know any learning was involved
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Old 29th August 2013, 10:32   #647
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Aren't the MBA/PD/Blah blah type of institutes actually some kind of elite social network you need to get into to have contacts and move up the ladder. A glorified form of "Sifarish" facilitation? I did not know any learning was involved
Mostly yes but the course is designed to broaden the thinking. I also used to think on these lines but my views changed after doing a course.

Management is mostly common sense but a course provides certain standard frameworks and methodologies. There are many tools you may be already using in course of your work but so is the case with computer science many non CS graduates know stuff better then CS grads but still there are dedicated courses for CS.

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Old 29th August 2013, 12:01   #648
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This is one of the classic confusions. ...
True. I have always used the term PE for what the techies do. The PD guys are always assuming they matter. PD is w.r.t. the 'market' where the 'product' - created by the PE team - is to be sold. The PD guys most times *assume* they know what the market wants. If the PE guys go by their recommendations, one gets a 'Thar'!

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... actually some kind of elite social network you need to get into to have contacts and move up the ladder ...
The smarter ones figure that out.

Generally most other people *hope* that an additional qualification will open the door with some magic. No different from a lot of doctors (usually having small private clinics) who write a string of memberships & certifications after MBBS. The ones who know what that is all about simply do MD and write MD. No different from many small companies pompously writing "XYZ Group of Companies" (I found one such company that writes "XYZ Groups of Company").

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... Management is mostly common sense but a course provides certain standard frameworks and methodologies. ...
Sure. Like one can develop the market for Lipsticks with the same framework and methodology as for Exterior Wall Paints. The successful companies don't use *any* framework, YET the theoreticians and academicians manage to abstract it from the practice (methodology) that actually originated in ... Common Sense.

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... There are many tools you may be already using in course of your work but so is the case with computer science many non CS graduates know stuff better then CS grads but still there are dedicated courses for CS.
Inappropriate comparison. Tools are always a product of 'need to improve efficiency'. CS, or for that matter no other branch of engineering, has anything to do with that. Tool developers are neither scientists nor technologists - they know their work, and know what will make it better. Your example is another example of wrong abstraction of actual practice.

Last edited by DerAlte : 29th August 2013 at 12:04.
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Old 29th August 2013, 12:41   #649
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Sure. Like one can develop the market for Lipsticks with the same framework and methodology as for Exterior Wall Paints.
Term such as frameworks, tools and methodologies" have entirely different meanings and they are not same as "tools" as understood by engineers

Trivial Example(s) : Classic BCG matrix is a tool you can use it to represent market growth of either lipsticks or exterior wall paints.
Similarly Porter five force analysis is a framework which could be applied to analyse either cosmetics industry or paint industry alike.

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The successful companies don't use *any* framework, YET the theoreticians and academicians manage to abstract it from the practice (methodology) that actually originated in ... Common Sense.
May be they are not known at execution level but at top level huge money is paid to consultants to develop strategies using these frameworks.
For instance do you think when Phillips sold off chip design and manufacturing as NXP and later sold off consumer electronics business as well and decided just to focus on health care and lighting was it an execution level decision or coming out from day to day operational learnings ?
These particular decisions were strategic after due analysis executed over a decade and I am sure they did a due deliberation at the top level.

Similarly when Sanjay Jha decided that Motorola should stop internal platforms
and focus on Android I know personally there was huge outcry among rank and file but later he managed to get a valuation of 12 billion $ for a company which was constantly making loss and had very little hope.

The decision was very much against the common sense, probably not good from point of view of Company itself but was in best interest from PoV of shareholders value maximization so there must be some background to this.

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Inappropriate comparison. .
I am really amazed how authoritatively you comment on things before even understanding what is being said.

Last edited by amitk26 : 29th August 2013 at 12:44.
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Old 29th August 2013, 13:16   #650
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I'll have to agree with amitk26 here. Engineers and Suits don't speak the same language. They might use same words like development and tools, but the meaning is very different. I didn't know it myself until I breached the enemy territory via MBA. It involved many shocking revelations and Aha moments, at least for me.

But DerAlte also has a point. Often business schools try to make sense of something that happened on field, abstract it and try to teach it. Some strategies depend entirely on individual traits, and can't be replicated else where. You are probably better off reading biographies of successful leaders than pay big bucks to study the abstract of the same in B-school.

