Technology and World Change
Objectives set up in Learning Journal 1:
1. Gain a deeper appreciation for technology that has made a great impact on our lives
2. How technology is commonly used in the innovation process
3. How have future developments in technology changed the world we live in today
When I first set the objectives for myself at the beginning of the course, I had no idea what the journey ahead was going to be like. So when I was assigned to start thinking about what I wanted to achieve by the end of the course, I could only come up with specific ‘œhard facts’� that is somewhat related to Technology and World Change which I felt I could pick up along the course. However, on hindsight, I realized that the objectives I had set back then did not fully challenged my intellect.
Through lessons and group presentations in class, I’’ve learnt how technology has such an extensive impact on our lives without our realization. For instance, the presentations on the Panini sandwich maker and the Velcro gave me a deeper appreciation of how prevalent technology has been in our lives. Also, I’’ve learnt at the beginning of the course how technology is usually very closely tied to innovation. But before innovation is possible, there has to be an invention of a new product. The invention can be a completely new or one that had been modified from existing products or ideas. And that leads me to another lesson I have learnt of the difference between science and technology. Science is essentially the knowledge behind phenomena and technology, the application of the knowledge to produce something of value to humans. Subsequently, lessons on the management of technology and the study of its impacts have been taught in class. Thus, through lessons taught and concepts shared among peers, the objectives that I have set out at the beginning have been achieved.
However, in my opinion as mentioned earlier, the objectives I had set earlier had not completely stimulated my intellect. With regard to what I have truly learnt in the course of eleven weeks was a deeper appreciation of how all these knowledge picked up in class would have their impact on me. At the end of the lesson every week, I felt that I had not fully grasped the intended objectives as articulated at the start of the class. Rather, it was only through the learning journals that gave me the chance to reflect more deeply of the concepts and issues that had been covered in the earlier part of the day. Therefore, these reflections got me thinking deeper of how certain issues arising from concepts taught would affect my life. I particularly enjoyed how I could associate what had been learnt in class to my personal values and principles, beliefs, ideals and aspirations. Doing so made the learning much more meaningful.
Something else that was especially enriching and exceeded my personal objectives for the course was that the instructor would usually share her personal experiences with regard to the week’’s topic. These are invaluable ‘œlessons on life’� that can hardly be found anywhere else and I felt that they added tremendous value to the course. For instance, few if any, instructors would go beyond to share with the class that supportive parents and spouse are important factors for an entrepreneur’’s success. And reminders like how money isn’’t the most important thing in our life come very timely when many of us will embark on our career shortly before we even realize. And it is such nuggets of wisdom that would go a long way in making a difference to the lives of the students.
Thus, as the course draws to an end, I realize that it is vastly different from all other modules that I had taken largely because of the way the students have been engaged. Coupled with the fact that technology is something that is closer to our hearts than we realize, there comes about many opportunities to ponder upon how technology has impacted our lives. In the process, we are forced to question where our values and ideals lie and how, in keeping faithful to them, we can shape the people and environment around us for the better. And that is what I believe, Technology and World Change is all about.
I find TWC a very useful and important module. Firstly as business students we should know the day to day happening in this high tech world, which we cannot even survive without technology. Secondly as business students we all want to be an entrepreneur one day and after studying technological entrepreneur for the last two weeks, I find that being an technological entrepreneur could be very successful. So to focus on the second question, I think it will be great to have a follow up course such as Technopreneurship. Because like I said before in a course like that, will combined the technological aspect and the entrepreneurship together which will suit for a business module for business students like us.
TAN MEI HUI FELICIA
I believe I have achieved the objectives I have set up in my first journal. Although not so much on the reasons why many inventors did not work on their invention and market it as mentioned in my first journal, but rather a greater insight to the different sources of funding available. From angel investors to venture capitalist firms, using these different sources will have its own pros and cons. While venture capitalist firms are able to provide with a larger amount of fund, they sometimes might be a ‘œbully’� and attempt to eat up all the profits. Hence it all boils down to the contract terms, and how one is able to stand firm and negotiate with the venture capitalist.
In fact, now upon thinking back, I feel that I have gained more than I had set out to gain initially. One example would be a point prof made a few lessons back that I still clearly remember -- the one main thing that investors/ venture capitalist look out for before deciding whether to invest, is not the business proposal , but the person itself. His charisma, his confidence, his ability to communicate effectively across to the potential investors is what is most important. Many people, including me, would have thought that ‘œas long as the product is good, they’’ll surely invest!’�. I was clearly wrong. Another example would be today’’s lesson where we talked about the ill effects of technology. I am sure many, if not all, know that technology is like a double-edged sword, it has its good and bad sides. Although many of us would have realised our increasing dependence on technology, like handphones , television, laptop..etc. , many would not have realised its ill effects on us, at least not in my case. I have never attributed my lack of sleep to technology, it has never crossed my mind. My lack of sleep is sometimes so serious that I could claim that my alarm clock never rang and that it was faulty, not realising that I may have switched it off unknowingly or slept through the ringing sound. Working late into the night on my laptop has become a norm for me, and sometimes I may not even realise how late it is until I look at the time. I believe this lesson has taught us to do things in moderation and manage time properly- it does not mean that you can do more work if you sleep less, as with sleep deprivation, one tends to be less efficient and will spend more time on a particular task than when one has enough sleep.
Hence I conclude that I have achieved my objectives, in fact more.
THAM JUN QUAN
I would like the course to focus on the way technological companies work. From the unique way Google lists it IPO to how social networking sites such as Facebook change our lifestyle, and to how amazon.com grew from an online bookstore to the state it is in today, there is something unique about all of them. It is the way they embrace technology and thus allowing them to challenge the norm in the way they do things. In the course of doing things differently, they often generate wildly successful innovations. Be it management skills, or leveraging technology to get the best out of your company, I strongly believe that there are valuable lessons that we can draw from all these cases.
Thus, in my opinion, having learnt the impact technology has on change, and studying successful technopreneurs, a good follow up will be a course that allows us to understand the dynamics behind all these organizations and how they work. During the process, also exploring ways organizations exploit technology to achieve a cutting edge over their competitors. Given the critical role technology plays in businesses nowadays, I believe that the course will also aid us in preparing ourselves for the corporate world. It will also let us understand what technology can and cannot do for us.
Lastly, as this is the last journal entry, I would like to say that I’’ve enjoyed the course. Thank you Prof, for allowing us to have a wonderful experience during TWC.
ONG SEE YUN
Yes, I think that I have definitely achieved my objectives. The objectives I had was to have a better understanding of technology and how they impacted the world.
I have learnt not only from the prof, but also from many of my classmates, as well as my group mates.
How should I describe Prof. She or you are very different from any other professors. You are able to link many current business outlooks or happenings in the world/Singapore. I like it because I find that while modules are usually very textbook-based, with all those theories. I can only able to understand the significance and importance of these theories when it is related to issues that I know of. One example is the IP rights, which I find to be very interesting. It makes me realized how important copyrighting your work is and how easy you can get sued for using someone& ;s work. It is no wonder we need to always send our report into turn-it-in and the whole Apple-Creative lawsuit. And I realized copyrights issues are especially prevalent in new technologies. Everyone wants to claim that they are the first to come up with the technology.
Also, I find my classmates very well-read in the areas of new technology, new research, etc, which I am sadly not so well-read in. I prefer politics and social issues. Hence, when they explain the most recent technology in class, I am very impressed . Hence, sometimes, some of the issues made me really interested, so I will just make some effort to google it. One good example is IPO. As mentioned previously, I am trying to invest in stocks and I realized that the whole issue of IPO is really quite important. And I thought it was only in financial accounting that I will get exposed to these issues. But I am exposed to them in TWC! :)
Lastly, I like the presentations today which showed us the ill-effects of technology no matter how much I enjoyed my constant wireless network. The best part I liked about technology is how I am able to link to many people in many parts of the world and talking to them FREE! As many of my good friends are abroad, and calling cards are expensive, the best way is skype! I am in love with skype.
However, the various issues mentioned today made me realized how naive I am. Global warming and the new thing I learnt today, global dimming is largely attributed to the advances in technology. But thankfully, I do not cybergame, so I do not think I will experience any "deaths" or "second virtual life". But I am a victim of online shopping. The convenience and ibanking makes shopping so much cheaper and accessible. For me, I think that& ;s the worst effect of technology because I do not & ;die& ; but my bank account & ;died& ;
I enjoyed TWC on a whole. But my friends from other classes are finding it a waste of time. Maybe it& ;s the prof :P But I do think that I had definitely learnt a lot about technology. Not so much the theory because I doubt I will ever apply them, but the relevant issues that can be applied in the business world.
GOH LI PING JOANNA
It wasn’’t stated in my first journal what I aimed to achieved at the end of the course, but I do have my own list of what I hoped to gain from the module eventually. Firstly, I hoped to gain more knowledge on technology which would arouse my interest to want to know more about technologies. I guess I have said it many times that I’’m not a very tech-savvy person, technologies to me is like Barbie dolls to most boys. But I do recognize it as an important area in which we need to be aware of as it is rapidly dominating and penetrating our lives. And I do not wish to be an incompetent lady who knows nothing about technologies. I would say I am definitely someone who is more informed at this area as compared to who I was initially, especially so after working with many IS seniors in these 13 weeks, I have learned a lot from them as well. On top of that, I discovered that technologies are not all only about computers, machines, software and the internet. They include biomedical aspects such as GM food and germs etc as well. These discoveries stimulated my interest in technologies and drive me on to want to find out more about technologies not restricted to computers and software. My knowledge and interest have certainly multiplied over the 13 weeks. As much as I have gained understanding in this topic, I might forget about all the concepts one day. Hence, another of my objective is to learn and grow to be some one of a higher level thinking (particularly with respect to technologies) which would widen my perspectives so that I can learn to look at things from many angles and thorough and comprehensive in my thinking. This would be a skill essential in my future endeavors. In class research is one learning process which heightened my thinking skills. Indeed, I am undeniably more mature in my thinking process. I would no longer think very shallowly, seeing things on the surface. I have learnt to explore and ask more intricate questions. All in all, I personally feel that I have grown through the course. It has been a great learning experience and on top of what I had hoped to achieved, I actually reap more than what I expected. I made my friends from other faculties, and in addition to something very conceptualized, I learned a lot from other people’’s experiences, the spirit of entrepreneurship and the attitude towards life. Thank you prof.=)
SEE YI LING IRENE
If there is a follow-up course,I will like the course to focus on business plan and coming out with creative idea. Maybe let the students do a business plan of any creative ideas that they have. This will be a great opportunity for students to "make use" of any assistance and ideas they can get from professors who are experienced in this area.
After going through TWC this semester, I got an idea on how innovation started, what are the different type of technopreneurs, sources of funding and etc. However, most of what we learn are just looking theoretical stuffs and learning from successful entrepreneurs. It will be great if the students get a chance to experience this themselves. It might be difficult to do this as being an entrepreneur need a lot of time and commitment. But it will be fun if the project could be something like that. In addition, it will be even better if we get a chance to sell our idea to professors who play the role of venture capitalists. This will be very interesting and also allowed the students to have a chance to experience something that is very close to real life.
SOH XUE LING AUDREY
After so many twc lessons, i am inspired by the number of entrepreneurs that have been presented on.
In my first journal entry, i talked about taking note of little ideas and toying around with them. I recently bought a little brown book which i called The Book of Rubbish. I doodle and write in it and it has officially become my & ;ideas book& ;.
I think i& ;m also starting to consider seriously ideas that pop into my head, and working out the loopholes of various innovative business ventures.
That said, i& ;m still taking it slow and looking at all the opportunities available. I& ;m thinking of starting a small business online in the summer holidays and we will see if that works.
SHIH PEK KUANG
Reflecting back on my first journal, I realised that I have achieved most of the objectives that I have set for myself earlier in this course.
I have broadened my horizon in gaining further knowledge and understanding of the local and foreign inventions, innovations, inventors and innovators through the concise lectures of the in-class presentations, group presentations and case studies.
Although my group seemed rather inefficient in preparing the slides for the in-class presentations, the preparation of in-class discussion enabled me to absorb and learn through thorough research of the topics. It heightened my knowledge in certain areas of technologies in a fast pace. One of the in-class presentations that impacted me the most was actually the first presentation which was the zipper as this marked the beginning of my journey in Technology & World Change (TWC). Subsequent in-class presentations brought much knowledge to me as we discovered the various steps to evolving technology from learning the terminologies to applying in the given topics to moving on towards technical entrepreneurship.
The group presentation may have helped me in applying the tools learnt throughout the TWC short lectures which provided terminologies that clearly and coherently clarified my doubt in misunderstanding the technologies and entrepreneurship involving technologies. The overall group presentations seems very insightful and interesting. The one group presentation which I gained the most was I believed to be group 5 which used the theories of innovation and applied to the case study of an innovation which I do not remember. However, it was their application to the case study that enabled me to gain knowledge on the application of the theories of innovation.
The group case studies were equally helpful as the in-class discussions where research was the basic foundation of the case studies. It enabled me to better understand the technical entrepreneur and the entrepreneurship he started for the Naro Car. Although we were bombarded by queries during the Q&A, it seems to me that I have yet to acquire more knowledge on technologies.
Although I have gained much more knowledge and information than before attending this class and have achieved the objectives, it was clear to me that I have many more to learn ahead on technologies as technologies always revolutionise. Learning something which is ever-changing cannot be done overnight. It is only time allows our learning journey to be more meaningful. Through this course, it is really helpful not in building my knowledge but enabling me to apply these knowledge to the real world. It is my great pleasure having a meaningful learning journey in TWC and thank you, Professor Lim for sharing your valuable experience with us.
WOO YING YUAN AUDY
I would like to follow up on a course in Investing in Technology based company. Being more of an investment minded person rather than being an entrepreneur, TWC has gave me valuable insights to the distinct characteristics that set apart technology based firms from firms of other nature. The knowledge acquired enables the development of the capability to create a robust and well rounded analysis, while investing in previously shunned technology based firms.
Starting off with the foundations of innovation, the identification and classification of innovations are crucial in establishing the connection of the concepts being applied in the innovation process. Subsequently, by relating these concepts to the business environment, it would thus depict a comprehensive overview of the relationship between these two entities.
Though the connection of the two entities is discussed at a superficial level, the knowledge gained would come in handy as we pursue deeper into the investment procedures of such firms.
