Digital Permutation Epilogue

            “Like the legend of the phoenix, huh All ends with beginnings”1. At the end of our Digital Transformation phoenix, I think the best place to start is at the beginning. Rereading my first blog post I had noticed three main takeaways I had. First, was that I had high expectations for the class and expected to learn a lot from it. Second, I was hoping to use my technical background to add to the class and use that as an opportunity to improve my business communication. Finally, I had a desire to learn from my classmates. For this final blog post I would like to investigate all three and see where that leads us.

Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance” featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers2

            I knew when I first saw this class’s information on Canvas that it would be different. I certainly did a double take when I saw a Twitter requirement for class “’Cause it doesn’t happen every day”3. To be honest I was a bit nervous as someone who in general mostly tolerates social media. However, I do think being knowledgeable about how social media works is important. I think as part of the central theme of this class we do need to be aware we are no longer in a world where “Television rules the nation”4. Combine this with the blogs and in class reading discussion being a central component, I certainly thought this class could go one of two ways. It could either be amazing, or truly awful. I was expecting the first and am happy to say it is the case. The different method of learning completely worked as I was really engaged in every class discussion. Also, the online components were great. I didn’t realize how enjoyable getting so much creative freedom on class assignments is. It is so much more fun when you can bring up a twitter discussion or research a blog post on topic areas that is interested. Even though a good amount of the MBA program has been on serious business topics,  “There’s nothing wrong with just a little little fun”5.

            I very distinctly remember my third week with the class. Even with the relatively high workload I had been getting used to for my final semester of my MBA, this was quite the week. Starting right around Sunday of that week “More than ever, hour after hour Work is never over”6. In addition to my first full length blog post, I signed up to be one of the first presenters. I think there is usually a bit of additional nervousness as one of the first presenters “It might not be the right time I might not be the right one”7. However, I think one thing I learned  about the class was how important it was to dive into and get really involved in the class. This particularly came up when I selected my presentation/first blog topic. While I certainly could have done a relatively conventional business topic presentation, I also could have gone out on a bit limb. However, when I thought about combining focusing on a personal area of interest that could also be related to digital transformation “I thought, “Well, now I may have a little bit of a chance””8.

            This was not to say I didn’t use my technical background. Internet of things is of particular interest to me since it is heavily related to both electrical/computer engineering and “Rock, robot rock”9 engineering my undergraduate majors. However, a key focus I had was not just to do a bunch of fun research on a topic I like but make a presentation that was able to have larger takeaways. As I worked on the presentation, I realized a central theme was using it to examine how ideas spread when a new technology is introduced. One idea would have a successful start in one application and would then spread “Around the world, around the world Around the world, around the world”10. This central theme allowed me to make sure my presentation was relevant to the audience and help give me focus. I think this is a critical aspect which will help with my business communication style in the future.

Daft Punk’s cameo in TRON: Legacy11

            Finally, my last early takeaway for the class was a desire to learn from classmates. I think this is one of the best aspects of this class. I think part of that is the shared nature of deliverables. In a traditional class situation, we will maybe have a shared presentation, but usually there will be some class deliverable like an essay that only the student and teacher will see. You spend so much time to “Write it, cut it, paste it, save it Load it, check it, quick – rewrite it”12 only to have one person view it. I think the idea of all the class work being accessible really enriches the class. I looked forward to the blog posts every week to be able to benefit from the hard work of my classmates. Another unexpected side benefit is this class is likely the one in the MBA program where I was able to best learn about my classmates. Through all the interactive elements, I feel like I got at least a bit of an insight into who my classmates are, their backgrounds and interests. I found out about our differences as well as the areas where “We are human After all Much in common”13. This was such a stark contrast to an online class where I basically took the class independent of any interaction from my classmates other than the first class where we were still in person. It really added so much to the class and to all my classmates that made the class so great, I would like to truly thank you. You were all “[Instrumental]”14 15 16 to making the class what it was.

            Daft Punk’s Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem17

            After quite the reflection I suppose it is now time to finish up a class blog post “One more time”18. For me this is not only the end of this class but my MBA program in general. For me if there is a final thought that wasn’t part of my initial blog’s thoughts it is just how important it is to sometimes just sit back and enjoy the journey. Life can sometimes move very quickly. “I know your life is speedin’ and it isn’t stoppin’”19. But during those times when we are speeding along it is important to just take joy in what we can. Particularly after such a challenging year, this class really gave a way to sometimes pause and enjoy taking a new method of learning and a new environment. It was by far one of my favorite classes I have ever taken. If this ridiculous blog post is any indication, it really allowed me to just have fun with a class while learning a lot. As for the end I just ask you to “Hold on, if love is the answer, you’re home”20.

Thumbnail is from Daft Punk Epilogue21

1 “Daft Punk (Ft. Nile Rodgers & Pharrell Williams) – Get Lucky.” Genius, genius.com/Daft-punk-get-lucky-lyrics.

2 Ehrlich, Brenna. “Daft Punk Drop Disco-Tinged ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’ Video With Pharrell.” MTV News, 16 Sept. 2013, http://www.mtv.com/news/1714144/daft-punk-lose-yourself-to-dance-video/.