Consider Steve Jobs way of product development. Steve never let Marketing guys even open their mouth when it came to product design. And he never did market research. Customers didn't know what they were getting until the product launch, and then they were lining up at apple stores. He cooked up the most creative products imaginable by setting no limits. Apple probably threw their accountants from the roof tops while they complained about cost. He created a glass factory to make glass sheets for Apple stores! He imported Italian floor tiles for the store at 10 times the cost. Who does that? I don't know any company who did product design while ignoring marketing team and accountants. Now I hear they have abstracted this methodology (sic) and teaching it in some B-schools and even within Apple. Do they have to become fruitarians too? May be that is the key.

Thankfully, techies can do a business course, get into business side and can begin to understand the other side. When they understand both sides, it can lead to more sensible decisions. But it doesn't work the other way, suits can't do a course to understand techies.

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Aren't the MBA/PD/Blah blah type of institutes actually some kind of elite social network you need to get into to have contacts and move up the ladder. A glorified form of "Sifarish" facilitation? I did not know any learning was involved
That is one aspect of it, and some focus only on that. But I picked my B-school focusing only on knowledge part, and that is what I got.

Last edited by Samurai : 29th August 2013 at 13:19.
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Old 29th August 2013, 14:25   #651
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Term such as frameworks, tools and methodologies" have entirely different meanings and they are not same as "tools" as understood by engineers ...
Considering that 'tools' and methodologies were used by apes before us humans, it has to be unambiguously ...
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
... Engineers and Suits don't speak the same language. ...
Q.E.D.

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
... Trivial Example(s) ...
Would be very illuminating to know how many actual (not theoretical) instances of those have you actually seen. I am not talking of abstraction and post facto analysis tools, I am talking of PD (or rather, you started talking of PD IIRC).

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... May be they are not known at execution level but at top level huge money is paid to consultants to develop strategies using these frameworks. ...
Sure. Shall we, for the sake of continuing discussion, stick to your PD logic? Please don't digress to "divesting non-performing divisions"

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... I am really amazed how authoritatively you comment on things before even understanding what is being said.
Likewise, @amitk26, likewise - but from a different p-o-v:

* You don't know anything about what I do or have done, and for how long. Nor do I have that data about you. I don't see a reason to discuss that - as it has nothing to do with the discussion. Commenting on HOW someone else has written something, and inferring that the other person has not understood, is considered Personal Attack. I am sure you are aware of that, aren't you?

* If, instead of seeing presence or absence of fact / truth / data, refuting it with data (not supposition) and debating restricting oneself to only that (probably not having any more ideas or knowledge on the topic), one wonders about the personal qualities of another person ... I am sure you know what the issue is with you, right?

* If one is not used to one's ideas, suppositions / assumptions / presumptions and data being questioned (with alternate data being given), casting aspersions on others is an admission of one's own arrogance, no matter how jocularly or nicely the point is put

Last edited by DerAlte : 29th August 2013 at 14:27.
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Old 29th August 2013, 14:45   #652
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Would be very illuminating to know how many actual (not theoretical) instances of those have you actually seen. I am not talking of abstraction and post facto analysis tools, I am talking of PD (or you started talking of PD IIRC).
To answer that I have seen many

I can't tell you actually how many and specific instances due to strict clauses imposed by my employer but just in general terms.

It is a fact that every big product company has a technology strategy group and so we have. Usually this kind of organization is per business group.
All the new ideas /new development proposals generated internally or
proposals from 3ed party vendors or requirements based on market study and demand are channelled to these organizations

Here every solution is analysed and benchmarked against internal and externally available options and this is done using these standard methodologies/frameworks and tools.

I do not work for this kind of group , I am a technical person but whatever work I do goes to these people so knowledge of their language is helpful for me. Today I feel whatever money I spent on management course was worth spending for gaining this knowledge.


Also the examples I had given were not theoretical though they were at a bigger level and whatever I wrote above are from my day to day life.
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Sure. Shall we, for the sake of continuing discussion, stick to your PD logic? Please don't digress to "divesting non-performing divisions"
In the Phillips instance they were not non-performing divisions but in fact that was a division making profits. I do not see how it was a digression when specifically utility of tool of 'suits' was being discussed.