CHEW SHI YUN EVELYN
Yes I have basically achieved my objectives from this course. Honestly speaking, I think this is a course which you have to research and read up a lot of news and companies to gain more insight knowledge. Besides widening our knowledge, we have understood better on how the technical entrepreneurs went through the different stages of process to set up their business successfully. There are definitely people who failed and succeeded. If fail, what is the main problem& ; And if it succeeds, what spurs it& ; Technology and innovation definitely play an essential role in our daily life. It is good to continue having that in our lives as that makes us move on further. However, there are also the ill effects about technology, which is what we have discussed in class today, the loss of sleep, global warming, tardiness and etc. All the lessons we covered were useful. In fact, I did not know there are so many things for us to learn about how technology has been so useful to our society. Well, I enjoyed the lessons and most important of all, how it is being taught. Although this subject may seem quite dull and theoretical on surface, Prof conducted her lessons in an interesting way which I like. The way she wants us to relate situations from the real world help us learn better. The 13 weeks have been an insightful experience. I believe the projects and discussions have also aid us to learn this subject in much effective way. Especially the case study project, the exposure I have gained from Naffi was really interesting as well as the invaluable advices and experiences I heard from the other entrepreneurs. If there is a follow-on course on TWC, I would prefer to focus on investing in technology-based company. What are the various issues we should look out for upon investing the company and etc& ; Technology is definitely a vital tool for us in today& ;s world. Hence, it is good to be evolving; investing on a technology-based company will be a great potential too. In fact, employers today also prefer a person who has knowledge about technology, because it is become an essential thing that all of us are using it in our daily lives. Now I wonder what the world will be like if suddenly technology disappears, stop working and everything. Imagine without telephones, how are we going to communicate from far efficiently and how banks continue operating& ;
YAM FU SHENG
Having reached the end of week 13 (Its really the end already& ;), I am glad TWC is one of the courses I had enjoyed the most. From the time constrained short presentations weekly, class discussions and the guest speaker session gave us opportunites to learn not just from the lecturer, but also from one another, and it was a interesting experience.
From a personal point of view, I am pleased and confident of my performance in this class. I felt that I had managed to grasp the concepts of what was taught(which I hope I can replicate into the exam!), and gained insights to various difficulties, that management students should be aware of. Looking at the 3 basic objectives(attached below) I had set for myself in this class, I felt I have managed to achieve them and this I have to give credit to Prof for her efforts in delivering an engaging set of classes. I am also pleased that I was actively engaged in the class discussions and involved in some of the brainstorms we enjoyed during the semester.
Meeting Prof, and various entrepreneurs in their own rights was also a valuable experience for us. We got to learn from a first-hand approach, their insights, experiences, hardship and listened to their sincere advice for us. To be humble yet daring, to be ambitious yet practical. It was simply inspiring to us.
The lessons from TWC on a whole, be it explicit or implicit, I will seek to incorporate them into my career and mentality, and I can only hope and work hard at it, and achieve something to show for it.
Thanks Prof for your support and encouragement!
My objectives set up in the first class were:
1. Understand and appreciate the driving, motivating factors that led past innovators of various fields to their success, and be able to apply them into my own perspectives towards my goals.
2. To learn in greater detail how technology has evolved throughout the years and how it has shaped our society today and changed our lives as opposed to the lack of technology.
3. Lastly, I would like to develop a better instinct on practicality of ideas through past cases, which hopefully will instill better confidence with my judgment of business ideas.
Yes I have reached my objective of learning from my friends, and I& ;ve achieved the additional objective of overcoming my fear of presentations. Before I took TWC, presentations were very serious and terrifying affairs, and the numerous presentations that I have had to do in this course on a wide range of interesting topics on everything from the pyramids to the harmful effects of online gaming have allowed me to reduce my fear through instilling in me the idea that doing a good presentation is neither very difficult to do nor nerve-racking. Also I am glad to have a couple of very knowledgeable group mates who fill in the role of mentor and their attitudes towards school helped me enjoy my TWC experience. Discussions were lively and interesting and we felt at ease with each other, which allowed us to explore lots of different conversational topics that had to do with the syllabus. I gained a greater understanding of the world beyond the classroom, and the interesting people that inhabit it. The entrepreneurs did not have to be exceedingly intelligent or well-educated to succeed. I learnt about other people& ;s shortcomings and the harsh realities of the business world through real-life examples. The story of the Kidde fire escape ladder, Jack Welch, global dimming and the technological progress of neighbouring countries Vietnam and Cambodia were all fascinating and unknown to me if I had not taken this course. Over the summer holidays, I will definitely do more reading on my own so that my learning does not stop after TWC class has ended.
WAYNE QUEK JIANHONG
One of the objectives that I set out at the start was to get a better overview and appreciation of technology. This point has unquestionably been accomplished. Every week a new and interesting topic is discussed in class and the depth in which we go into enables me to better understand how we are all affected by technology, whether it is the wonderful changes it brings to us or the ill effects looming about.
The second objective I set out was to apply it in life or give me better abilities to spot out profit potentials as well. To achieve this, I was to read course materials, external readings, come to class, pay attention and participate actively. I believe that through the consistent effort and time that I have invested into this course, I was able to achieve most of the above. I realized that through the presentations by guest speakers and projects done by all the groups, that starting a technology based business and profiteering from it was not all too difficult, even if you did not have the technical expertise. However, I must say that up till now I have yet to come up with that one idea that will make me jump out from my seat, but I am working on that.
Third objective would be to initiate casual conversations with friends about technology. I noticed that throughout the duration of this course, I have definitely become a wiser person and more often than not, am able to voice out my own views on many technologically related topics.
I believe in retrospect, I have definitely benefited greatly from the course and achieved most of the goals that I set out initially. Investing in technological based companies would be interesting as we are able dissect the business up and figure out what makes a successful technological based business. Based on that, I can learn how to build and grow a technology based business more effectively. As for the course on technopreneurship, the soft skills required for any entrepreneur can be learnt in this course as well as the steps needed to start up a company are definitely necessary as well. I believe that the new course should encompass both aspects to be most effective.
Last but not least, I would like to thank you Prof for imparting your knowledge and giving me the opportunity to learn under your guidance for the past 13 weeks. During this course every week was different and always challenging. Your interactive styles of lessons coupled with constant feedback from weekly assignments have definitely made learning enjoyable yet effective.
WOON YU YEE
‘œI aim to achieve a greater understanding of the effects of technology on our way of living and how we can suggest ways to improve the state of our society. Furthermore, I want to learn how technology evolved and the innovations that shaped our lives.’�
The above objective is abstracted from my first TWC journal. And how time flies, today I will be penning my last TWC journal for the term. For the past 13 weeks this journal has formed part of my Monday routine, seamlessly incorporated into my time table. Without digressing further and to enter the discussion proper, I wish to discuss the take away that I am presented throughout the course.
Relating back to my objectives in week 1, I have certainly obtained a ‘œknowledge surplus’�. I am not referring solely to the acquisition of knowledge from textbooks. Instead, this course offers invaluable practical insights to innovation and the requirements of an entrepreneur. From listening to Prof’’s personal experience and her narration of figures in the industry to attending seminars of the various guest speakers, this course has broadened my vision and exposed me to a brand new world, a world of innovation. Prior to this module, I was skeptical of this class and doubted the value it will bring to students. However through this journey and most sincerely, this module has enriched my outlook. I must admit my ignorance is to blame for my obscured view of innovation.
Not only has the course outline met my initial objectives, it has also enriched me in my understanding of the business environment. To a certain extent it has raised my curiosity and whetted my appetite for innovation, something which I had never thought about before. The dose of real life application made this all the more interesting. For instance how to get listed and where are the practical sources of cash inflow for a budding innovator. Despite all the promises that come along with innovation, Prof also reminded us the difficulties and the sacrifices that come along with it. This in my opinion provides a well rounded depiction of innovation which is neither skewed nor biased. I think this is a true and fair way of presenting innovation to students- it is not all rosy and sweet. It shows us that behind every success there is a bitter pill, there is also pain and sweat.
And if I may take a more philosophical stand, from this course I learnt that what is valuable is a matter of perception. If we can convince people that an item is of value, this item will be valuable. I refer this to the Linden dollars in second life where the something that is ‘œvirtual’� can be converted to cash on the premise that people see value in it, where in fact it has no value and is part of a virtual element.
Before I pen off, I would like to thank the Prof and class for providing me the opportunity to learn. It is not only technical aspects but also lessons and advice that will come in handy when I step out to work. Thank you.
If I may be allowed to answer the second part of the question, I would like to see an extension of some sort of this module. Although most SMU students are business enthusiast, I believe there is still a section of people who like me, require convincing. And what better way to do this but to offer a course on technological entrepreneurship. Although we may not be an engineering school, but surely we have seen enough examples of technical entrepreneurs without engineering background. It is all about the spirit. I feel SMU undergraduates should be better equipped in this area. Not only will this course benefit the students, it will also raise the profile of the school and it’’s image if people can akin successful innovators to the school pedagogy. As a business management school, this will be a legitimate call for more technological entrepreneurship modules.
RACHEL CHAN YI NING
I would like it to focus on the knowledge which is required for Technopreneurship, and also touch on investment in a technology-based company. The course could cover the practical aspects of a business and the difference between a normal company and a technology based one. For example applying for a patent, how to package ideas and more. There should be more information on applying for loans and maybe the type of companies which are generally more willing to invest in technology based company. Basically the support that technopreneurship requires. As similar to entrepreneurship, technopreneurship cannot be taught students can be equipped with the skills they need to support and protect their venture.
TWC gives us a very good overview and foundation on how technology impacts the world. Hence, the follow up module should be something more in-depth. Module focusing on technopreneurship is essential as high-tech and entrepreneurial skills are driving our economy back to prosperity. There is an increasing importance in technopreneursip-merging technology prowess and entrepreneurial skills. It has slowly become the source of power in today& ;s knowledge-based economy. However, this kind of module is lacking in many university. Therefore, understanding technopreneurship is important to transform today& ;s students into creative, innovative, visionary global leaders who understand the importance of technopreneurship.
LUM HAN MING JUSTIN
I am certain that I will never be able to achieve the objectives that I had set up during the first journal. With this certainty, I rest assured that my new and re-shaped objectives have been met.
I admit that my initial goal of profiting from the understanding of what makes a ‘œgood’� or ‘œbad’� invention is merely idealistic and naive. From TWC class experiences, I have realized that no man/woman can accurately identify a ‘œgood’� piece of technology and be certain he/she will prosper from the technology. Furthermore, investing or pursuing technology has been and always will be a step into the unknown.
In TWC, I have been shown examples of money driving innovation cycles. Rather then embrace money as a driving force, these examples only confirm my gut feeling. Technology is driven by inventors/innovators that pursue their passions. Perhaps, money can never be completely excluded from a successful technological equation, but these technologies were originally designed to better the world of yesterday. Hence, I have achieved my new and re-shaped objective ‘“ to identify the core trends of world change: technology.
SIMERDEEP SINGH NARULLA
To a large extent, I do think I have managed to achieve the objectives I set out to in the first lesson. TWC has certainly given me a better knowledge of how entrepreneurs have exploited their opportunities. It was most interesting to me that some people who come up with brilliant innovations do not even enjoy the fruits of their masterstroke! It& ;s an unfair world! A great eye opener, and having the opportunity to listen to some established entrepreneurs in week 12 was very educational. The final presentation on a technical entrepreneur however was most insightful for me. It was a real privlege for us to be able to have an interview with a veteran entrepreneur in Navtej Singh, currently CEO of Tagit. He gave us some invaluable advice that I felt was very relevant. That project was surely the most meaningful project I think I have done at uni by far. I would like to invest in a technology based company in the future. I read an interesting article a few weeks ago about the technology that is Radio-Frequency Identification(RFID). The ERP in Singapore already uses this technology, and many firms and companies are realizing the importance that this technology is going to hold in the future and so, are already investing in the research and development of RFID. A study conducted by PC Magazine stated that 510 American companies from different industries have made plans to start using RFID technology in the next 12 months.There is no doubt that RFID holds great potential in the future and I would really like to invest in this technology in the future!
TAY KANG XUN
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like it to focus on the the common pitfalls faced by technopreneurs, and explore the various ways of overcoming them. I am ver interested in the later parts of the course (those about funding, support from institutions and getting the business to work) as I deeply feel that these are the lessons that are the most applicable in the real world. The personal experiences shared by Prof and the speakers for the TWC seminar have struck me deeply, and I definitely like to learn all I can from these successful Technopreneurs.
At the same time, I do understand the constraints of this course, which has to cover a wide array of topics. Hence, I would like to see the follow-on course to be focused more on imparting the practical, hard-earned knowledge from successful technopreneurs such as Prof Lim. I believe that such a course will benefit the students of SMU greatly by equipping them with the skills necessary to face up to the rigours of the world out there.
When I looking back to my answers to the first journal, i feel that i am so naive at that time.
Before this course, I do not know much about this course. I thought it is just a course that teaches the inventions, innnovations, the inventors or something. I do not TWC contains so many different kinds of knowledge.
Now I can say that i am not only achieved my objectives set up in the first lesson, actuallly i learned much more than that.
Expects the knowledge learned from the textbook, i learned a lot interesting and useful stuff from prof& ;s lecture and presentation.
Like the infromation about IPO, there is no such chances for us to learn things about that. After the course, i can say that, i not only learned things i should learn, but also many others useful infromation in doing business.
I was very appreciated that I can take this course in this term. Even though there are only 13 weeks, such a wonderful journal has totally changed my thoughts to TWC.
When I came to this course, I felt that the technology was very boring because I think technology is the aerostatic planes or something like that. I strongly felt that such course would not be able to help me in my future’’s business. However, today, I would be proud to say that I not only reach my previous objectives of this course, but also learnt a lot of external skills.
I understood that the relationship among the technology (innovation) and the marketing, human resource management and strategic management. Because during our case study and the in class presentation, I really realized that the business can be really improved by the innovation and such innovation can be strongly supported by the government and the other people. So that is how technology can actually interact with the business world. During the in-class presentation, professor actually used an appropriate way to help us understand the concepts, she not only taught roughly, but also made it practical to our careers. Though weekly journals and CEO talk, I came to understand that innovation and creativity in technology can actually change the whole business and can attract the market. Finally, such business people will be very successful because they know and make good use of the new technology, by using the technology, even though some people who are not really rich, but they actually spread their business to the whole market. I also understood that how and why the technology change the world and how it can make the company or the business man reach the success and get their initial goals. By using the new technology, more and more people can actually benefit from such technology and high technical companies can actually survive for a long time.
Take ipod as an example, today ipod is a very successful company, because it uses new technology, its computers are different from others, its products’’ systems are also very creativity and easy to use. And such technology helps ipod to build its credibility when it came to this market. What& ;s more, I had found a way that I can actually use the concepts I had learnt in course in my future’’s life. TWC is not a confusing and general concept; it appears very where in my life. What I can actually is using the concepts what I had learnt in this course and use it in the business to find out more and more useful skills like why the company are success, it is because such company with high standard of technology, or it is because such company has very smart CEO,COO,CFO etc.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I like to focus on technopreneurship. I dare to name the course ‘œAdventure of Technopreneurship’�. I will explain the name later.
Technopreneurship is not a product but a process of synthesis in engineering the future of a person, an organization, a nation and the world. (http://www.amigospais-guaracabuya.org/oagmc160.php) I like this description of technopreneurship. It highlights the importance of merging technology prowess and entrepreneurship skills. These two are what I want to learn more in the follow-on course.
In this course, besides learning theories of technology and entrepreneur skills, every group will begin its own adventure. It will plan and form its technology-based business prototype or even establish the business under professors’’ suggestion throughout the course. In TWC class, we learnt useful theories and legendary examples. But we don’’t know the difficulty of processes and when and how to apply these theories. After observing, studying and analyzing, we need to practice what we have learnt and face all the problems of innovation, commercialization, funding, etc. This kind of project will be the best touch-stone of our future career choice of being technopreneurship.
The task sounds very difficult. However, it is helpful even if we choose to work in corporate in the future. And it is a challenging and fun project, SMU students like.
