The #IS6621 Starting 5

Since I am still on a high from the Boston Celtics’ Game 7 win last night, I realized that the perfect way to showcase my final thoughts on the semester would be to create the ultimate “Starting 5” for the topics that divulged into this semester.

Putting together a Starting 5 that would be best equipped with handling the trials and tribulations of today’s digital business was not as easy as I originally thought it would be. Some technologies and topics were very close to getting the starting nod but in the end could not be trusted enough to have out on the floor during a crucial shift in consumer trends. So without further ado, here is the #IS6621 Starting 5.

Point Guard- Facebook

The point guard is considered to be the team’s ultimate facilitator, and Facebook has its hands on everything nowadays within digital business. With close to 2 billion users on the platform, it is hard to deny the influence that Facebook has on society, including consumer trends and opinions of celebrities. The growth and innovation within digital business goes as Facebook goes. Its data is so intertwined with many third party platforms that it is hard not to recognize the power that Facebook has in the digital space.

One of the important parts of a point guard’s game is to make sure that he does not turn the ball over and give his team the best chance to score. For Facebook, this means that it cannot turn its data over to unsolicited party, which unfortunately for the social media tycoon happened during the semester. At the very least, Facebook’s publicity recently has provided us with some quality meme content.

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While it has called Facebook’s data (ball) security into question, its successful earnings call this past week shows that the public still has faith in Facebook to lead this team.
Shooting Guard- Twitter

The Shooting Guard is often considered to be a volume scorer, which means that the player’s value becomes more prominent with the greater amount of shots that he takes. The Shooting Guard will frustrate you when he is 3-17 from the field and you will love him when he makes 10 shots in a row. Just like Twitter, you’ve got to take the good with the bad. With users now being able to tweet up to 280 characters, the possibilities for content on the platform has increased immensely.

One person who has taken advantage of Twitter to increase his brand is President Donald Trump. President Trump has become known for firing off his opinions in the early morning, which will often takeover all of the morning talk shows. Whether you like President Trump or not, you cannot deny the impact that he has had on Twitter.

Trump’s Effect on Twitter

He has not only changed how our elected officials interact with the voting public, but he has drawn millions of new users to the platform since he announced that he was running for the presidency.

Other celebrities and businesses have used Twitter to grow their platform in massive ways. As @profgarbusm discussed in his presentation this semester, companies like Wendy’s have done a great job to create their own voice on Twitter to connect with their followers. This doesn’t come with a risk however, as not every joke within a tweet comes through the way it is intended. Just like a streaky shooter on the basketball floor, sometimes tweets hit, and sometimes they miss really badly.

Small Forward- The Sharing Economy

The most versatile player on the floor, the sharing economy is on the rise and is behind a lot of the missions for many new entrepreneurs. This is also a topic that we discussed multiple times during the semester, including companies like Rent the Runway, Airbnb, and even Uber. The idea of sharing products and experiences with other people means that the possibilities are endless for the sharing economy as it can help the team grow in a variety of ways. New ways for businesses to become a part of the sharing economy are still developing, including Rep the Squad, a startup based out of Seattle that allows consumers to rent sports jerseys one a time for a small monthly fee. Once the jersey is returned, the customer can rent another jersey. This solves the age old problem for sports fans who are stuck with out of date jerseys because a player was either traded or signed with another team.

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The versatility within the sharing economy is what will allow it to continue having an impact on digital business for years to come, as companies will continue to adopt some form of this innovation into their business model.

Power Forward- Artificial Intelligence

While the Small Forward might be the player in this lineup that is the most versatile, the Power Forward is the one that has not only developed the most and has the highest ceiling in this Starting 5. Today’s Power Forward needs to be able to guard multiple positions and develop new skills in order to remain an impact player on the court. In the same light, within digital business AI is changing the skillset needed by companies and is impacting how potential employees view their career paths. As we discussed in class a few weeks ago, while AI is eliminating mundane tasks and working to automate them, it is also driving business innovation across the industry. AI is changing how businesses operate and interact with one another. As the next generation coming into the workforce, we are the ones that will ultimately have to deal with the mass scale implementation of AI across business platforms. While many people are weary of the possibility of AI simply taking over human’s jobs, we need to understand that it will act as more of a partnership, where AI is aided by humans for the best possible outcome.