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Likewise, @amitk26, likewise - but from a different p-o-v:

* You don't know anything about what I do
I surely don't know what you do but when you write this you should also look at your own replies and tones.

May be I should use the same kind of response you used earlier here peace I do not want to continue on this line.
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Old 29th August 2013, 15:02   #653
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... Today I feel whatever money I spent on management course was worth spending for gaining this knowledge. ...
That is how it should be. Good for you. Maybe me and others have seen the dark side of the same in other instances, and are sceptical of motives because of that.

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... In the Phillips instance ...
I still didn't understand it since you were talking of PD earlier, but ... let it be.

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... you should also look at your own replies and tones. ... peace I do not want to continue on this line.
If you take umbrage at something - send a PM, or mention what got under your skin. It doesn't give you the right to comment on others' persona.
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Old 30th August 2013, 12:30   #654
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Product Engineering has nothing to do with Product Management and Marketing, my friend.
Well the discussion has wandered on to as which is better: turtlenecks or suits. That was never the intention. As I see it, there are 2 roles to be performed for products:

1) Product engineering role (call it R&D or just D team) - they develop quality product which can be sold in the market.

2) Product management role - they collect requirements from the users (from end customers, sales, marketing, field & product engineering) and prioritize the requirements and identify the release channel & time to hit the market.

It doesn't matter if the all in the engineering team have engineering degrees or the folks in management have an MBA. The key is to get things right. Smaller team might have same people doing both the roles. Larger teams can have multiple engineering teams & bigger management team.

The point I was trying to make in previous posts is India already has the product engineering capabilities. Since product management requires close interaction with end customers, this role is concentrated in North America & Western Europe & very little in India.
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Old 30th August 2013, 14:12   #655
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Well lot of things which the Turtle neck ( Steve Jobs) did were branding exercise and he was best brand ambassador of Apple but still it is fallacious to believe that there was only PE and no PD activity in this particular case.

At some point apple decided that iPhone should be sold at 200$ with operator lock in for 2 year and phone should not have operator demanded UX.
The market trend at that time was 1 - 10$ phone with operator lock in for 2 year and phone UX and logos were as per operator in USA and EU.

Now I am sure there must have been a big market survey to ascertain that this change in business model is possible and some suits must have ascertained that iPhone gives a consumer surplus of 190$ so can be sold as such. They deliberately launched iPhone first in USA where Mac had a cult following rather then in European market or Asian markets because some one did a market study to decide the launch phases.

No doubt cult following of Mac lovers for Steve in US who stood in queues to buy first phone helped market but the PD actually predicted the pricing and market right and remained behind the curtains.
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Old 30th August 2013, 15:06   #656
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Now I am sure there must have been a big market survey to ascertain that this change in business model is possible
Though Jobs said he didn't believe in market research, there is a lot of evidence Apple and Next actually did Market Research under Jobs. There are some videos from Jobs Next time where he talks about Market research. Even some of documents submitted by Apple in the Apple vs Samsung case has mentions of market research done by Apple.
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Old 31st August 2013, 17:29   #657
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Aren't the MBA/PD/Blah blah type of institutes actually some kind of elite social network you need to get into to have contacts and move up the ladder. A glorified form of "Sifarish" facilitation? I did not know any learning was involved
What I have observed about graduates from these elite institutes(IIMs etc) is one thing they excel is "presentation". Now I don't suggest that these institute ONLY teach presentation skills , but in this one aspect they would never fail.

On a lighter note, now aspiring novelist also try for IIM first.
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Old 17th September 2013, 17:51   #658
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What we badly need here.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles...arn-in-college
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Old 17th September 2013, 20:23   #659
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Oh, I missed the last few posts since I was at Great Escape.

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Well lot of things which the Turtle neck ( Steve Jobs) did were branding exercise and he was best brand ambassador of Apple but still it is fallacious to believe that there was only PE and no PD activity in this particular case.
Since I am the only one who mentioned Steve Jobs, I guess you are referring to me. But your reply is very confusing to me. Of course, it would be very very fallacious to think there was no PD. Who would think that?