Entrepreneur is not just someone who starts his own, new and small business: We can be a corporate employee and still be entrepreneurial. Entrepreneurship is the practice of consistently converting good ideas into profitable commercial ventures. (http://technopreneurship.wordpress.com/2006/11/29/defining-technopreneurship)
Those good ideas are based on technology and innovation for technopreneurs. Technology doesn’’t mean hi-tech. SMU is a business school. To us, technology is applications of knowledge to human work. Thus accounting, Economic Order Quantity, word-of-mouth marketing, and well-defined mentoring programs are all technologies. We can realize our dreams with our skills.
I like the TWC course very much. I was inspired and encouraged by the professor and guest speakers. I want the follow-on course to be more on practice and adventure basis.
KRISTI WILLIAMS QIAN YING
If Well, TWC is a course that basically describes the manner in which technology is able to impact the world, be it through the different sources of innovation, or the manners in which there could be potential adverse effects to implementing technology. It also highlights real word examples and encourages us to take these into consideration when applying theory to real life. If there was a follow-on, what I feel is that it should focus on the logical extension of this course, which is basically covering what you need to do after you implement your technology. It was briefly mentioned within the case studies, but I think that it should include a more in-depth analysis on such prospects of maintaining relations with angel investors or venture capitalists, or managing finances, or effective marketing. Potential innovators encounter the most problems is mostly during their start up, and this is largely due to a lack of experience. Having a course that helps them to cover some basic fundamentals of keeping their business alive might thus be useful.
HAN JUN KWANG
"I want to learn how innovation has perpetuated business activities since centuries ago till now, and into the future. I would focus research on the past, especially centering along the Industrial Revolution, and will look at how those may serve as a guiding light for future innovation. "
Although I did not have a chance to research more into the Industrial Revolution, the various materials shown in class by both yourself and the other groups have certainly shown how innovation has perpetuated business activities.
As we started from a macro-perspective of the innovation cycle, we zoomed into the various areas such as technology research, marketing and funding. From these, I get to learn for myself how all these areas are equally fundamental within the cycle. The foresight I get from these lessons are immensely value-adding, coming from myself who relates better with the technology phase than the others.
I am now able to understand more clearly why innovation does not stop solely at just more and more technology. Having factored all these lessons, I am confident that these wealth of information can certainly serve as a guiding light for any innovations - be it processes or ideas - that I will encounter in the future.
TWC covers on a wide range of topics, ranging from type and forms of innovations, to the funding that are available for entrepreneurs.
A follow up course from TWC could be on becoming a technological entrepreneur, and on what are the problems and some possible solutions that can be offered to these entrepreneurs.
This course will cater to people who want to pursue being a technological entrepreneur later on in their life, be it a mid career switch, retirement plan, or a business plan after graduation. Besides this, they can be catered to people who may want to pursue a business on offering advice and help to budding technological entrepreneurs, by telling them of the various things to be cautious about.
The course will talk about the paperwork and other administrative documents that will be needed, but not in too much detail as these will be subjected to change after a while. However, it will still be important to know the various documents that are needed.
Next, the various ways to get funding will be further elaborated, emphasizing on the various dangers. These include information such as that venture capitalist will only have funds for 5-7 years, and thus entrepreneurs need to be cautious of how old are the funds that they are obtaining.
Armed with this knowledge, they will know how to work smart, so as to be able to protect themselves. With knowledge such as of where they can get funding or support, they will be better equipped to start their business and succeed.
The course should also include a project seeding their idea, and for those with potential, even to start looking for organizations who may be interested to back it up to the point whereby it can be commercialized. An option would be getting funding from the innovation fund, or EDB or SPRING Singapore. A hands on approach in this manner would also make the course much more interesting!
My objectives set up in my first lesson/journal was that I really wanted to be able see things from the perspectives of successful innovators, what actually make them successful and their take on life. I think my objectives have been met.
Successful innovators, or otherwise also known as technical entrepreneurs, have one thing in common. They have a different spirit. They are not afraid of trying, failing or taking risks. Take Jeff Bezos who founded Amazon.com for example. He gave up a lucrative job as a financial analyst before embarking on his journey to be an entrepreneur. He had used his parents’’ savings as investment for initial outlay. It takes someone with much boldness and courage to be able to take that step because I understand that the fear of failure can hold someone back. It seems to me that successful innovators feel fear, but they do they have to do anyway.
Earlier on, I also wanted to know how successful innovators go about discerning the so-called ‘œgold’� and seeing the potential of a certain value of current inventions. Now, I understand that it is not so much an innovator’’s ability to discern these things, but rather, whether they are at the right place at the right time and if they dared to seize the opportunities. Let us take Olivia Lum for example. When she first public listed her company, the Singapore government then announced their Newater plans and Hyflux was oversubscribed 7 times. Olivia Lum then seized the opportunity to take up PUB projects for building desalination plants. Perhaps Olivia Lum could guess that water is essential for many economies and that her membrane technology could work. But her public listing her company and the government’’s Newater plans happening at the same time was far too coincidental. She was just being at the right place at the right time.
I had also wanted to catch the ‘œinnovative’� spirit and adopt entrepreneur’’s attitude towards life. Prof, I think I have gained most from you in this area. When I asked you what some of the keys that led to your success are, you told me that success starts with the family. This shows me that with your priorities set right, with the family first then work, everything will fall into place. I never understood the importance of a family, perhaps because I was not born into a good one, but on hearing what you said, I am determined to build up a strongly-knitted family of my own should I get married. I want my child to grow up well-adjusted, emotionally healthy and to be a whole, holistic person. At the end of the day, the things that truly matter are indeed your closed ones. I am very privileged to be able to hear from you nuggets of wisdom on life. You are one of the few people I know who is truly successful ‘“ publicly and privately. I wish you many wonderful, great years ahead which I know you definitely will have! One thing I have noticed about you and aspire to be like you is that you do not allow the natural flow of things in this world to affect you, like being in the rat race and all that. Much as I want to be like that too, I am easily affected by things like fear of failure, afraid of losing out etc. I intend to set up my own hedge funds one day, and thus, I know I will have to be strengthened very much in this area before I can embark on that phase of my life.
Apart from that, entrepreneurs need the fighting spirit. You once said before that if you were to encounter many challenges and setbacks in your life, take heart, because you will be someone great. That encouraged me a lot, because I seriously find life unfair to me at times as I always seem to have more problems than others. The challenges we face in life are essential in building us up. People like Olivia Lum, now one of the richest and youngest in Singapore, sure went through a hard time while she was growing up. I believe it was through those challenges that her emotional strength and drive was built up, to the point whereby she can handle a multi-million (now a billion) company today.
As for a follow-on course for TWC (though this is optional but I’’d like to share my opinion), I think learning how to invest in a Technology-based company would be a wider spectrum that can attract students with finance and technology backgrounds alike. Technopreneurship might get very technical for someone who is not very IT savvy like myself. However, I do read up quite a bit on investment here and there and knowing how to invest in technology-based companies will help a lot as we learn the technological aspects of a company and how it affects its business.
NALPON WALTER EDGAR
I believe I have achieved more than the objectives I had initially set up in the first journal.
When I started this course on 07 Jan 2008, i simply wanted to know how innovators were different from inventors and how innovators become successful. The lectures and presentations conducted during this course has certainly helped me to know more about the difference between inventors and innovatiors and how innovators become successful. For instance, I now know that the difference between an inventor and an innovator is that an inventor comes up with a new idea or practice but does not exploit it whereas, an innovator comes up with a new idea or practice and exploits it. In order words, apart from an inventor who simply comes up with the new idea, an innovator takes his new idea and commercialises it. Commercialisation involves activities such as design, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and product support. Furthermore, I have also learned that in order to become a sucessful innovator, a person needs to have sufficient money, attract the market and good business strategies.
In addition to helping me accomplish my two objectives, I have also managed to learn many important things. Some of which include how innovations are classified, the similarities and differences between science and technoogy and how innovations are funded. Furthermore, I have also managed to learn about the importance of entrepreneurship in our current society (e.g. it creates jobs) and what the Singapore government has been doing to promote entrepreneurship.
Your emphasis on in-class presentations has also helped me to build up my confidence when it comes to presenting in front of a group of people. I used to hold a script each time i gave a presentation to a group of people. Throughout this course, I have managed to do every presentation without holding a script and this has boosted my confidence.
Lastly, I have also managed to realise the importance of being able to communicate effectively in the working society. I remember you saying that if you are unable to present your ideas effectively to your boss, another person could easily outperform you by taking your idea and presenting it well to your boss. In the end, despite coming up with an excellent idea, the person being unable to present effectively could lose out to the person who is able to present ideas well as people would believe that the idea belonged to the person who was able to present his ideas well
Thus, this course has certainly taught me more than the objectives i had set up to achieve at the start of this course.
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal& ;
I have learned a lot during my TWC classes. This past 13 weeks has been valuable experiences for me. I know more about latest technologies from the case studies which were presented in class, such as Tagit and Naro car. Moreover, I feel that the in class research has enhance my knowledge, not only about technologies, but also about entrepreneur and venture capitalists. In short, the course goes beyond what I have expected.
I remember I wrote in my first journal that I want to know more about the future technologies. However, I did not learn much about it. Indeed I can get some insight of what the future technologies might be, yet it still seems blur to me. Estimating future technologies is definitely not an easy thing to do. Nevertheless, I did achieve my fundamental objective which was to know technologies better. I know more about who invented what, the brief history of certain technologies and also about being innovative and creative. Moreover, I learned a lot from my classmates.
In the end, although not all of my objectives were achieved, but I gained more than I thought I would be. I realize that 13 weeks is not enough to learn technology profoundly, yet I am delighted to be given this opportunity.
This course has been a very fulfilling journey for me indeed and my objective set in the first journal has been achieved. I gained insight into many arenas of innovation. Characteristics that define different types of innovations and technologies were learnt. Concepts like technology strategy and funding innovation are very useful as they help entrepreneurs formulate and develop better their business plans for their new entrepreneurial plan. Understanding of these concepts has better equiped me for my future endeavors as an entrepreneur.
One of the reasons why I gained so much through this class was because of the in class presentations, as that was the application of the textbook knowledge in the real world. And for me thats the best way to learn, as I am able to better understand the concepts when in action.
Through the case analysis, I was able to pull on different threads across the field of technology and innovation and apply them to the case.
I was also able to better understand the importance of keeping up to date with technology as I have realised that technology is changing every so often and in this fast moving world, one technology can become obsolete as soon as two to three months from its initial launch.
Overall, this course has been an enriching one and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
PRAYAANK ANIL GUPTA
My goal with TWC was to use what I learnt to become a successful entrepreneur. Indeed throughout this course I have learnt that there is no substitute for hard work in determining success. This is why I have attempted to tackle both questions rather than just answer one. There is no easy way for budding entrepreneurs, no short cuts, just diligence which is the primary determinant of success.
I can already see how backed up data is important, something we talked about in class when the team presented on notebook theft. To revisit my first journal;
‘œMy learning objectives would primarily be concerned with developing a better understanding of technology and what impact it has or what influence it exerts on every individual. Besides just learning about the impact of technology, it is of utmost importance for me to learn what drives technological change. One cannot underestimate the importance of technology, especially in the business realm. Technology can literally make or break a business, which makes it imperative for me to better understand and appreciate technology. This course would prove most optimal if it helped me learn how to leverage from technology to become a successful professional as well as help me make an impact on society (not just in monetary terms). (116 words)’�
Alluding to my first journal I can already see goals realized. I have developed a better understanding of technology and have understood the impact it has on me. For instance issues such as the long wave cycle which affects the entire economy affects me immensely. Advances in technology make existing technologies redundant and this too affects me as a potential technopreneur. I will not elaborate on the several ways by which I am affected by technology, but I can now see how I am impacted. I have also learnt about the determinants of technological change and how technology impacts the business realm. I have come to better understand and appreciate technology. Moreover (and most importantly) i have augmented my understanding on how to leverage from technology to become a successful professional (not just to make profits, but also how to source for funds, learnt more on patents and infringements and protecting your IP etc).
Thankyou prof for helping me reach my learning goals. It is seldom that I list out my goals, even rarer that they get fulfilled. I usually view modules as necessary stepping stones to attain a degree which was not the case here. TWC was like a springboard in a sense to propel me towards a brighter and hopefully more successful career, and not just a necessary stepping stone.
After undertaking TWC I feel a follow on course would be most apt for the all-rounded development of students in this field. The course area of TWC was very wide in terms of its subject matter. This has both an advantage and a disadvantage. The advantage of skimming the surface is that students got a broad understanding of the various different subjects. However a broad understanding is different from a detailed, in-depth understanding of separate areas which follow on courses could achieve. Although SMU might adjudge such a module to be most apt for a Postgraduate degree, I feel it could help undergraduates. For a business university I can concur that not many people opt for a Management major, instead opting for Finance. Perhaps this is linked to the Singaporean mentality of opting for a salary rather than a profits or losses, and gravitating towards banks. If one looks at the requirements to attain a BBM degree, there is this section, ‘œTechnological and Entrepreneurship Requirements’�. To be frank, although I have fulfilled this requirement, I have not learnt anything from the modules I took. A follow on course encompassing IT and technology and its business implications would be an ideal course for undergrads to undertake to fulfill such a requirement. Although I can foresee many courses having their implementation, nonetheless it depends on students to accept and bid for these modules (which they often refrain from doing as they view them as ‘œcheem’� , a need to be ‘œkiasu’� etc). For this SMU needs to educate students on the importance and feasibility of such modules, which we came to learn from TWC.
To be honest, I had TWC a year back under another prof, who to be candid I felt sucked (words fail me at this point, its week 13). That explains why I dropped that module and was fortunate to have it pre-assigned under you (I do not mean to praise you, but it is pretty obvious going by course outlines of other profs that yours is the only comprehensive TWC course, in its essence). Maybe students do not learn enough from other lecturers& ; I do not know the answer, all I can say is after undertaking this course I see potential and practicality in having spin off modules for TWC, which I would not have seen prior to taking this module. I cannot choose any one area of focus, but rather I see several areas which should not be confined within just a management major requirement.
GOH BING LIANG
Question 2 - If there is a follow-on course from TWC, which topic would you like it to focus on& ;
If there ever is a follow on course from TWC, I would really like it to focus on innovation in the transportation field. Personally, I am really interested in transportation - especially rail transportation. When most people think of rail transportation and innovation in the same light, probably bullet trains and maglev trains first come to mind.
However in my opinion, some of the most spectacular feats of innovation and technological development in rail transportation actually occurred more than a century ago. Let me share an example I really enjoy researching and studying about in my free time.
Back in the 1870s, an ambitious Swiss engineer, Louis Favre, was tasked to oversee the construction of a railway through the massive Swiss Alps that would provide the first transportation link between Germany and Italy through Switzerland. Through the use of numerous spiral tunnels and loops to gain height and bridges to cross the uneven terrain, his men built a line that climbed up the slopes of the Alps and cut 15km through the midriff of the mountain chain at a height of 1000m above sea level before descending back down. It took 2500 men 10 years (from 1872-1882) to complete what is known today as the St Gotthard railway.
To provide a measure of how massive a feat that was ‘“ in the 1870s, the telephone and light bulb were invented; mutiny, violence and strikes amongst workers were commonplace, and even today, more than 120 years on, this line remains the main rail link between Germany, Switzerland and Italy.
There are many more interesting examples of innovation and development in the transportation field, and reading about them never fails to leave me in awe and amazement of man’’s capabilities.
