Digitalasorus Rex

The Why…

I’ve always had this unjustified, perhaps irrational, fear of there being a direct line communication from my stream of consciousness to the outside world.  It is a sentiment that has kept me away from blogging or putting my opinion in writing for the world to read and judge.  It has certainly shunned me away from Twitter, and even most recently Facebook, where an audience exists solely to disagree and dismantle any opinion one posts to the public.  For me, the risks have outweighed the rewards.  But, am I wrong?  Am I too sensitive, am I being a wimp?  Maybe a lack of self-confidence.  Well, let’s find out.

First Class…

I found the video to be an engaging way to introduce the key themes of the class.  The example of the evolution of factory layouts as a function of technological advancements I found to be particularly interesting. Equipment layout was dictated by the proximity to the central steam engine; stations requiring the most power were located closest to the engine, with belts and gears separating more distant, auxiliary machines. The introduction of electric motor didn’t in and of itself disrupt the factory floor.  Despite the flexibility that the electric engine afforded factory managers, machines still remained in the same configuration yielding no efficiencies.  Simply swapping out and upgrading the technology wasn’t the solution.  Human intuition and thought was required in order to actually leverage technological advancement; it was the freedom to then rearrange the stations into an assembly line configuration of process handoffs that yielded time and cost savings.

Innovation for the sake of innovation is useless.  A key take-away from class one that I am sure will resonate throughout the semester. Adoption and leverage outweigh technology.

About Me…

I am Adam Benjamin, I’m 30 years old and grew up in the Boston area.  I am in my second year of the full-time MBA program.  Prior to making the transition back to a student, I worked for a large construction management firm headquartered in Boston. As a little kid I was a Lego maniac, spending hours on end in the basement of my family home assembling, building, disassembling, only to reassemble into a different spaceship or carrier or superhero lair.  My parents often joke that I went from building with Lego blocks to concrete blocks. They’re not wrong.

The last project that I completed before becoming a student again


I studied Art History as an undergrad, with a focus on architectural theory.  The design aspect of construction came naturally, but the technical expertise related to engineering and financial management not so much.  So, one of the main reasons behind my decision to pursue my MBA was a because of gap in financial literacy and understanding of core business principles. In order to manage a business of any size, whether a local corner store or a national corporation, one must at least know the time value of money.  It is a decision that I am so glad that I made.

As many know, Construction is an archaic industry.  Actually, it is ranked second only to Agriculture as it relates to technical innovation, adoption, and disruption (or lack thereof).  Over the past few years companies in and outside of the industry have devoted an exponentially increasing amount of resources towards “revolutionizing construction.”  Efforts range from data collection of construction activities to prefabrication of construction components like a Lego set, only the end result is a 50-story skyscraper (instead of miniature scaled Bat Cave).  So, the underlying theme of innovation and adoption explored in this class come an opportune time.

“You are the Followers that you keep”


I think that this generation, the right now, is one where an individual’s digital presence could literally and figuratively hold more value than their physical presence.  Digital identity has value. It can be monetized. It can spread to every corner of the globe without having to change out of your pajamas.  It can shape perception and garner a following.  It has immense value.

The “kids of today” have the ability to heard unlike any other young person before them. They are Generation Alpha, and are revising the definition of “Influence[er]”.

Summation…

As likely one of the oldest members of this class, a Digitalasorus Rex if you will, I know that what lies ahead will be challenging, uncomfortable, exciting, daunting, and more.  Yet the content, and context, could not be more relevant.

4 comments

  1. Adam, making the connection between architecture and technology, especially in a city as historical as Boston will be extremely interesting to watch unfold. Being really interested in architecture and design myself, I often consider how social media and digital connection will impact architecture in the future, specifically how businesses will approach “work spaces” and how the traditional “office” will transform throughout the coming years. I’m sure it will be exciting to be an engineer behind some of these changes!

  2. Wow, well I’m glad you decided to come back to school at BC! As an undergrad in this course, I really appreciate having the perspectives and experiences of people that have work experience but in different fields as well Your undergrad education background and construction experience are really interesting and I hope this class and your MBA really help you more fully understand your business (because you’re clearly talented…that building looks awesome). This generation really is at an interesting place. Digital footprints are powerful and have the ability to both build trust but to deceive as well. Influence can be a good and bad thing, but knowing how to navigate the digital space is necessary at this point in both life and business. Great work!

  3. Not knowing much about construction, I can only imagine that the efforts by construction companies, both big and small are helping to increase the rate at which projects are being finished in Boston. Given how much history our buildings have in this city, it must be tough trying to maintain strict deadlines and I hope that the technology available in this industry is helping to alleviate some of the stress that comes with the job. I knew that project you worked on looked familiar but couldn’t figure out where until I did a Google search, very cool that this was at Northeastern!

    Your point about one’s digital presence is spot on. It was actually a topic we discussed in the group the other night as it relates to trust. Employers and educational institutions trust that individuals maintain a certain level of professionalism in their online presence and identity. With this day and age in technology, it gets increasingly tough to see where you’ve left your digital footprint. Definitely looking forward to your input from your work experiences and this semester should prove to be a fun one with the mix of undergrads and grad students!

  4. Adam, I really like the point that you make on one’s digital presence. It’s interesting to think about how far and wide that presence can reach and how easily it is done given the technology that we have so readily available at our fingertips. That being said, it seems like up until now you haven’t had too much of a digital presence, which is something that I can sort of relate to. Twitter has never really been my thing either and the thought of blogging has always been mildly terrifying to me. I’m interested to see how you use the platforms that are a part of this class to help shape your digital presence going forward and how you are able to apply what we are learning to your career.

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