“I understand now. This world doesn’t belong to them; it belongs to us.”

If you watched the HBO show, Westworld, you probably recognize this quote. Dolores, one of the androids, said this at the end of the season when she realizes her power over humans. The entire show is based on the idea that humans created these robots that will eventually outsmart and kill us. Who knows if this will be a reality someday, but lucky for us I think we’ll all die before this happens.

So on that positive note…I’ll share some of my thoughts about our semester together.

First, let me set the stage in case you haven’t been reading my posts and don’t know much about me. I am a part-time MBA student with a full-time job, and 3 part-time jobs. Aside from my day job (financial services), I teach group fitness, I’m a personal trainer, and I started an online business focused on helping women achieve a healthy lifestyle (fitness, nutrition, mindset, etc.). I took this class mainly to help me in my entrepreneurial efforts with my online biz.

Before I took this course, I thought there was probably a lot more about social media and digital business that I needed to learn about. Now I know there is.

The three big takeaways I have from Social Media and Digital Business:

1. The technological world is advancing faster than ever. 

It’s crazy to think about how far we’ve come in just 10 years! The speed and efficiency of technological innovation seems to be increasing, and it’s getting hard to keep up with. That being said, another thing I learned is…

2. I need to make a conscious effort to keep up.

I can’t do what I used to and just slowly adjust as I see others start to use new gadgets and platforms. I need to keep up in order to stay relevant, especially now that I own my own business. Both this and #1 were points that I made in my very first post, but our class definitely accentuated their importance. Number 3, however, is a newer realization…

3. There’s some really freakin’ cool stuff in the works. 

I didn’t know much about AI or Blockchain before class. I’ll be honest…I still don’t totally understand them. BUT I’ve definitely made progress in my understanding and my recognition of their utility in different parts of society and business. Futuristic inventions using bots, AI, VR, and Blockchain are becoming real and actually getting integrated into our daily life. This is CRAZY to think about, but I think that’s why a lot of people don’t bother- it freaks them out too much. It definitely freaks me out as well, but now I’m realizing that I have to force myself into those thoughts if I don’t want to fall behind.

Here’s some of the things we talked about in class that helped me realize just how crazy these technological advances are getting…

Self-driving cars/trucks…

Artificial intelligence…

A Baxter robot of Rethink Robotics picks up a business card as it performs during a display at the World Economic Forum (WEF), in China's port city Dalian, Liaoning province, China, September 9, 2015. Chinese robotics firms are grappling with a weakening economy and slumping automotive sector, and industry insiders already predict a market bubble just three years after the central government issued policies to spur robotics development. Picture taken September 9, 2015.

Virtual reality…VR.jpg

Advances (some good, some scary) in social media…

Image result for social media

Sharing economies like Airbnb and Uber…

Image result for sharing economies

Blockchain…

Image result for blockchain

And tons more, plus tons of issues around these subjects (political, legal, societal, etc. implications).

I appreciated the insights of my fellow grad students, but also learned a lot from hearing the perspectives of the undergrads. I’m always surprised by how big of a difference just a few years can make.

All of the presentations throughout the semester were so well-done, and so much fun to watch. I will definitely recommend this class, although it will be hard to give it all the praise it deserves! Thanks @geraldckane for an truly enlightening semester.

9 comments

  1. drewsimenson · ·

    Excellent post! I am excited for our future (albeit somewhat cautiously). And you reminded me I need to get into Westworld. Cheers!

  2. fayehubregsen · ·

    @studentkatieh Getting the opportunity to hear your perspective on SMDB throughout this semester has made for even more compelling class discussion. As a senior about to leave the BC eagles nest, it is such a unique experience to learn alongside an entrepreneur like you that already has ton of work experience and is shoulder-deep in pursuing your passions. Very inspiring!

  3. @fayehubregsen thank you for the kind words! Starting my own business has been the biggest rollercoaster ever, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s really an incredible feeling to create something all on your own. I hope everyone gives it a try someday, even if it is just a “side-hustle” for awhile :)

  4. Nice post! I agree with all of what you said and I too feel the pressure to keep up to date. It is going to be hard for all of us to stay in the front-lines with such a vast array of technologies coming out like MR, AI, Blockchain, and many more. We can only hope that those new technologies lead to a world of less inequality and more opportunities.

  5. I agree with you– I really want to make an effort to keep moving with technology. I think it’s great that you took this class to gain more entrepreneurial experience in social media/digital business and I hope you found ways to directly improve your business! All of the technological advances you featured here were also some of my favorite subjects in the class and I’m glad we all got to learn about it.

  6. viquezj · ·

    Great post! I agree that keeping up with today’s technology will be the hardest part for me once I graduate from college. As students with deep knowledge and understanding in social media and the digital business we have the responsibility to stay up to date with the most current technological advances and even become early adapters to new products, even incorporate them in our ventures/projects to ensure that customers will have a pleasant experience. I think you also did a good job selecting the highlights of the course. As you mention, it is also important to take into consideration the political, legal and societal implications of each individual technological advance as they will deeply change our daily interactions as a society.

  7. DanKaplan · ·

    Awesome job. Speaking to your point #2- I feel like it is nearly impossible to keep up with all that is going on in the world. As long as we are able to understand the important things going on around us, it is not necessary to spend all day on social media learning more about viral stories. I really liked your title. One of the best components of the course, as you mentioned, was the balance between graduate and undergraduate students. It is really cool to see both perspectives and I also will recommend this course to friends.

  8. terencenixdorf · ·

    Fantastic title. I have to admit, I was very jealous of your quote and just how relevant it is to this course. I think that all of three of your points are relevant to all of us in this class. The technology world is changing rapidly and all of us have to do our best to keep up with it that way we aren’t totally left behind. I think one of my favorite things about this class is learning about all the cool stuff that’s coming down the theoretical pipe, whether it be from shares on Twitter or in-class discussions. When it comes to tech, the world is different today than it was yesterday and the world tomorrow will be different than today. I think that this will always be true and it’s both exciting and scary (but hopefully way more exciting). Thanks for a thought provoking post!

  9. benrmcarthur · ·

    I cannot believe we didn’t talk about West World at all throughout this class. I think the whole AI part of the show could’ve related plenty to what we talked about throughout the course. It’s great you could take some things away from this course that specifically applies to your hustle and side-hustles, but what I think will be more important is the effort to continue to keep up with the digital world after this class. There will be much more development at a rapid pace and we have to stay on top of everything or become obsolete.

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