TAN SHER LI
I think I have met my goal of wanting to explore and know more about how technology has impacted our lives. In addition, my knowledge on both innovators and innovations has certainly increased tremendously.
Throughout the course of TWC, I am exposed to several aspects of technology, and how it is closely related to business today. Besides the usual learning from Professors, this course has allowed me to do much self-learning, especially through the weekly in-class presentations. I have enjoyed the lessons as there are often interesting discussions on topics which are technology-related and relevant to our lives. Group projects always require us to analyze life examples which enabled me to gain knowledge beyond what textbooks provide.
As a business student, one significant learning point would be how technology is a VERY important key to the success of almost any business today. For instance, how technology can change market demand, how technology can affect a company’’s production/innovation, and how technology can bring in great revenues.
I might have heard or read these somewhere, somehow, but this course has created opportunities for me to learn them in greater details, and even from life stories of people-guest speakers.
It is often when what I have learnt become so relevant and real, then would I be able to apply them in my life.
So for now, it is time to apply what I have learnt.
‘œSurely we should use the technology to stamp it out and put things right.’� -Harry Redknapp
SALMAN KHALICK HAMID DHUNNA
In the first week the main objectives I had set out for myself to through this course were to:
‘¢ Understand the impacts of technology on our lives today as well as in the future
‘¢ Empower myself with the knowledge to conduct my business in a more socially sustainable manner through this course
Of these I believe I have achieved both objectives to a very great extent and in fact I think I have superseded my objectives in terms of the knowledge I have gained. My objectives at the start were to simply gain knowledge about the impacts of technology and the knowledge to conduct a socially sustainable business. This knowledge is what I achieved very early on in the course. To add to this I also learnt a lot about technopreneurship and how innovation can draw me towards new and profitable avenues of success. The course in its entirety was very effective in helping me understand what it takes to become a successful technopreneur. Right from the hardships faced to the success of the business, this course provided me with meaningful as well as knowledgeable insights into the process of becoming a successful technopreneur. Carrying out the case study on a successful technopreneur helped me further accentuate my knowledge about technopreneurship.
Also, seminars with highly successful individuals provided me with valuable lessons for life such as to spend wisely as was said by Mr. Cliffs Goh. Last but not the least being lectured by a Professor who has achieved so much herself was a very valuable experience to me and has helped equip me with knowledge I can use at all stages in life.
On the whole I feel I that not only did I achieve my objectives but I learned a lot more than that. This course was a very knowledgeable and enjoyable experience and the achievement of my objectives made the course even more valuable.
ANG XIN YI YVONNE
This week marks the end of the Technology and World Change module that was assigned to me. Truthfully speaking, I& ;ve taken away a lot from this course because I& ;ve learnt so much new knowledge that I was never once exposed to on a deeper level and this really is what makes this course so enjoyable and fulfilling at the same time.
When this course firs started in week 1, i thought i was not going to like it because I& ;m not a very technology savvy person, as such i can forsee a lot of difficulty but I& ;m excited at the same time for i& ;m going to learn things which are totally new to me. However, this impression changed after the second lesson. Recalling the objectives that I& ;ve set during the first journal, I& ;ve definitely achieved them for every single lesson is interactive. As such, the fresh and innovative ideas contributed by my classmates and Prof have led to an increase in understanding and interest for the world of technology.
In addition, because of the vibrancy of the class and their energy level, I felt comfortable and was able to participate which was another one of the important objective that I set upon myself to achieve at the end of this course. This course has truly opened up my mind into a whole new world of technology and how it is in fact closely interlinked with every aspects of our life and it has definitely increased my interest in technology. Many a times during the course, I& ;ve experienced many "eureka" moments which is really gratifying as it is a real indicator of me learning something new each time I experienced those moments.
All these new knowledge have broaden my perspetive on the world of technology and most importantly, it has made me interested in something which I was once ignorant of or rather, I thought was a difficult world to understand. This whole journey has allowed me to gain a deeper undestanding on how techonlogy can make or break our lives.
hus in conclusion, though TWC course has come to an end already, the amount of knowledge and new ideas that I& ;ve gained will follow me throughout my lives and I& ;m really thankful for it being such a satisfying course where it has truly changed my thinking about technology.
I still remember that after the first TWC lesson, I set up my 3 goals and planed how to achieve those goals. The 3 goals are: knowing more about the modern technology; how to communicate with others about technology; and how to analyze some technological production. And how to achieve them: first, I will combine reading textbook with listening to the lecture; second, I want to try my best to make more class participation to improve my communication skills; third, I will join the group discussion and research actively; last, striving for giving useful suggestions.
After 13 weeks’’ study, I acquired more knowledge about technology that I even hadn’’t heard of, such as innovation process. So now I’’m proud that I can talk about some technological information with my friends and my father, although I still need to learn more. Moreover, I also learn something very important, like intellectual property and entrepreneurship. I think this kind of knowledge will help me a lot with my career in the future.
When I review how I want to achieve my objectives, I found that I have achieved most of them. Before every lecture, I read textbook, so I knew clearly what would be the coming lesson about. For class participation, I think it is the point I still need to improve. When classmates began to discuss some IT related issues, I couldn’’t join the discussion, because I didn’’t know those things. I was disappointed. Therefore, I should read more magazines and newspaper to know more information like what kind of new technology is in the market now. However, when professor mentioned something about China, I tried my best to join the discussions. For my group, I’’m very glad that we became friends and we could have lunch together. I think I was quite active in our group’’s discussions and meetings. The most important thing is that I also learnt a lot of things from my group mates such as our senior group members are very efficient and more professional when they worked. I learnt how to plan projects is the most effective way.
I’’m really satisfied with my TWC course, not only professor and class style, but also our class mates, especially my group mates.
TOH YUE LIN
Personally, I have a very keen interest in entrepreneurship, which perhaps stems out of the fact that it is my dream to become an entrepreneur in the future. Therefore, I would be very interested in a follow-up course on Technopreneurship and Management, if there were ever to be any follow-up courses from the TWC module. I think that SMU has positioned itself very well as a boutique university of sorts, focusing on business and business-related studies. NTU and NUS have also invested in Technopreneurship, having establishments such as the Nanyang Technopreneurship Centre and the NUS Technopreneurship Centre. Therefore, I think that SMU should leverage on the existing Wharton-SMU Research Center and continue to provide more research opportunities and courses on Technopreneurship and even investing in technology-based company.
I think electives on Technopreneurship and management would be very useful, especially with regards to equipping budding entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and management knowledge in running start-ups or technology-based companies. As what I have learnt during my TWC Case Study from my group’’s entrepreneur of choice (Paddy Tan), being a technopreneur (or an entrepreneur, for that matter) is not something that is a 100m dash. Rather, it is like a long marathon and in order to survive and complete this long journey, one has to be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge and prepare well for the long race ahead. Hence, I feel that a Technopreneurship elective or module should equip students with the skills of management, funding, and also touch on the law, which I feel is very important in today’’s world. I think that these 3 main sub-topics would be extremely useful and serve budding entrepreneurs in good stead in time to come.
Firstly, why management skills& ; I think that through the course of TWC and also other business-related courses, I have come to realize that thinking and planning and conceptualizing is not enough. An idea will always remain an idea ‘“ until you know how to and manage to execute it successfully. In order to do this, I think one needs to know at least some basic management skills and knowledge. Examples would include how one should steer the company in the right direction, and the strategies that can be employed (which was covered only quite briefly in TWC lesson). Also, I think that good business plan writing skills should be taught as a good business plan is crucial for any budding technopreneurs.
Secondly, I feel that knowledge about funding, how to raise funds, how to go about doing it and what are the requirements and prerequisites needed to be fulfilled before applying for the different schemes (be it from Banks, raising funds through listing a company, Venture Capitalists etc.). Admittedly, it can be very confusing and frustrating for a young and budding entrepreneur to source for funds and funding, with the mass of information out there. There should be a ‘œshopping class’� whereby greater and more in-depth technical details about funding are being taught. This will help bridge the knowledge gap.
Thirdly, I think that several aspects of the Law should also be taught in the Technopreneurship and Management course. To me, the importance of the legal aspects of doing business has been underplayed in most the management modules that I have come across so far. I feel that technology or IT and the law is a very dynamic and interesting field to look into now, especially with many changes and developments in this field. As a budding or potential technopreneur, it would be very useful indeed to be equipped with the necessary legal knowledge in the field of IT and the law in case of any breach of the law. Also, there is the legal knowledge about infringement of copyright laws, IP rights and more.
To top it all off, I think that the Technopreneurship and Management course should also include several dialogue cum networking sessions. Networking is a very important business skill set and something intangible. By meeting more like-minded successful technoprenuers, I think that one can learn a lot from them, seek advice from them and perhaps even one day, be able to tap on them.
PHUA SHIH EE ELISHA
Yes, I have achieved my objectives ‘“ to learn more about how the world is changing with advancements in technology; read up more on world issues; do more research during my own free time; read up textbook chapters before class.
Before every TWC lesson, I will read up the textbook chapters, and realised that I learn and absorb more quickly when groups touch on their presentation topics (based on the textbook chapter). I also spent the Week 8 and 9 breaks reading Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, as recommended by Prof Lim. Unfortunately, we did not have time to go through that in class.
Now, I do enjoy reading more. I make an effort to read up on Digital Life section in Straits Times weekly. When a particular topic discussed in class interests me, I will also spend more time researching on that, for example, GM foods, as discussed today.
I feel that reading is really about discipline. It is good that I was asked to set out the objectives I want to achieve in TWC, and make an effort to achieve them. Time management and discipline go hand in hand. TWC is definitely one of the courses I have learnt a lot from, not because of the module itself ‘“ but because of the objectives set that linked to TWC ‘“ and how I had managed to achieve them all. Reading does me no harm ‘“ it simply helps me gain more knowledge, and keeps me updated with technology and world changes!
I will focus on Technopreneurship as I hope to gain more knowledge to become a technopreneur. Even though after attending all the TWC classes, I learnt about being an technopreneur is not easy. But I am willing to give it a try as I feel that everything in entrepreneurship comes with a risk. Learning the right strategies and with the right skill set actually help to minimize the risk involve. Lastly, I truly enjoyed all the TWC class this semester as I really gained some insights into entrepreneurship. Thank you prof and my new found team mates
LEE SIANG LIANG
I have learnt quite a lot from this course, and hence I have achieved my objectives to a large extent.
I have gained a better understanding of technology and innovation, and their effect on society. I have also learnt a lot from the various distinguished guest speakers, and from other inspiring entrepreneurs introduced during the class case studies.
During this term, I attended a talk conducted by the CEO of BIG Communications Pte Ltd, which was organised by the school. I was able to relate and link what was covered in class to the talk regarding innovation and entrepreneurship, and the CEO also stressed the importance of innovating and maintaining a competitive edge. I was able to see the actual application of what I have learnt about entrepreneurship and innovation, and the importance of innovation in business left a great impression on me.
In addition, I have also attended a talk conducted by a memory master. He also talked about how Henry Ford was able to rethink, and thus invented the conveyor belt, which revolutionized factory production. With the knowledge gained through in-class presentations and discussions, I was able to appreciate the talk better, and I felt the impact and importance of innovation. This speaker also mentioned the ill-effects of technology. He highlighted that our dependence on technology may cause our memory to become worse, and to prevent this, we must use more of our memory instead of relying solely on technology.
I have realised the negative impacts of technology. This course has awakened me to the perils of technology and the need to constantly weigh the pros and cons of everything. I should constantly ask what effects technology would have on me. I begin to question whether I have been watching too much television programmes in the past, and whether I have benefitted more than I have suffered from watching television programmes. I do not know what would have happened if I had grown up without a television at home, but maybe I would have perfect eyesight and be a different person now.
The continuous challenge is to make use of and manage technology in ways such that the overall long-term benefits outweigh the disadvantages, so that we do not become ‘œslaves’� of technology.
We, the human species, are confronting a planetary emergency’”a threat to the survival of our civilization, which is gathering ominous and destructive potential even as I write now. Many people may not realise that this crisis arose as a result of rapid, uncontrolled, selfish, and profit-driven innovation and technological improvements. If we do not act now to solve the crisis, which includes global warming, then we may eventually cause the destruction of our earth.
TAN SIQI ANGIE
I have certainly gained a better understanding of technology and its application to the real world. Technology has proved itself empowering when used in the most ethical manner. Most importantly, I have been able to learn not only from the textbook itself, but also from my friends (the year 2 and year 3 students). The prof has also time and again shared her unique experience in the corporate world and somewhat made me realise how harsh life can potentially get in the working world. At the end of the day, I am extremely humbled by the achievements of inventors, innovators and technopreneurs.
I have definitely achieved my objectives set up in the first journal and much more. In journal 1, I mentioned wanting to find inspiration to innovate and also about wanting to learn about the impacts of innovation. The lessons and the guest speakers inspired me in more ways than one to innovate and made innovation within reach and not such a far-fetched idea. Perhaps the talk by the guest speakers and your wise words had the most impact on me as i am more likely to sit up and pay attention when real entrepreneurs talk about their first-hand experiences and as such with four great entrepreneurs sharing their success stories, I have gained a lot of knowledge that I wont be able to find in textbooks or that are defined in theories. Also, these entrepreneurs are based in Singapore, which made it even more relatable to me as I understood how they made their mark in the Singapore context. I have seen how these entrepreneurs made a mark in their respective fields and seen how they’’ve transformed these fields and made processes more efficient and reliable. This is all the more an inspiration for me as I have seen that even individuals can make a difference and make major waves in an industry. It does not necessarily have to stem from a large and well-established organization. The textbook examples supplement these as well and provide further proof that with determination, the right kind of support and good decision-making skills, one can make an idea into a reality. Also, through this course I have learnt that innovation is a not such a simple word and encompasses many concepts and theories that are worthy of discussion and that do not necessarily have clear-cut answers. However, the course has definitely enabled me to have a more structured understanding of ‘œinnovation’� as compared to the vague idea that I had before.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like it to focus on technopreneurship as now that I have gained knowledge about technopreneurs, I would like to delve deeper and cover more practical as well as theoretical aspects. This would perhaps give me a better grounding if I actually do seriously consider becoming a technopreneur.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, which topic would you like it to focus on& ; E.g. Technopreneurship, Investing in Technology-based company
Setting up a business is a common dream for many people. Unfortunately, very few made it through and even fewer made it to success.
As a renowned university with a character of non-traditional learning, SMU’’s offering Technology and World Change is appraisable. Not only Business students should learn how to be an entrepreneur but practically said everyone. TWC provided students with fundamental knowledge of theories, examples, ideas and inspiration. From the lessons, in-class discussion, and guest speakers, students absorb entrepreneurship as the semester goes on. However, to be a successful entrepreneur requires more than a one-semester course. Just like Global and Regional Studies have Business Study Mission, TWC should have entrepreneur workshop as a follow-on course.
Due to the variety of business ideas of individuals, Entrepreneur Workshop class should allow students to think liberally of what their business is going to be like. However, there must be standards that could measure feasibility of the business ideas and the effectiveness of the product solutions so that students could achieve a practical outcome from the course. Nonetheless, the common focus of the class should be on developing or inventing technology that leads to innovation which can either be sold to technology-based company or be incorporated into a ‘œtechnopreneurship’�.
