End of Year Thoughts

I truly cannot believe that this is my last blog post for IS6621. With the amount of in course material we learned, as well as information from some fantastic presentations, blogs, and tweets, I truly believe there is enough information for us to keep discussing these topics long beyond this semester. Unfortunately, that is not the reality of our current situation, so as a substitute to that idea I will use this final blog post to sum up some of my favorite things I learned in this semester, as well as some things from this class that I will be keeping an eye on in my future endeavors.

1

One of my favorite subjects that we honed in on this summer was Bitcoin. Whether it was the module on Blockchain, the student presentation on Bitcoin, or our in class discussions on the cryptocurrency and its movement, Bitcoin seemed to be a subject that kept coming up again and again. What shocked me the most about this subject is how difficult it is to understand, and how few people truly understand it. What do you mean it’s not backed by anything? What do you mean no one has any idea who runs it? What do you mean it can be used to buy things on the dark web with no trace of purchase? And it is worth $10,000 per coin?! With Goldman and other big time financial companies looking in to establishing their own cryptocurrencies, and huge companies like Starbucks allowing you to buy your coffee with Bitcoin, cryptocurrency is an important subject to have an understanding of in our society going forward. This class gave me great exposure to this digital business progression that it appears will be very relevant in our future.

 

Another subject that we discussed, in several different modules and presentations throughout the semester, that was fascinating to me personally was how the way that we communicate with each other has changed as a result of progressions in technology. Has texting really affected the ability of our younger generations to communicate face to face? Has Snapchat really figured out the exact way to keep us coming back to the app? How has social media benefitted or hurt our relationships with one another, in terms of the positives such as long distance communication or the negatives such as the effect on our personal self-worth and well-being? These subjects affect all of us personally, and are very visible in our daily lives, and therefore were very cool to discuss in a high level classroom setting.

 

 

A third subject that we discussed at length that really interested me throughout the duration of this course is the affect that technology has had on business. As I have mentioned a couple times throughout the length of this course, I am always looking for ways to make money from my couch. It was really cool to see the ways that technology has opened up new business models and ways to make money. My presentation on dropshipping was just one example of these new ways to do business that could have never been done in previous generations. It was really cool to see how companies like Airbnb and Uber, among others, used changes in technology (and society as a result of technology) to form their own successful companies. I never thought about using new ways to do old things (taxis, hotels, etc.) as a way to formulate a company, and learning about these subjects and others has helped me look at things in a new way.

2

Beyond these three subjects that were of great interest to me personally, there are also several aspects of this course that I will keep an eye on going forward in my future endeavors. Based on presentations and our class module on Artificial Intelligence, I think that this will be a huge part of our lives going forward, and will have an impact on several different aspects of industry besides its current level of impact on Pokemon Go. Secondly, I think that Big Data and user privacy is, and will continue to be, a massive issue for us as a society as long as we live. The creepy/cool line when it comes to this issue will never truly go away, as companies will try and get more and more targeted towards users, while users will likely try to become more and more private as the abilities of Big Data increase. Related to this idea, I think it will be interesting to see what happens with different social media outlets, if Facebook can continue to be present in almost all aspects of our online life, and if other companies like Twitter and Snap can survive and adapt to society.

 

This course taught me, above all, that there is an incredible amount of incredibly cool progress being made in digital business, as well as a lot of things going on that are incredibly scary, and that the general public cannot fully understand. I’m hoping that someday we won’t eventually get taken over by machine learning robots, but until then I can’t wait to see what new benefits that technology will provide. Thank you all for an incredibly fun class!

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