Center- Blockchain

In the rise of “position less” basketball, the value that the center creates is often difficult to be seen by the naked eye. When on the floor, the Center acts as the enforcer and makes sure that the other team does not get easy baskets within close range. I’m not calling myself a Blockchain expert by any means, but I know enough about the technology to know that I want it protecting my transactions just like the Detroit Pistons wanted Ben Wallace protecting the rim in the mid 2000’s.

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Regardless of what your level of knowledge regarding blockchain is, we can all agree that its benefits center mainly around the security that it provides. One of the misnomers that I think this class helped to dispel is that blockchain’s only use is related to Bitcoin, which thanks to @wilsonlucia18 blog post we learned is not the case. Blockchain’s value derives from the trust and protection that it provides to data. You don’t need to see it in action to understand the sense of security that it provides for your transactions. It is still widely unclear when blockchain will have a wide spread impact on the economy, but businesses should be bracing for its adaptation sooner rather than later. Blockchain will never be the sexiest position on the court, but it will be a necessary one at the least.

So there you have it, your Spring 2018 #IS6621 Staring 5. If you think that someone or something got snubbed, all criticism will gladly be taken. I hope you all enjoyed reading my sports heavy blogs over the past few months. Thanks for a great semester!

8 comments

  1. katietisinger · ·

    Dan, this is such a creative post, I love it and can see the thought you put into each position. I especially like your description of AI as the power forward and the sharing economy as the small forward. Also loved your references to other’s blogs or presentations – so much of our learning did come from each other.

  2. mikecarillo111 · ·

    This was hilarious, relative, and creative, big snaps. I totally agree with your description of blockchain as the center where you’re not entirely sure what it does, but you know you want it on your team. Additionally, Facebook as the point guard was a creative twist that I wouldn’t have seen. Great ending post and good luck!

  3. kkim312 · ·

    This was such an interesting way to look at major topics that have come up during this course. Your description really resonated with the reality of technology presently. I love how you incorporated and maintained sports within your blog posts and most of your tweets throughout the entire semester!

  4. NeroC1337 · ·

    Ayyyy, the Celtics-hype. Interesting analogy to summarize our entire semester. With not much of knowledge in the difference between basketball lineup position, it’s still a good analogy to understanding the technology. Yet, maybe like your point that Center is losing its value in the naked eyes, I wish we had more discussion on the topic of Blockchain.

  5. JohnWalshFilms · ·

    Such a clever post, and wouldn’t surprise me if @geraldckane adopted this analogy to outline the class going forward! I really appreciated how you incorporated other class members’ posts, covered all the big class topics and news headlines from the semester, and made comments on both present and future digital trends. Especially loved the Shooting Guard description – hilarious – and hope you continue to apply this creativity and insight into whatever profession your future holds!

  6. Lucy Wilson · ·

    Great post, Dan!! What a creative and applicable analogy to apply to the topics we’ve covered this semester. For someone not well versed in the current world of technology, this would be a great introduction blog to the subject!!

    I thought your comparison of the sharing economy to the small forward rang especially true. Every day, I feel like this business model is being applied to yet another area of our lives. It really is completely versatile. That being said, it will be interesting to see this play out over the next couple of years. What roadblocks will the small forward face?

  7. roarkword · ·

    (Im sorry for this in advance but..) NOTHING BUT NET! This was as hysterical as it was accurate and the perfect kind of analogy that BC’s biz school would hope you could make as a graduating senior. The comparisons were really well thought out and touched upon some of out class’s favorite topics. I was especially a fan of Twitter as volume shooter and the popularity it can have when its firing on all cylinders (a la #HasJustineLandedYet) and when it has little hot-button subject matter to grab onto.

    While I agree with your starting five, I’d like to add the all important coach that no team can live without, a strategist with a cool head who knows where and how to push the game (or topic in this class) when the tempo shifts. I think we all know @geraldckane is the coach in question and he has been a fantastic facilitator for our class, never letting us lose sight of a topic and steering us toward our best possible discussion. Next up I would love to hear who people think the sixth man would be!

  8. jjaeh0ng · ·

    I am a big sports fan, and every single posts you have related to sports was incredible. When I saw the news on Kevin Love sharing his story of mental struggles through Players’ Tribune, I thought of your presentation. Later on, more players have communicated with fans on the platform, so I was pleased to know more about sports. Even this final post, putting popular topics together as basketball’s starting five, I believe you are the only person who could come up with such ideas in this class. In the end, I really appreciate your passion and love of sports, and wish you all the best.

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