Personally, I prefer selling my innovative ideas to companies because it gives immediate return of the efforts and also opportunity to generate another idea. For example, I used to be very much into C programming and 3D modeling because I’’m good at thinking of game themes. I thought of developing technologies to track lost items (sometimes we just can’’t our own car keys, mobile phones, important documents in our own house). However, as time went by, I had no clue what to solidify the idea. Perhaps it’’s because all the ideas I had were all stuck at the place where I don’’t know to start to make it real. When I have business ideas, I don’’t even know how to write a plan. I couldn’’t think of friends who would join me. And those make it impossible to obtain funding from any entity. And then I just let my ideas erode away.
So, to put me into a shoe of prospective student in the TWC follow-on class, I would like the class to teach the REAL way of starting up a business; how to measure the practicality and viability of the product and of course, guide or even networking session with the funding sources for both Singaporeans and foreigners in Singapore. Moreover, the class should examine failures and successes of business and suggest ways to mitigate the loss. Topics like conflicts and self-motivation should be included in the seminars too as they are vital to entrepreneurship.
I won’’t expect every student in this follow-on class to set up their business right after the course. Everyone has one’’s own pace. However, the best that this course will do is that it will continue with every step the student takes to gain experience, learn and network with others. Eventually, at one point of time in a life, I hope to apply the knowledge from the course in some way or another- setting up my own technology-based company, sell my VIABLE ideas and make money, or even fundamentally advise others.
WEE JING-YI DESMOND
If there were a follow-on course on TWC, I think it would be useful if it were something related to Investing in Technology Companies. Admittedly, the scope would be too narrow for this to be a full credit course so perhaps it could be a half-credit course. Alternatively, what would be ideal is if it could teach also valuation methods in addition to the qualitative aspects on investing in Technology companies. All in all, this has given a good introduction into the field of innovation and technology-based businesses and the Investing course would just take it to the next level of application, albeit with a finance-slant to it.
SMU has a strong finance culture and this would definitely complement the stable of finance courses that we already have currently.
MUHAMMAD RIDZUAN BIN MOHD NASRI
Should there be a follow-on course for TWC, it should foucs on the role of technology being the driving force in a business. In essence, this techopreneurship course can examine case studies on successful companies who have leveraged on techonology and uncover the processes that they go through to achieve the successes.
This course should also cover the pitfalls of engaging in technopreneurship. Again, here case studies will be useful in examining how companies fail to churn out a successful venture despite possessing brilliant techonological ideas r breakthroughs. It could also delve into the dangers of getting involved in a hightechnology start-up wihout doing the proper market research and having the right know-how.
All in all, such a course would be useful and provide an insight to students who yearn to become their own bosses one day.
OOI PEI QI
In the first journal, I set up the following objectives:
1. To use the information I learnt through this course to engage people in conversations
2. Go through the readings each week to expand my knowledge on technology
3. To actively participate in class discussions
4. To think critically about the issues presented by my classmates
I think that I have achieved objectives number 1, 2 and 4. After this whole course, I become more aware of the history of some technologies. I have also become more informed about the news on the current technologies. For example, I learnt about the history of the dot com bubble and was aware of the new MacBook product, MacBook Air, when it was first marketed.
I used to be fearful of reading the Digital Life section of The Straits Times newspaper, because I fear that I will feel that I am not technology savvy enough to read it. However, after a few weeks of TWC lesson, I have overcome that fear, and am fine with updating myself with the newest technological products in the market.
Although I did not achieve objective number 3, I listen attentively whenever my classmates present in class, and through their presentations, I have learnt more about technology and entrepreneurship.
One thing that is not in the objectives I set up in Week 1 but feel was worth learning is certain values and attitude towards life. I learnt that I can be very successful in life, having material things like a career, a car and a house, but I would be nothing without the support of family and friends.
I also learnt that above all the information that we learnt out of the course, the more important element that should be learnt is the attitude we have towards learning and life in general. We are the ones who have authority over our lives, over how much we want to learn and how positive or negative we want our lives to be.
Thanks Prof, for the class and life lessons.
WONG KIAN HOONG
If there were a follow-on course, I would like it to be solely on the steps to starting a successful business, the steps to registering a company, applying for grants or looking for angel investors, the laws in Singapore that govern the forming of a new business, pitfalls to look out for, and government regulations regarding any thing that an entrepreneur should know to be able to start a business. The objective of the course would be to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the relevant knowledge to starting a business in Singapore, so that they can focus their time and effort on the more important aspect of developing their business idea or product. I believe such a course would help many budding entrepreneurs to have a higher chance of being successful, by being able to know what they need to do, and what to avoid. If there were such a course in SMU, I would readily register for it. KRISHNA VIJAY
i first mentioned that i would like to learn about the most pertinent trends and directions of which technology would be headng in the future and the impact that it would have on how business dealings would be handled worldwide. i personally think that the concepts that i have picked up along the duration of my TWC course thus far has gone a long way to better this understanding. basic concepts such as the various types of innovation and inventions, to more complex concepts such as the technology S curve and punctuated equilibrium curve and funding of entrepreneural activities have greatly opened my eyes on the factors that goes into doing business in the technology sector.
what i was surprised about the course is the amount of knowledge that i gained not only from prof herself sharing her own experiences as an technopreneur but from my classmates! i knew that i was bound to learn something from them but never this much. i feel that the use of the weekly breakout sessions is indeed briliant. it forces us all to actually apply our readings of the various topics prior to class and we also learn alot from presentations given in class. credit is really due to my classmates as they are indeed extremely knowledgable on most aspects discussed in class.
but perhaps the biggest take away would have to be the lessons learnt outside the classroom.the real life experiences shared by established entrepreneurs such Mr Leslie Loh and Mr Cliff Goh was something that was not in the syllabus but i feel has tonnes of value addedness. often do you hear about such people but it often leaves you rather skeptical as to the true essence of that person and his abilities to make it that big from virtually nothing. being able to interact with these individuals after the presentations was indeed an eye opener and i gained valuable insights into making it as an entrepreneur. i mentioned in my first journal that talking to people with the relavant expertise such as industry leaders would greatly enhance my understanding of the course but it did more than that, it gave me real world examples and knowledge as well.
all in all, i feel as though i have gained more than the objectives that i set up in my first journal in week one and for that i thank everyone that i have mentioned above.
BONG SHU LIN
I guess my first learning journal was not very keen on the idea of "technology", however, from a business student point of view, i learnt that there are more to technology. The world is evolving so rapidly that business models have also become more complex and digital. I learnt that technology can be so powerful that it is also controlling the world. Every business move along with its advancement. After this course, i learnt to be more receptive to new technology and invention. Being more receptive has also been one of my objectives set in the first lessons. However, i realised that too technical stuff is not really my interest as i am not a very technical person. But it is amazing how learning TWC has widen my scope of understanding about the importance of technology. Guess, without much choice, it is important to be able to adaptive to this new age! SHAIKHA FIRYAL BINTE SHAIKH MAHFUTZ MATTAR
Yes, I think I achieved my objectives in the first lesson / journal. The objectives I met are:-
1. Increasing my understanding on the role of technology in Businesses, Government and Society
I learned how important technology is in today’’s context to run businesses effectively. As society progresses, the use of technology such as computers and mobile phones become more and more normalized. This can pose both a benefit and a threat at the same time. On one hand, technology simplifies the things we do and make our lives easier; but it can also affect our health adversely or contribute to other graver issues such as environmental pollution. I learned that issues that affect the world today are in one way or another related to technology or its abuse. It is important to strike a balance between improvements of life and the adverse consequences it may pose.
Technology also impacts governments’’ decisions. I learned that at the end of the day, a technological invention may not take off (or its take off may delay) because of laws or regulations of the country. For e.g. the invention of products such as TagIt may not be very successful or even go into the ‘œdiffusion’� stage if credit card numbers are not allowed to be kept. Similarly, products such as tracking devices on mobile phones are currently restricted by the government as it poses a security threat and infringes on fundamental rights to privacy and free movement.
Additional Information I learned:
"Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other".
~C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971
More importantly, I realised that the concept of technology is fluid in nature; i.e. it does not stand alone and it is not a concept that only affects the inventor or the company the inventor has formed. The technology, if diffused into the market, may impact political, economic or social decisions. Governments decide the threshold allowed for technology and if they feel that society is not ready to accept the technology or to use it responsibly, then the invention may not be sold to the mass market. However, at the same time, the government may find certain technology (that is not suitable to be sold to the mass market) useful for security purposes. For e.g prisoners may be electronically tagged so that the police can track where he / she is in order to prevent any possible harm on society. But this technology is not used on a large-scale basis or sold to the mass market.
2. Current Affairs & Case Studies Relating to Technology
I learned a lot about companies in this module and their mistakes. I learned through case studies that sometimes, companies, despite being successful in being granted a patent for a invention, may not necessarily be the most successful. Companies and other bigger competitors may "imitate" the idea and improve on it; thus taking over the market share previously held by the company. This is clearly examplified in the case of X-It, where Kidde improved on X-It& ;s Escape Ladders. Despite the reduction in US profits, Kidde had seen improved sales growth and profit margin.
Additional learning points:
Besides learning about companies& ; rise and fall, I also learned to apply the theories on Technology and World Change into the real-life context.
3. Interest and Passion
My initial objective was to have fun and enjoy the module; but as I started to learn more about TWC, my interest in the subject became more apparent. I found myself looking forward to TWC classes and in-class presentations. The module also helped me to improve my communication skills ‘“ something that I did not plan to achieve at the beginning of the course.
As I am currently a partner of a real estate company, I could relate very much to the problems that other companies face and more importantly, learn from them. The theories discussed in class were also very useful in helping me to understand how technology impacts any business - not necessarily a business relating to technology. The TWC module has only intensified my interest and made me thirsty to learn more. I would definitely be interested in a follow-on course such as Technopreneurship.
Technology and World Change textbook
Chosen Topic : If there is a follow-on course from TWC, which topic would you like it to focus on& ; E.g. Technopreneurship, Investing in Technology-based company
I feel that technopreneurship is more suitable for me as I am a student from school of information systems. I am better versed in technology in comparison to corporate finance. Being well-versed in the technology field in terms of this current era of information age, I have acquired knowledge and skills within this area. The knowledge I had gathered through the years put me into a position of not just simply learning it but also applying it to new ideas. With a broad base of understanding of information technology, a spark of a new radical idea might lead me into technopreneurship. I can simply just create something based on the information technology knowledge I acquired so far and create an intellectual property out of it.
Singapore government has been pushing its people to go forward on entrepreneurship, Singaporeans have to stand out and make a difference to create new jobs and new industries in order for Singapore to grow stronger economically. They have a broad category of startup funding available for inspiring entrepreneurs to be which anyone with a sound business idea can tap on and move forward without a problem in financing the business. There are many entrepreneurs and technopreneurs in Singapore, one very good example would be Mr. Sim Wong Hoo. He had shown a new side of what Singaporeans can do then just plain getting a degree plus a good stable job. The Singapore education sector is changing and courses like TWC is simply brightening up the students to see further of how technology affects our lives. TWC provides a student with an in depth understanding of technology related theories, and this aids in the thinking of a student embarking on a technopreneurship journey. Students will be able to foresee, analyze, and evaluate its technological related ideas.
Since Singapore Management University has been promoting the tagline ‘œLet’’s Make a Difference’�, they are actually focusing on create a different breed of outstanding students articulately and intellectually. This approach will produce career minded, high income expectation employees for potential employers to take them in. This is the normal approach which I suppose is ok for now, but they should move more into entrepreneurship or technoprenuership, not producing employees anymore but employers of the future. With young and vibrant students graduating every year, if almost every student are to become an entrepreneur or technoprenuer someday, Singapore will be financially strong and prosper in the years to come. I will certainly take up such a new course that is available in SMU.
LAU JIA JIA LAUREEN
Yes. Through this course, my knowledge of technology and innovation has definitely improved. I used to think of innovation as a whole new product like an invention. Now, I know the different types of innovation and sources of innovation.
One of the technologies I did not hear about before this course was nanotechnology ‘“ building machines on the scale of molecules ‘“ a few nanometers wide. With that, I also started to read a bit on nanotechnology to find out more on what it is. I also did not hear much about genetic modified food before this course. After today’’s class, I have an idea of what GM food is all about. I will start to question more about things that I see and hear about. The lesson on intellectual property has also taught me a lot.
Besides, through the case studies, I now know more about Olivia Lum, Jezz Bezos, Hewlett and Packard, James Seng and also our very own Prof Lim and how they get their funding and help from various institutions.
One of the objectives I set out in this course is to bring to my awareness events and things happening all around the world with focus on technology and innovation. This objective has been achieved over the past few weeks. I have become more knowledgeable. However I feel that I have to read up a lot more to really know what is happening around the world ‘“ technology changing the world.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I think it will be interesting to learn about investing in technology-based company.
I think I have achieved my objectives set up in the first lesson/journal. I have learnt a lot from TWC course and Prof. Lim. At the start of this course, I didn’’t know a lot technological terms as I had no related background. Moreover, I am a first year business student and a lot of students in this class are IS students. To achieve my objectives, I read recommended text and do research. Now I know quite a lot about topic of technology and innovation. If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like it to focus on technopreneurship and funding problems associated with innovation. I believe these topics are very interesting and provide strong foundation in my future.
KEW XUN WEI
I would prefer a course on investments in tech-based companies and related topics. As interesting as the current TWC syllabus goes, it does not provide much practical knowledge on a general basis. Unless an individual is committed to a tech-based career or business, all that we have learnt thus far is only "good-to-know". Therefore, it there is to be a further course for TWC, one which provides us with applicable knowledge will definitely draw better interests. KOH JIAHAO SYLVESTER
When I first started the course, I stated that I wanted to learn more about present and future technology. I feel that after spending 13 weeks in the course, I have achieved my objectives and gone beyond them in terms of learning.
Through the presentations by my fellow course mates, they have introduced new innovators who are yet to be famous but still creating waves in their own way. For example, there was a presentation on the ‘˜ru’’, which was invented by an SMU student. This demonstrated the current technology but it also showcased possible future technology. For every presentation done on a current technology, the professor always finds ways to improve the technology and even when the suggestions seem like a long way off, they are always feasible and just take effort to make them successful.
The seminar series, which saw three distinguished speakers share their experience, widened my learning and exceeded my expectations. Hearing their different experiences, gave me a better idea of what technology is in the market in the information technology industry as well as compared and contrasted working for a big firm like IBM or having my own company. This gave me more food for thought and helped to shape my direction in terms of career. Although I have yet to decide which path to take, it has definitely given me more information to help in my decision making process.
I also enjoyed the topic on cyclical wave as I was surprise to find out that not only finance had such a wave. I think that I knew that there was a trend in technology but never properly took the time to analyze it that way. Besides giving me knowledge about the wave, it also taught me to analyze situations more and derive patterns from them if I can. This will help me in the business world as it is about predicting the next boom or doom. Hence it was not only knowledge I obtained but also analytical skills.
Perhaps the most interesting topic was the funding. I learned that there are actually many ways to secure funding but it also exposed the ugly side of humanity where some contributors are not in it to help people but rather for their selfish interest. Although this is the reality in the world and money talks, I feel that there should at least be an element of compassion in their actions. Doing my project on the Wright brothers also made me realize that funding in the past and today are quite similar and greed has been ever present throughout the years which was why the brothers did not accept private contributors.