3 “Daft Punk (Ft. Julian Casablancas) – Instant Crush.” Genius, 22 Nov. 2013, genius.com/Daft-punk-instant-crush-lyrics.

4 “Daft Punk – Television Rules the Nation.” Genius, 14 Mar. 2005, genius.com/Daft-punk-television-rules-the-nation-lyrics.

5 “Daft Punk – Digital Love.” Genius, 26 Feb. 2001, genius.com/Daft-punk-digital-love-lyrics.

6 “Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.” Genius, genius.com/Daft-punk-harder-better-faster-stronger-lyrics.

7 “Daft Punk – Something About Us.” Genius, 26 Feb. 2001, genius.com/Daft-punk-something-about-us-lyrics.

8 “Daft Punk (Ft. Giorgio Moroder) – Giorgio by Moroder.” Genius, 17 May 2013, genius.com/Daft-punk-giorgio-by-moroder-lyrics.

9 “Daft Punk – Robot Rock.” Genius, 14 Mar. 2005, genius.com/Daft-punk-robot-rock-lyrics.

10 “Daft Punk – Around the World.” Genius, 20 Jan. 1997, genius.com/Daft-punk-around-the-world-lyrics.

11 Axon, Samuel. “New ‘Tron: Legacy’ Trailer Is a Daft Punk Music Video.” Mashable, Mashable, 26 Oct. 2010, mashable.com/2010/10/26/tron-legacy-daft-pun/.

12 “Daft Punk – Technologic.” Genius, 14 Mar. 2005, genius.com/Daft-punk-technologic-lyrics.

13 “Daft Punk – Human After All.” Genius, 14 Mar. 2005, genius.com/Daft-punk-human-after-all-lyrics.

14“Daft Punk – Aerodynamic.” Genius, 26 Feb. 2001, genius.com/Daft-punk-aerodynamic-lyrics.

15 “Daft Punk – Crescendolls.” Genius, 26 Feb. 2001, genius.com/Daft-punk-crescendolls-lyrics.

16 “Daft Punk – High Life.” Genius, 26 Feb. 2001, genius.com/Daft-punk-high-life-lyrics.

17 Frank, Allegra. “How Daft Punk’s Forgotten Anime Changed My Life.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 24 Feb. 2021, slate.com/culture/2021/02/daft-punk-breakup-interstella-5555-anime.html.

18 “Daft Punk – One More Time.” Genius, 13 Nov. 2000, genius.com/Daft-punk-one-more-time-lyrics.

19 “Daft Punk (Ft. Pharrell Williams) – Lose Yourself to Dance.” Genius, 13 Aug. 2013, genius.com/Daft-punk-lose-yourself-to-dance-lyrics.

20 “Daft Punk – Epilogue.” Genius, genius.com/Daft-punk-epilogue-lyrics.

21 -, Grant Gilmore, et al. “Daft Punk Announce Break Up with ‘Epilogue.’” EDM Identity, 22 Feb. 2021, edmidentity.com/2021/02/22/daft-punk-call-it-quits-epilogue/.

6 comments

  1. abigailholler1 · ·

    It was a great class indeed, and I agree that one of the major reasons was the diverse backgrounds each of us brought to class discussions. Thanks for being our resident class engineer (along with Shane of course!). Our collective unique perspectives also fed into more fruitful blog and twitter posts, presentation topics, and small group discussions. Another point you wrote really resonated with me – the format of the class taking place ‘virtually’ between in-person class times also helped to enhance my engagement in the course content. Congratulations on completing the program, and wishing you all the best in post-MBA life!

  2. therealerindee · ·

    William. Ya killed it. Loving the lyrics spread throughout this post to really hammer home your points. I definitely agree with you that Tweeting and writing blog posts helped to get inside the minds of classmates in a way that I haven’t been able to in other classes. I also agree with your skepticism surrounding the course structure on canvas and how it could have just as easily gone so bad, but it didn’t and now we’re here. Thanks for always providing fun blog content and for being willing to put up with me calling you out in class.

  3. ritellryan · ·

    I think the shared knowledge is definitely a differentiator of this class. Sometimes you might get to know 1-2 people in a class based on having a group project with them, or you end up sitting next to someone who you can talk to on a week to week basis, but we were lucky enough to not only be able to talk to everyone whenever we wanted, but encouraged to!

  4. shaneriley88 · ·

    I’ll echo Erin here. William, you certainly came out swinging in this class. “We’ve certainly come a long way together” from our shared concerns about what this could have been and shock and awe in what it actually became. It’s been a pleasure to round out b-school together to that end, I fancy myself a “fortunate one (CCR). Let the record show that your inputs were pivotal in ensuring that this class wasn’t “another brick in the wall” (Pink Floyd). Well done, William. I have to “praise you like we should ” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sf9g6tyi9Tc )

  5. All I can say is “wow.”

  6. changliu0601 · ·

    You absolutely used my technical background to add to the class.Thank you for helping understanding some technical concepts I didn’t understand.I love reading what you share on Twitter every week.

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