All Steve Jobs did was PD, he left PE to engineers. What I said was Steve didn't let MBA and CPA types to interfere with PD. He was a maverick and didn't use traditional PD tools like market research, supply/demand graphs. He focused on visuals, aesthetics and ease of use. He was a technology Shock & Awe artist. He didn't design to satisfy demand, he created demand itself.

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Now I am sure there must have been a big market survey to ascertain that this change in business model is possible and some suits must have ascertained that iPhone gives a consumer surplus of 190$ so can be sold as such. They deliberately launched iPhone first in USA where Mac had a cult following rather then in European market or Asian markets because some one did a market study to decide the launch phases.
Sure, there would be market research to decide on the business model. That is done by the marketing departments, it is their SOP.

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No doubt cult following of Mac lovers for Steve in US who stood in queues to buy first phone helped market but the PD actually predicted the pricing and market right and remained behind the curtains.
Ok, I can see your confusion here. You are referring to PD in the traditional sense. The kind I explained here (IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates).

But Apple didn't follow this method of PD during Steve's time. They broke the PD into two parts, but with some important changes.

Part 1: Steve Jobs thinks up something interesting and asks his design team to give shape to it. They create many prototypes, get abused endlessly until they show him something he loves. He also worked with external companies who could provide unique technologies he needed. He didn't take input from suits (on demand) or bean counters (on cost) during this.

This may be a difficult concept to understand for most of you, unless you have led a product development with a complete free hand. Since I have done that, I have some experience in this. My creative process usually starts with goal setting. I don't think about how to reach there, because it limits the thinking. Most of the examples I can think of are about software design, no point bringing it up here. Basically I let the impossible looking goal to drive the search for solution. I basically modeled this after JFK, who set the impossible goal of landing man on moon and back by the end of the decade.

My creative goals are super tiny compared to landing man on the moon. Mine are more like, how to create a product like X, providing 90% of the features and benefits, but at half the price. But Steve had similar chutzpah as JFK. While people like me dream small within our limited skills and budget, Steve always went for the whopper. He never put any limitations on his creative process.

[The above process may be very hard to digest unless one has worked in product startups, but I had to try...]

Part 2: Steve shows the product to the suits and bean counters, and let them figure out how to sell and where to sell. This is where market research, demand/supply graphs enter the picture, and business model starts taking shape. Steve was still involved, but he didn't dictate the process here.

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Originally Posted by carboy View Post
Though Jobs said he didn't believe in market research, there is a lot of evidence Apple and Next actually did Market Research under Jobs. There are some videos from Jobs Next time where he talks about Market research. Even some of documents submitted by Apple in the Apple vs Samsung case has mentions of market research done by Apple.
The description of Part 2 should explain that.
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Old 22nd September 2013, 20:31   #660
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Very nicely put. But ...

Trees grow by themselves, without needing any nurturing. Not even watering or supplemental fertilizers. Only for decorative horticulture do the horticulturists ensure straight vertical growth by applying constraints.

Techies, on the other hand, have got used to expect constant nourishment and coaxing - completely ignoring what they can do themselves, to themselves, for themselves. Aren't they worse than trees, who at least faithfully follow what was genetically ordained? And trees don't even have brains.
Trees are very simple organisms in comparisons - the quote was a simplification of much more complex life forms as techies . Well they do require some help , to prevent being eaten as saplings, until they are large enough and have a bark to protect itself. The point anyway, was that like foliage requires nutrients (natural substances mostly, sunlight, nitrogen, water) , technical staff require guidance, training, material/equipment - all of which incur some expense. Personal drive/motivation cannot substitute these, and perhaps only extremely talented individuals and geniuses can operate in standalone manner, with little or no assistance from others. But such people are rare, most talented people still require mentoring and feedback, besides the infrastructure/equipment/material requirements.

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All Steve Jobs did was PD, he left PE to engineers. What I said was Steve didn't let MBA and CPA types to interfere with PD. He was a maverick and didn't use traditional PD tools like market research, supply/demand graphs. He focused on visuals, aesthetics and ease of use. He was a technology Shock & Awe artist. He didn't design to satisfy demand, he created demand itself.
OT for this thread but - I have been reading comments from igadget users about how iOS7 is a step back from previous version. So is the company losing its edge without Jobs at the helm?
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