All in all, the course has been very educational and motivating. The theory taught has been very well tempered with real life examples which has helped me to achieve my aims and go beyond them.
LEOW TECK KWEE
A brief recap on my own objectives set in week 1 is to know the rest of world has changed and how technology can change our daily life. I definitely think that this course module has highlighted some of this changes and what technologies can do. Beside learning this, I had also learnt many others things along the way, example will be like how to technology evolved not just changed how people works but also how the surroundings around the technologies will also be affected, ie legal issues when people misuse technologies. Besides just learning about how technologies evolved and what its affects, I also learn what it takes to be a technopreneur. All these lessons definitely had exceeded what I expected to take back when in week 1. Along the way, I also did many research that allows me to see that technology is not just about computers and IT but also can be languages and many others things that we use in our daily life.
LIM CHYE HEE GLENN
Flash back from the first journal.
‘œI hope to gain an awareness of the impact of technology in our world, and how to capitalize on ideas to turn them into money-making processes and products. I also intend to learn from other innovator’’s experiences, not only from case studies but also from peer learning’¦’�
I can say I have indeed met all the objectives I have set out to achieve, and I am very happy about it.
Through this course, I have learnt about famous entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, Jerry Yang and many others. From them I have learnt what they go through, what were their thought processes and this has shed much light on how they turn simple consumer needs to money making ideas.
I am also greatly inspired by the local entrepreneurs. Not only from the guest seminars, but also from the class case studies ‘“ people like Vinod, Naffir and the creator of Battle Stations on Face Book. These people have made me realize how they find their pot of gold in doing things they like and believe in. All too often we only learn from the textbooks about famous entrepreneurs. It is these local ordinary people doing their own extraordinary things that make me sit up and ponder. What makes them tick; I want to learn from them!
I am also not discounting all the theories and in class presentations on technology and innovation. All these theories may be forgotten a year down the road, but the intangibles will remain. The keen observation of the worlds’’ technological advancement, the analytical skills to view business processes and the articulation of innovative ideas are my greatest take away from this module.
I think throughout the 13 weeks, the in-class groups presentations have make a significant impact on showing many different perspectives of technology. I have learned to value other people’’s opinion, and in this rapidly changing world, we should always be ready to accept changes and varying viewpoints, to be nimble and make adjustments.
‘œA journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’�. I think I have made the first step in this journey towards entrepreneurship. Thank you, Professor.
WOO YU LING EDWINA
The objectives I have set up in the first journal is to know more about the diffusion aspect of innovation and how innovation can be a success or failure. I have achieved all these through the content of the course and the textbook. But one thing I have learnt that I feel is the most important are the life lessons taught by Prof. What a technical entrepreneur& ;s quality should be to be successful, tips on doing well in the working world and many more.
Initially, I thought that TWC focuses solely on the technical part of technology, but unexpectedly, i have learnt many lessons which can be applied to other modules and also in the future working world.
SEE-TOH KAI SIN
I think I have achieved my short term goals set for this module. Now I’’m able to identify some of the factors that led to the success of innovation and the innovator. Not only that, I’’m also more aware of how technology can actually bring us good and harm at the same time. This is very ironic, but very true. Technology has become part of our lives and we cannot do without technology. Conducting a random poll, most people would at least agree that they cannot do without their cell phone these days.
Although I have not really achieve my midterm and long term goals, I felt that my confidence level increased and what I am more confident of what I can do/ intend to do. Most importantly, I felt that this course has given me the confidence to take a step forward to achieve my business plan.
Although I have not written my business plan, this course has sparked my interest and triggered my intrinsic motivation to go and look at how business plan is drawn. An interviewer once told me in the face that if you have not thought of how you intent to achieve your business plan, you essentially don’’t have any plans. I was taken aback by his statement initially but after thinking about it, it’’s quite true also. I’’m not really a technology person but I do have hopes to be an entrepreneur maybe in the food and beverage industry since I have the background in that. Yes, I have not spotted any particular product/ service that I intend to go into, but as I have said in my first journal, ‘œMy motto: I never try, I never know’�, I still haven’’t tried, but that doesn’’t mean I will not try. I will try; just give me the time and opportunity.
Its because of this module, I’’m now more active in looking out for people and friends who are like-minded and have the same interest in being an entrepreneur. But sadly, I haven’’t found any friends who are as adventurous and daring. Maybe because my mentality is different, I don’’t mind starting from scratch as the process is more important to me. I have also become keen in taking part in the school business plan competition but I can’’t find people to take part with me! I somehow need some guidance to start off.
If there is going to be a follow up on TWC, I will be the first to sign up! I really enjoyed TWC because this is something that I’’m really interested in. Although I’’m learning it hard from the books and classes, but it is a start to my development stage. I would appreciate if field trips to some techno firms can be conducted to see how they are run and to talk to the founder etc.
In the ideal situation, I hope that it will cover both Technopreneurship and Investing in Technology-based Company because there is a link in them. But if given only 1 choice, I choose investing in technology base company. The reason being that investing in technology firms is not as easy as learning about technopreneurship. In my opinion, I think technopreneurship is some how link to what we are learning in the current TWC, so investing would be a better choice. Since, we know that many of the founders actually sell off their companies eventually. It is thus important to know how these founders continue to be in this game through investing in the same or different industry that deals with technology.
CHOO TZE HAI
Having learnt so much in this course, if there& ;s something that is imperfect, it& ;s that it all ended too quickly. If there& ;s a sequel to this course, I& ;d very much like it to be a hands-on experience of innovation in the classroom where ideas become reality.
Students are broken into groups and start brainstorming on innovative ideas that are commercially viable. Ideally, students should be able to list down their strengths so that they could select their own teammates based on individual strengths that the team wants to have.
Thereafter, the team sets off working on the most feasible idea, by applying the lessons, concepts and insights learnt in the first TWC course to good use.
After 3 weeks, the team will present their business plan to the class where the prof, a representative from the school and students will form the venture capitalists/business angels(hope the school will provide some monetary support). The prof and the school rep will each have 35% of the voting power being the most experienced heads in the room.
After approval, the teams will proceed to implementing their business ideas on the ground. Every fortnight, the teams come together to share their progress and to get feedback from each other on how to improve. There will also be a consultancy time with the prof.
At the end of the course, the teams will present on the status of their business venture, the lessons learnt and takeaways from the experience such as seeking funding and using technology in the innovation.
I believe that such an opportunity would really hand invaluable experience to me to put lessons learnt on innovation, technology and entreprenuership into practice. It would definitely be one of the defining moments of my university life.
LAI SHI SHENG SAMUEL
I believe that I have achieved my objectives set up in the first journal.
In the first journal, I wrote about how I wanted to learn about how technology affected business and about how it could be applied to my future course of work.
I believe that I have learnt much more than that. The whole course on innovation and how different companies work, on entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs experienced funding difficulties, and the inspiring speeches by the guest seminars guests have shown me what I& ;m to expect in the future when i enter the workforce. Prof Lim& ;s "never to be taught in textbooks" lesson on venture captalism was also very informative as I learnt about how venture capitalists work and the huge demands placed upon would-be entrepreneurs.
Hence, my objectives have certainly been exceeded and there has definitely been alot of take-home points from this course.
One of the objectives I set up in the first journal is that I hope to gain more insights into technology and world change from a more professional point of view. For me, this course has more than exceeded my expectation for accomplishing this objective. I learnt so much about technology in this course, particularly, in the area of becoming an entrepreneur and innovator. Before this course, I always thought that entrepreneurs are risk-taking geniuses who work hard to achieve their successes. Now, I still believe that entrepreneurs are risk-taking geniuses who work hard to achieve their successes however, the difference is that now, I know the shorter way that they (and perhaps, even I) can take to achieve their successes. How so& ; For example, the topics like Funding for innovation teaches me what financial assistance innovators can hope to achieve to fund their innovations and evaluate the circumstances when particular forms of capital are most appropriate. This is very crucial for innovators to enjoy the fruits of their labor as the knowledge to financing equips innovators to take charge and make the soundest financial decisions. Another topic, Technology Strategy, is also useful for me to gain professional insights into technology. I believe that many innovators were unable to succeed due to their ignorance of adopting a technology strategy to make their entrepreneurships a success. To be an entrepreneur, although a fresh idea is important, the market that the idea is going to be manifested in has to be largely considered as they are going to be the party to buy the idea. This is when strategies show their vitality. Strategy allows innovators to make informed decisions in important choices in terms of how best to exploit the innovation e.g. patenting it.
Hence, as a conclusion, I am very happy with my take away from this course. It has been a very worldly learning experience which is quite the exact opposite of how I had imagined technology as a module would be. The knowledge and insights that I have gained as to what I would expect to handle if I were to become an innovator and entrepreneur have made me more confident and a little less risk-adverse since now I know much more about the battle an innovator has to fight. Lastly, the real-life experiences that Prof shares during class enrich my learning experience as I know that what I learn during the course is not merely based on text-book knowledge. So, overall, my objective has been met and I am really glad to have taken the course.
HENG WEI MING
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I believe that a practical approach on technopreneurship will be a viable option to be considered.
The theories that we’’ve learnt during the course of our TWC module will not be sufficient for us to truly learn and experience how the real world works. There are so many aspects to consider and learn when we talk about technopreneurship, and these skills and experience can only be picked up during the course of really setting up a business. Besides, we will be able to grasp a clearer picture of the concepts that we’’ve learnt during the TWC course that we’’ve had.
Many entrepreneurs are able to derive and explain the theories that we’’ve learnt during TWC even though they did not go through the course themselves. This clearly illustrates the importance of the hands-on approach with regards to technopreneurship.
MYAT NOE AYE
I want to say "Yes" to this question. I realize that TWC course inspires me a lot. As a foreign student from under-developing country, I don’’t know much about technology. Before attending TWC class, I don’’t know about Technopreneurship. After attending this class, I know about innovation and business in technology. Originally, I’’m interesting in investment. From this moment, I realize that Technology is quite interesting and today business and technology are a combination economy. Like you said in class, today not only CIO but also CEO must know about the technology knowledge about their company’’s products. Your saying is right. First, I thought technology is not concerned with me who is interested only in investment. But my philosophy was wrong. I should apply what I learn in TWC class in outside world. Now I’’m really interesting in Technology-based Company. If that kind of company innovate some products and public accept these, it can make a lot of profit. But before investing in it, I should learn not only about financial statement but also about the technology knowledge of those products. So that I can decide company has potential or not. Moreover, as you say, invention is easily funded but innovation takes a lot more. If young company need fund, I know how to solve their problems in funding. To tell the truth, I can’’t be a technopreneur because I am not expert in technology and also I don’’t have advance knowledge in technology. But there are a lot of technopreneurs in real world. If they are my friends, I can help them with my knowledge about IPO, becoming Listed Company, corporate culture, protecting intellectual property and so on. But one main thing is Innovation must be in right time, right situation and with good marketing. But I know that now my knowledge is not enough to start apply in real business. If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to learn investing in Technology-based company. If I learn that course, I’’m sure that I have confident to invest in Technology-based Company. If I have passion, everything is possible. Finally, I want to say ‘œThanks a lot, Prof’�. Sharing your experience inspires me a lot.
YOON CHEE MUN SHAUN
Having re-read my week 1 journal, I realise that I& ;ve come a long way in understanding the importance of technology in our world today. Well, as much as I am still not inclined to being a technopreneur, through the course of TWC I have learnt to afford the appropriate respect to all technopreneurs as they really have had to walk down the tougher route to success. It is not easy to start a business from scratch, much less make it successful and I do take my hat off to them. Personally, I have a greater knowledge of not just technology and its effects, but rather, I have gained intangible benefits from listening in class. For example, I have learnt the need to be able to put everything in perspective, in applying your societal contexts to your business, and subsequently your business to being a part of your life, and in this aspect I think Prof has been a pretty good example of how to do it properly. Also, I have also learnt that it takes a great deal of factors, like opportunities, luck, contacts and of course intelligence in becoming successful, and most importantly the courage to go out there and do it. Thanks Prof for an interesting facilitation of the course.
TUNG HUI XIAN KRISTINA
I think that I have definitely met my objectives. Not only am I more enlightened on the different technopreneurs and strategies they employ, I am also more aware of the techniques in which entrepreneurs use to succeed. It is interesting to learn about how business is run in the context of technology. I also enjoy learning about the different finance instruments used to achieve their goals. I have definitely learnt a lot from TWC. Thanks prof! :)
TAN YAN NING SERENE
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal& ;
After 13 weeks, my perception of technology and the module TWC has changed greatly as compared to when i first started.
The goals that i have set for TWC on week 1 are very technical ones like becoming more aware of technological changes. However, at the end of the course, i have gained so much more, especially in the non-academic areas.
Through the weekly presentations by my classmates during TWC lessons, i have indeed gained more technical knowledge in technological developments. Discussions about the innovations of technopreneurs like the Muvee production, slingbox and Hyflux water treatment technology certainly enriched me.
However, what benefited me more is how the course enriched me as an individual in terms of making me more sensitive to the underlying implications and intentions of the innovations. In the past, when I see a new technology emerging, I only thought of it as a profit-generating tool by a company to gain market presence. Yet, after TWC, I am able to relate such innovations using a more holistic approach.
Innovations and new technological developments go through a long tedious process, some of which are things that I have not previously related to. One good example will be that of funding. I had always looked at innovations from the perspective of large companies where funds are never problematic. However, TWC made me saw the struggle that some start-up technopreneurs like Olivia Lum went through in order to develop their innovation. The course enlightened me on the avenues and means to obtain funding and showed that innovations are not just ‘˜games for the rich’’.
I particularly remembered the seminar on funding and the discussion on venture capitalists. I discovered many ‘˜facts of life’’ from that seminar which would not just benefit me for the purpose of the TWC course but also for life. Prof presented a real-life perspective of the business world and I remembered her saying that ‘˜a lot of times, venture capitalists decide whether or not to grant someone funding based on the person himself/herself, whether he/she portrayed that confidence needed’’. This is definitely a very fresh insight that has never occurred to me. It made me see a lot more possibilities within myself that I have never imagined. Now I can truly appreciate the meaning of ‘˜confidence is half the battle won’’.
The course also presented me with a lot to think about after the last lesson today. After having seen all the positive impacts of technology, the lesson today made us think about the vices of technology. Indeed, too much of any good thing will have a negative impact. Life is about striking a balance and this balance must be achieved by making informed choices. Today’’s lesson would serve as a constant reminder for me to utilize technology to enhance and improve myself but not allow technology to overcome me and fall pray to the constant battle with technology.
Summing up, I have fulfilled what I have set out to achieved at the beginning of the course and have in fact, gained much more than what I thought the course would offer.
CHAY LIDA MELVIN
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, it would be great if the focus is on technopreneurship. With the growing enthusiasm of innovators in this field, it would be beneficial if we can provide insight for students who wish to tap into this trend. Also, it would be highly favourable to those who are tech-savvy but do not know where they can start. Because I feel that it is a waste if we do not harness such talents. Now that Internet has brought down the barriers to business and the government is putting in efforts to create an environment for technopreneurship, we should play our part to make it grow.
YEO BOON SEER
It is suffice to say that this course has enriched me in more ways than I’’d imagined.
