As I sit here making final reflections about the final class of my MBA program, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much I have learnt without feeling like I was studying. You see, in terms of adopting technology, I’ve mostly ended up in the late majority category – the kind that adopts technology only if it’s been out for a while – as can be seen in the product adoption cycle below. This has mostly been the case because yes I’m oddly risk averse when it comes to technology but mostly because I didn’t understand the technology so I couldn’t see how its extent could truly improve my life.
At home I’ve been endlessly teased about not wanting to jump at trying out new technologies – by my younger brother and even my Mom! I mean, it took me time to see and learn from others’ experiences before I made choices. Here are some privileged examples – but it happened with letting go of my Blackberry wistfully (really, what was I thinking?), shifting from Windows to the Mac OS, getting a smartwatch or even something basic like using PayPal (again, what was I afraid of here?!)! Case in point, I’m still not on TikTok. In addition, speaking the language of tech was far outside my comfort zone. I wanted to change that.
I started this course with the hope and intention to get comfortable with the possibilities that arose through emerging technology and overall digital transformation. And boy, thanks to Prof. Kane and my classmates, did I get comfortable with this!
I’ve surprised myself with the learnings I’m taking away from this class and how much more comfortable I am with sharing my opinions on emerging tech. As strange as the format initially was, I have come to absolutely love it – because our animated discussions in class would continue across media from blogging to tweets to sharing personal experiences. Throughout the entire semester, this class was on slow drip. Twitter has been our classmate. You have no idea about how many people outside of this class that I’ve bugged with random factoids about #chickentech, #AIinSkincare, #cryptocurrency, #NFTs, #BigTech, #FBinPolitics, #GenZvsMillennials, #MagicBands, #DXinBeerIndustry, #MachineLearning, #DigiDog, #BlackMirroresqueStuff… I could go on! I never considered myself a regular Twitter user before but I’m not going to lie, I’ve officially spent lesser time on Instagram than I have on Twitter this semester. Willingly.
I feel very lucky to have this batch of students as my classmates. Our class has been such a warm, interactive, educational, diverse and engaging space. I have genuinely learnt something new from each and every person in this class – from Crypto in Supply Chain, Low Code Applications, Beacons in Sporting Arenas, touchless payment at Amazon stores, Disney’s Magic Bands to Analytics on the Basketball court and even NFTs. Everyone shared their presentations and blogs with such thorough research that it was suddenly simpler to understand complex stuff. Across industries. I think that’s amazing.
It would be criminal if I didn’t mention our #TwitterTalks here. I didn’t even tweet as much as I actually absorbed information on Twitter. It was always fun discussing facts, sharing opinions and making predictions for the future with people on different points of the creepy-cool spectrum. Like I said earlier, Twitter has been like an invisible classmate that kept us engaged and bound together. I’m definitely going to have an #ISYS8621 hangover, so consider this fair warning – I may relapse this summer!
With The Technology Fallacy forming the backbone of our semester, it is absolutely fitting that my biggest takeaway has been to understand that we need to focus on people, processes and mindsets instead of just focusing on new technology. I learnt this about myself too. It is essential to open our mind to possibilities, change, biases and finally, be able to have a clearer vision for our future, regardless if this is in relation to an organization’s internal processes or about accepting what we can do with Artificial Intelligence. Sayo’s presentation on how Japanese beer company, Kirin is responding to DX highlighted the main takeaway from Prof. Kane’s book – that newer or conservative organizations must learn from the digitally mature ones in order to stay relevant – kinda like me in this class!
I can now understand emerging technology and its applications across so many different industries in a better manner. I’ve learnt about how tech companies get you addicted to their platforms, the content regulation debate, how AI can be used to enhance our lives through Smart Mirrors or even writing softwares like Sudowrite, how technology can be used to be more present (Courtney’s blog on mindfulness and gratitude apps) and so much more.
As I’m set to graduate in three weeks, I’m happy to report that moving forward, I consider myself out of the Late Majority category and well into the Early Majority category on the product/ technology adoption curve. To me, that’s a small victory.
Thank you for being a part of the final step in my truly transformational Boston College MBA experience!