Firstly, I feel that the structure of the course played a huge role in ensuring that my objectives were met. One such example would be how collaboration was consistently encouraged among us students in class. By incorporating break-out sessions into the curriculum, we as students were consistently motivated to exercise critical analytical skills, learn interactively, and share our newly formed understandings for various technology-related topics. I enjoyed these in-class discussions because I feel that such an ‘œinformal’� learning setting allowed me to learn HOW to have an intelligent conversation about such topics, which is indeed an important life skill to have, and one of my key learning objectives. Now, I can discuss the differences in business culture between Yahoo and Microsoft, the different business styles of technical entrepreneurs, and even what SMU is doing to encourage technical entrepreneurship on campus, with relative competence! To be completely honest, prior to this course, I had no idea who the CEO of Apple was. Thankfully, I am now empowered with such general knowledge, and have developed an active interest in technology simply because I can understand and identify with the technology-related articles I come across in newspapers and magazines.
I have also gained deeper and more mature perspective of technology, and how it shapes and is shaped by society. It is no longer just a tool to a mean, but is intricately intertwined with economic and sociological aspects of our lives today. For example, as a communications student, I was eager to learn how, why and at what rate technological innovation diffused through cultures because it was relevant to my own areas of interest. Besides this, on a socially-responsible front, I have also learnt about the negative consequences that technology brings, such as the lost of sleep due to a severe gaming addiction, or the ecological damage and even religious tension that GM food can cause. However, thankfully, the choice of ‘œover-using’� technology still lies with each and every one of us ‘“ as long as we are able to choose rationally and wisely while exercising due diligence on our parts as consumers, I firmly believe that technology is still more of a boon than a bane. After all, isn’’t life all about doing things in moderation& ;
In conclusion, I’’m pleased to say that I have fulfilled all the learning objectives I have set out to achieve since Week 1. In addition to that, I have learnt new things that have intensified my interest in this course. I found the numerous lessons on technopreneurs insightful and relevant to my life. As someone interested in setting up my own business, albeit not in the technology field, I found new learning points that I had never expected to learn from my pre-conceived notion of a typical TWC course, such as the importance of passion and resilience. TWC has definitely surpassed my expectations in more ways than one. (:
YEO XINGUI YVES
I am afraid I have not achieved all my objectives set up in my first journal. I felt that I have participated well in class, however, I feel that I could have contributed more. Many times I would have questions or interesting points to raise yet I chose to take a back seat and allow others in class to discuss more. At times one would learn more by not dominating discussions. I have indeed learn much about the theories of innovation and it would definitely be easier to systematically structure my future ideas.
I have yet to put my many ideas into concrete action. There is always reason, some excuse to delay exploring new ideas. After I get my homework done, after I go out with my girlfriend, after I apply for my internship’¦ I do agree with what was said in class today that coming from a less well off environment would give one more drive. I could be too comfortable with my surroundings, with my daily routine. If I am serious about taking action, I should take the first step of breaking out of my comfort zone, to maybe seek job opportunities in summer abroad.
In my first journal, i wanted to learn about what exactly is technology and how it shapes and contributes to business ideas and innovations. And yes I feel that I have certainly achieved this objectives.
Through the case studies and in class presentations every week, I have discovered an interest in technology and its applications and problems that I never knew I have. As mentioned, I am a technology idiot and I am still an idiot but the difference is that now i have a greater understanding of how technology comes about and how we can fully use it and apply many business principles to it. How companies make use of technology to expand and grow their business (Nike and Adidas) and the problems faced by many entrepreneurs in funding and how they overcome.
Although I have no intention of becoming a technical entrepreneur, the lessons learnt in twc are still applicable I feel, as these are lessons in life, applicable no matter what one chooses to do in life.
PAI YI LIN ELAINE
The objective that I set for myself at the beginning of this course is for me to widen my perspective of issues, especially in the context of technology. With technological advancements, the world around us is assuming a revolutionary change every single day and I wanted to understand this change through this TWC course.
I think this course really taught me to have a more open mind towards issues. Through the many in-class presentations where we break out into groups, do our mini research and then present our findings to the class, I was exposed to a myriad of topics. I also recognized the implications of those issues and what impact it may have on me as an individual and the global world as a whole. The topics were really interesting and engaging, and we were driven by our curiosity to do a good presentation, even in that half an hour’’s time. Even outside class, I find that my inquisitiveness spurred me to research on that particular topic. However, beyond my initial objective that I set for myself, I find myself taking away three major lessons which I have never anticipated.
Firstly, I have never thought of being an entrepreneur, just because that gigantic word sounds too intimidating and stories of people going bankrupt and abandoning their families just scare me. However, through these 13 weeks, the learning of the many obstacles of entrepreneurs face did not further deter me from wanting to set up my own business. Instead, it made me feel that it will be an exciting challenge for me to embark on in future. I am encouraged to turn any stumbling blocks along my way into stepping stones that will propel me forward to greater success, just like the many examples we saw in class. Knowing that people have faced similar predicaments and have overcome them destroyed the preconceived notion that entrepreneurs are doomed to fail.
Secondly, this course taught me to move away from the all the conventional thinking and think out of the box. When we went through the stifling education system and sat for exams, there were only one answer for the question and any answer that deviates from the model one is deemed wrong. However, this course encourages creativity and I learnt that the only way to entice and wow the market is to think of the box and sell something that intrigues people. The course does so by rewarding any ideas that are creative and defy the conventional ideas. In class, there were no wrong opinions, only unique ones.
Lastly, I learnt that attitude is everything. People always complain that their professors are boring; the courses are too technical and so on. However, I learnt that if you are enthusiastic about something and are willing to participate actively, you will take away more lessons than a passive learner. More importantly, you will enjoy the learning process and will be more encouraged to in more effort. Consequently, you will be more satisfied with the end result when the whole semester ends.
LIM QUANT RUU
i would like it to focus on technopreneurship as in we are given the opportunity to use technology to actually start something running. from this, the professor can provide constructive advice on where should could be improved and then we can enhance it to achieve the best results. it also acts as a ground for us to showcase our works and should they be successful, we can market them into the working world. in this course, the professor can also provide his/her insights or experiences and also invite guest speakers to share their views. students can then learn from them and then come up with their product or service. this module will enable students to start early because there is an avenue to do so. furthermore, students will more or less be guided and thus are motivated to work. we will not only have access to consultation, but probably also networks and they will definitely help out should we require funds or advice. the reason why i think that technopreneurship is a good module is because many students want to set up their own business but does not exactly know where, when and how to set one up. through this module however, students are presented with the chance to do so.
FOO CE XIANG NICHOLAS
Over simplifying things, TWC has been a good experience. Through this journey I& ;ve learnt what I expected and more, much more.
Starting off this trip, my objectives were simply to get a good grade out of this course and learn about technology changing the world. However, I also decided to keep an open mind to this course as many of my other friends have told me before the start of the semester that this is module has been enriching.
Thus, having an open mind, on top of all these that I was & ;expecting to learn& ;, I have learnt many more things. It was good that the prof always used her personal experience to speak to us. Having a vast knowledge, she has also been able to answer many questions during class which may or may not have been related to the module. Aside from innovations and inventions, I& ;ve also learnt about knowledge and job scope in the different fields, such as, investment banking and venture capitalist.
More than this, I think I& ;ve learnt to look more critically as well as to think more critically (having prof constantly providing fruit for thought). These aren& ;t just skills used for the course but skills that can be used through life.
Thus, all in all, I think that I have not only achieved my objectives. What I have achieved, is much more.
Thank you for your patience and time. It has been a wonderful experience having you guide us through this journey.
Having attended the last TWC lesson, I took a look at the objectives that I have set up, and they are as follows:
Objective 1: To learn about how technology creates a lifestyle for the society. Applications such as Facebook and products such as 3M have become part of our lives.
Objective 2: To learn about some of the success factors of companies (such as Apple and HP)& ; Do they use technology as an enabler& ;
Objective 3: To be able to appreciate how the surrounding issues affect me and the people around.
During the first few lessons, we were exposed to the theories and types of innovations. Coupled with group breakup presentations and group presentations, it had given me a good perspective of what makes up an innovation. It was not what I used to think what innovation should be (such as coming up with an interesting idea and start working on it). Learning about the history of innovation, for example, how ancient Egypt brought about wealth of discovery of innovation as early. I also got to learn to identify how evolution of technologies based on real case study, which is it the DOT COM era. It turn out to be not as simple as coming up with an idea. When you have an idea, you need to market it. When you need to market it, you need funds. When you need to push it out to the industry, you also need funds. You need people to work for you, you also need funds. You need to get assets and raw materials, you also need funds. It is all about this vitamin called S-11 ($), which also known as money. So, the idea and concept of innovation has another meaning to it. When you need to bring your idea and design to a higher level, it is not about how great your idea is, it is about finding ways(such as venture capitalists, bank loans, parent and sibling loans) to find funds! The overall package of how things are linked up at the end of thirteen weeks proves more than just informative, but rather, it has already ‘œstored’� in my brain.
On the other hand, through the case studies’’ presentations, Professor’’s sharing of experiences, guest speakers’’ sharing of experiences and in-class teachings, I got to understand what makes a successful technical entrepreneur. I am able to appreciate the journey of what Olivia Lum, Sim Wong Hoo, Leslie, Jeff Bezos and our Professor, Pamela went through in finding their path towards a successful business. Having gone through these case studies, it is apparent that all of them possesses qualities (hardcore and technically inclined, high achiever, have good foresight, strong management skills, able to network (high EQ)). By studying the pattern of this successful startup, I sort of know the recipe, isn’’t it& ; It has certain made me appreciate the beauty of being technical. Not forgetting that the success does not come easy, by understanding the pains and sweat they go through, it shed some light on what considerations I should look at next time when I want to be an entrepreneur.
Last of all, I would see that one major take away from this TWC course is the framework of thinking that was built in me. This is built through the exposure of in class case presentations and research, guest speakers’’ presentation and ‘œasking’� myself, ‘œwhat does that mean to me& ;’� It certainly has meaning to it, because, when I see things now, I tend to ask myself, ‘œso, what does it mean to me& ;’� Like what Professor mentioned in class, university education is a way to build the framework of thoughts, the way we see something and be able to articulate about it. That is something which nobody can give you, but I have to work it out through experiences and constantly learning from Professors, from peers, keeping up with world news, things happening around me, and to look at things from different perspective.
Reflecting upon them, I have achieved all the objectives set up at the beginning of the course. Although I will not be able to remember all the stuffs, but having a rough idea, so that next time when I need to look back, I can always google. The course has ended, the journey does not stop here. Learning continues to where ever I go, as well as constantly discovering and improving myself. ‘œWhat does it mean to me& ;’� will always be something I will ask myself.
TANG JI CHING
In my first journal I mentioned that i hoped to acquire the practical skills needed to commercialise and ultimately diffuse my inventions. I& ;m happy to say that these objectives have been met.
Interestingly however, my learning has not so much come from the theories in the textbook, but rather through the enlightening discussions and in-class research presentations in class. I also very much appreciate the moments of & ;story telling& ; where you so generously share with us your personal experiences as a successful technopreneur. Through the recounting of your experiences with lawsuit filing competitors and product copycats, you have deconstructed the business world for us, giving us a lucid idea of the way things really work out of the classroom.
While I was totally clueless as to how to go about starting a business before the course, I am now armed with a plethora of useful information, such as the different sources of funding I can tap on, the importance of a good team etc. I have also improved my business knowledge because of the exposure to numerous case studies done by fellow students during the in-class presentation.
In conclusion, I am very grateful to TWC for equipping me knowledge that would no doubt prove useful to me in the future, even if I decide not to become an entrepreneur. I& ;m very happy to have gone through the course.
TAN YILIN LYNN
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to focus on the hand on experience of doing a business plan and the ways to start up business in Singapore such as business incorporation and types of administration work to take note of.
As TWC had exposed a lot of knowledge to many of us, it’’s of no doubt that many of us have the urge to try out. However, by doing a business plan in TWC module can be quite hectic for many of us. Therefore, it will be good if we can have 1 follow-on course to have hand on experience of coming out with a business plan. I believe many would like to know how to go about searching for office space, office rental, what to look out for and how to prepare a good business plan. Ultimately, seeking for funding in Singapore will require a good proposal.
Lastly, it would be good if we know how the process of incorporating a company and what are the necessary steps and cost involved. Although getting to know the ways to seek fund is good, it is definitely good for us to know what the potential cost involved are if we would like to file a patent or start a business in Singapore.
PHUA KE JIN
Attending the module of TWC has benefited me greatly. Initially, the word technology and innovation gave me a misconception that it is tightly coupled with hip gadgets and computers. However, I was wrong. Introduction to topics like sources of innovation, process of innovation and types of innovations have let me know that technology and innovation can come from anywhere surrounding our day to day life. Be it from gas stove to a soft drink or even business models like Starbucks, technology and innovation keep evolving with our ever changing lifestyle. Using real life examples, the module have certainly broadened my knowledge with regards to how innovation and technology is being applied in various sectors and contribution to its growth. Overall, I have achieved most of my learning outcomes that was mentioned during the first week of the module.
However, I would like to highlight the additional takeaways I had gathered after attending the course. In topics taught like technoprenuership and intellectual property, prof have shared with us many of her real life experience which I thought was invaluable, practical and useful in future. In the topic of technoprenuership, prof shared many of her personal experience and mentioned how various soft skills is important not only towards the success of the business set up but also the bid in climbing up the corporate ladder. Thus, it gave me an insight and prepares inexperienced students like me on how is it like in working in a real corporate setting. During the topic of intellectual property, prof also cited many real world examples how big corporation would leverage on their strong financial muscle to snatch the profitability of a lucrative innovation that came from a small start up which serve as a precaution to the aspiring innovators. In summary, it was grateful of her to have would share so many personal experience relating to the module which I think is hard to come by and impossible to be extracted from the textbook. Most of the topics was also practically taught which allows us to takeaway beyond wrap up of the module and helpful in time to come.
CHIANG ZHAN XIANG
If there is a follow up course from TWC, i guess a course which focuses on the "shortcuts" to transform a good idea into a good commercial product. The last few lessons were particularly interesting, especially on the area where funding is concerned. I guess there is just so much you can read off the internet. I believe that a future course, if it is able to invite successful startups to come and give guest lectures on their experiences and potential pitfalls to avoid would be ideal, like a "CEO Talks" kind of thing. Just like what you would say in class about certain thing that you share with us, "this kind of thing, nobody teaches, now i& ;m sharing it with you". It is much lively and much more interactive, and interesting so to speak. After learning concepts from TWC, listening to real world experiences would enable us as Students or budding entrepreneurs, may it be in the technology field or not to further relate and decide the relevance of the theories we have learnt. I believe most successful entrepreneurs do not know know much of the theories that we have learnt anyway.
CHUA AI TIAN LYNETTE
If there is a follow-on course, I will choose to focus on Technopreneurship. Through our case study research and presentation, I have learnt a lot about technopreneurs around the world. My group& ;s technopreneur of choice was Olivia Lum. I feel that her life experience can be a good role model to many out there who wish to be technopreners. She has taught me that it is indeed possible for everyone to be a technopreneur, as long as the person has passion and a good idea.
In addition, my TWC professor Pamela Lim also had a session whereby she allowed the whole class to ask her anything about technopreneurship. It seems like a very rewarding experience.
Of course, I do not deny that there are many hardships such as funding, but all that will develop people into more competitive individuals.
I believe that taking a course on technopreneurship will impart relevant skills and knowledge to be a competitive entrepreneur.
BUK SHI MIN CLEMENCE
Yes I do think i have achieved my objectives. I stated in my first journal that i wanted to learn more about how technology can affect us. I have definitely gained inside on technology& ;s impacts.
I knew that mankind are reliant and dependent on technology, but I did not know the extent of it. However, I have learnt during TWC that technology can indeed make or break you, especially if you are a technical entrepreneur. Take the dot-com bubble for instance. When it was the prosperity phase, many entrepreneurs made profits. However, when the bubble burst, so many of them suffered.
I think that my knowledge of technology has increased and my objectives have been achieved.
TAY HUA CHUN
Looking at the definition of Technopreneurship, using technology to deliver a high-tech product (e.g. intel) or deliver an existing high tech product in an innovative way (e.g. ebay).
And further looking at the concept, you are saying that we are trying to teach entrepreneurship in school. Ideally, I would suggest having a Technopreneurship module where you get students who are really interested in the field, who are really interested in starting businesses. And apply the techniques that we have learnt so far, using the different models and see if there is anything missing in the marketplace which could be improved, or if they have an existing idea or business which we could leverage on.
So it becomes like a hothouse for technopreneurship, with forums and ex-students connecting back to the group through websites 2.0, etc or the latest technology. And it is a 14-week program for students who want to start business get it on, for those with ideas get funding and know-hows and decide whether to continue with the idea, and starters who are looking to grow their company
NGUYEN XUAN TUNG
In this course, I have learnt many valuable things that are beyond my expectations. My most important objective in this course is to understand more about an innovation. And the course actually provides me valuable pieces of knowledge in every lesson. The lessons ranged from academic to realistic problem. Academic problems help to explain the nature of innovation. Different kinds of innovation are identified, while the Kondratiev circle and the four theories of innovations focus on how innovations occur in real life. On the other hand, realistic problems focus on how individuals and companies achieving innovations and other problems surrounding innovations. Among these problems are process of innovation-how an innovation comes out, intellectual properties-issues concerning the rights of the inventors, technology strategy and funding problems.
I also want to know how to manage an innovation into a successful business, and fortunately this course does help me very much. Innovation theories will certainly help me to search for potential fields of innovation and the arrival of them, while lectures about the process of innovation show me how to acquire an innovation and develop it into a market product. The lecture about funding an innovation will certainly help me to acquire the necessary capital if I want to be a technical entrepreneur. To sum up, the course provide me all necessary knowledge in order to be a successful technical entrepreneur, which is my main objective when attending this course. If there is one more thing I want the course to improve, that would be more focus on the impact of innovations on both society and economy
Initially, I had the mindset that I wasn’’t technology savvy and that I wanted to become more informed about the workings of technology in my life and the world around me. Now, my mindset has changed a bit; I realise I am not the ‘˜technology idiot’’ I think I am. I realised I had taken my ability to use technology like video conferencing, emailing and even computer gaming for granted. My ability to use technology like that sets me apart from true ‘˜technology idiots’’ like those who have never been in contact with any form of technology.
I believe I have achieved my objective to learn more about technology through this course, especially with reference to technical entrepreneurship and innovation. I am now aware that the process of innovation is not as easy as it seems and is a lengthy process that involves many different activities that need to be carried out effectively. I have also learnt that that innovators are not just smart people with good timing, but creative individuals who constantly seek to improve things. The list of what I have gained from the course goes on.
Unfortunately, one objective that I feel I did not meet was my goal to participate actively in class. I had let myself be intimidated by the outspoken seniors whom I felt raised intelligent points which I could not have raised. I regret giving in to my insecurity as I would have probably gained so much more out of this course if I had just taken a step to interact and participate more.
What I take away with me from this course is not just new insights on technology but also insights to my weakness; my insecurity and unwillingness to speak when it comes to subjects I am not confident in. Learning from my lesson, I will make it a point to challenge myself to overcome my weakness and speak up in the next course that I feel unconfident in.
In the beginning, I did not have very high expectations of the module. After the first lesson, I wrote that I wanted to learn to read more widely and independently, so as to be able to gain more knowledge which I can apply to the lessons learnt in TWC class. However, week after week, I realised that it is not enough to simply read and do more researches, it is extremely important to think and know how to apply the theories on real life scenarios. The beginning chapters were focused on the general concepts of invention and innovation in which I discovered that inventions are no longer as applicable to today& ;s context as compared to innovation. This diverts my attention more towards research topics on innovation, in which the idea of diffusion in society is applied. It& ;s extremely applicable especially in the business world, where marketing is one of the most important key strategies to succeed. I began to develop more interests in reading on the different marketing strategies adopted by companies, especially those that are more creatively appealing. As I gained more interests in the subject, the process of learning was more enjoyable week after week. I also realised that it was easier for myself to meet the objective of being able to share with the class, when I have the information that others don& ;t. This gave me the opportunities to share with them what I have learnt. Through Prof Lim& ;s extremely insightful sharings regarding the importance of questioning, I also learnt to not only absorb the information I get, but to understand better by questioning. Whenever I came across complex information, i just tell myself to question from different perspectives and angles until I can comprehend what are the key points. Another objective I had was to learn and grow at the end of the module. Very frankly, I have learnt a great deal out of all the lessons. Yes, in terms of information and knowledge, I definitely have gained plenty, so as many other classmates. However, I also believe that these information will soon be easily forgotten as there will be even more to learn in future. HOWEVER, I am extremely glad that I came across certain learning points that I will definitely remember for life as they are some questions that I have always had in mind before stepping into the class. One of the most significant ones is "will technology ever hit a limit in terms of advancement& ;" I am so glad that the S-curve was taught and I finally understood how there are different eras of technology which come and go by 50-year cycles. This helped me to appreciate how when a certain type of technology hits its limit, there will be a new type which will replace. In class research on Moore& ;s law done few weeks back also leaves such a deep impression in my mind and helped me understand the question I have always had. More important than the theories are the skills I learnt from Prof Lim. Her sharings on her life experiences were not only interesting, but extremely helpful to apply in my future. She has provoked me to think beyond what I have always had in mind, and to learn to appreciate the way technology affects our life in so many ways. It is almost impossible to believe. Nevertheless, I never look at technology the same way again. It is no longer a fear to read and learn about technologies; how they work, etc. Rather, realizing how technology ties with every aspect of my life creates the desire in me to hunger for more knowledge than before. These are learning points that are beyond what I aimed to achieve in week 1.
Since starting out the semester in TWC, I have always enjoyed that the class was very focused on real-world issues. I came to enjoy even more the business or Technopreneurship aspect much more than I thought I would. I would say that that the one of the main things I came away with from TWC, besides a deeper knowledge and understanding for the technologies that we all live with today, is an improvement in presenting skills due to the daily class breakout sessions. I really enjoyed the class format, and think that the class has gained a lot from it.
HO CHERN YANG BENJAMIN
Reflections are indeed something very special and unique to the individual. It captures the thoughts and memories of that exact time and place, and together with it, the lessons learnt through the pain or happy moments, and when called upon, its as if you went back to that exact time and place, reminiscing on the past; it is like a bookmark in history, and this was exactly what I just felt when I opened my first journal to look at it after 12weeks of school.
In the blink of an eye, one term(and with it, a season of work and learning) is about to end, and a new season of rest and a different kind of learning is about to begin. In the first journal, I laid down a total of 3 main objectives:
a) To look beyond innovations to understand the innovator and the journey he took instead.
b) To deliberately stop from the fast-paced life to think and reflect
c) To come up with my own innovations to solve everyday problems.
Well, looking back the past 12weeks, I would say that I have and have not achieved my objectives. For the first objective, I have learnt more from the journey of innovators rather than innovations. The most obvious example would be the professor herself, Prof Pamela Lim. Here was one woman who has obviously been through much, but in class, there is only the innovator; the person herself, and her sharing which I can learn from. From induction hobs to cooking techniques, right down to getting patents or steps to get your company listed, and even having a specific look in life, I have learnt much from her sharing. The next few were of the 3 speakers who came down to speak to us, and out of the TWC class context, I sought after the person and his ideas more rather than the product of his ideas, therefore, I have achieved objective 2.
The fact that I have to, and have been sitting down before the laptop every Monday to reflect on a TWC weekly journal question, as well as in Church on a weekly basis means that in small periods of time, I have slowed down to reflect, which means I have achieved objective 2 as well.
Lastly, while I have not made any innovations which can change the world, I have found that I am more aware of the thinking process that goes into innovating; which is to find alternative ways to solve a problem, and thereafter choosing the most effective (and yet best suits your criteria) way to solve everyday& ;s problems. Therefore, I would say that I have achieved objective 3.
However, at the end of this whole term, I realised that having objectives would limit your learning to things you have set out to learn (ie. knowing that you do not know some things, and seeking to learn them). However, I feel that its more beneficial not to set any objectives but be open to all forms of learning and exposure because the learning curve will be even more steep (ie. not knowing that you do not know some things, but through exposure you become aware of the many things you know exist, but know nothing about) Eventually, all forms of exposure seeks only to educate, and exposure is something you can never take away from a person. Therefore, while I have achieved my objectives set up in the first lesson, I have not achieved my objective at the end of the term, because my objective now is not to have any objective at all, but to learn as much as I can from the people,environment and innovations all around me.
After going through 11 week’’s classes, I learnt about concepts on technology, which includes how people create technology and how technology affects people. Furthermore, the case studies on various technical entrepreneurs also give interesting insights on the funding issues and funding supports that are available. The theories behind technology and world change are not something that is fabulously interesting. However, I’’m lucky to have an innovative professor to teach TWC in a way that interests people.
Look back at the objectives that I set in journal 1, no doubt I have fulfill my wish in learning the perspective in looking at technology on how it can alter our live and what we can do with it. In addition, I also learnt about the critical success factors of being a successful entrepreneur from various guess speakers and the professor herself.
TAN ZHI JIA
I think i achieved my goal of having fun while acquiring knowledge.I am glad im in this class, as in this class i got the chance to interview Drs Cliff Go and learnt alot of practical knowledge.In addition,i learnt a lot from your(Prof& ;s) vast experience and the speakers session. I believe nothing is more valuable than real life experience. After this course , i think i acquire knowledge applicable in the real life world. For instance : how to get funds to set up a business and the pros and cons for each avenue. I really thanked SMU for this great module who gave me a chance to learn for a wonderful technopreneur like you(Prof). Thank you!
ELYNA SANDRA AI-LIN VIJAY
In the first lesson I set objectives to learn more about technology, how and where it is incorporated and the effects of technology. However I feel that those preliminary objectives did not nearly do justice to the amount that I have learned in this module. I have been given the opportunity to achieve all of these objectives, but also much more.
Initially I thought that in the short span of 13 weeks there was only so much that we could learn. I didn’’t think that a 13 week course would be able to stir such a passion for technopreneurship in me. I’’ve always been interested in technology and entrepreneurship, however this module taught me how to bring them together and make my thoughts, ideas and dreams into a reality. Having learned about actual inventions and innovations as well as technical entrepreneurs themselves and what makes them successful and unsuccessful, I feel that I better understand the theoretical as well as practical processes of becoming a successful technical entrepreneur.
I have learned the numerous benefits of technology to individuals and society; however I have also learned that it is a double edged sword. Although it is highly useful in our lives it also has numerous negative effects on us individually and as society as a whole. I now know that it is highly important for me to control technology in my life rather than allowing myself to be controlled by technology. With the proliferation of technology I feel that it is very easy to get trapped in and caught up with things like emails and the internet with the never ending amount of things to do. However I believe that it is just a matter of knowing when to just stop, because the emails and the internet won’’t stop for you. It is important to be aware of the negative impacts of technology on us so that we can try our best to reduce them in order to achieve what technology originally aims to achieve- to improve our lives and our wellbeing.
It has truly been an honor to be taught by a successful technical entrepreneur and I feel that I have learned much more than I ever thought I could in the 13 week course. The course has exceeded my expectations on many levels. It has taught me about how people have become successful entrepreneurs. It has taught me to believe in my own ideas. But most of all, it has taught me that I can be a technical entrepreneur too. Having discussed some of the key hurdles like the difficulty of funding as well as the solutions for these problems, I feel that this course has uncovered some valuable lessons that I can use in the future. Finally, I’’m thankful for this opportunity to learn all of these useful nuggets of information first hand from a successful technical entrepreneur. Hearing about the personal experiences and getting valuable advice have been a priceless experience. They say that it takes someone with true passion for a topic to pass on the passion- and I couldn’’t agree more! Thank you for your passion, the opportunity, the pleasure and most of all the motivation and passion that I now have for the topic.
CHIA PEI PEI MADELEINE
Yes. The objective that was set in my first journal was met.
In week 1 journal, I had mentioned that I aimed to find out how technology affects the world. After 13 week of TWC lesson, I finally realised that technology has not only been affecting the world, it also plays a decisive role in world affairs. Since World War 2, nuclear technology had been part of the main factor why US had been the economy powerhouse. In recent years, with the rise of technology, other countries such as Russia and North Korea had started their nuclear research. This had been part of the international dispute between countries.
For the economy, technology had also helped to increase a lot of chances for new entrepreneurs to start up. Like for example, Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, is the youngest Top 50 billionaire in Forbes. Facebook allows people to keep contacts with each other and allows websites to publish their advertisement. Thus, like what I learnt after 13 weeks of TWC, technology is like a double edged sword that can help to destroy or create.
ZHUO XINYUAN LOREEN
First lesson, I was intrigued by all the new facts that I had learnt just within 3 hours. Even till now, I still remember my first in-class presentation was about Post-it pads and Authur Fry. This goes to show how useful this course has been for me! Very sincerely, I would like to thank Prof Pamela Lim for being so candid about the going-ons in the real world, and for planning such an interesting curriculum every week. The knowledge that I gain after every lesson more than offsets any Monday Blues that I might have for waking up so early for class. Since the beginning, I have already set out to enrich myself with current world affairs that are relevant to the business world, and also to be active in class participation. I am highly satisfied that my initial objectives have been met. Now I know the dos and do-nots when setting up a business, and I must admit that the weekly in-class presentation has polished up my presentation and time-management skills! On an ending note, I would like to comment that my favourite class for this module was the week when Prof allowed us to us questions about her with regards to being a technical entrepreneur. Her candidness and readiness to answer our questions made the whole session very sincere and at the end of it, I must say that I felt really inspired to pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur!
MUHAMMED ASLAM GHOUSE
My main objectives at the beginning of the course was to learn more about technical entrepreneurs and to understand how the successful ones, got to where they are. I also wanted to find out where the future of business is heading.
Overall, I would say that I have achieved the objectives of the course. I got more info on technical entrepreneurs from various parts of the world ‘“ Europe, America, South Asia, East Asia etc, The various different backgrounds these entrepreneurs are from also gave me an idea of how different the methods used to start a company could be.
I learnt about the various avenues available for technology companies. They could venture into the internet, mobile or pretty much any field ‘“ as the world today is highly technology dependant.
The various insights about the processes in starting up a business ‘“ such as patents etc, and the importance of them have also been valuable.
One of the key take-aways for me was that, in order to start-up a technology company, I need not be from an IT or technical background ‘“ like many of the entrepreneurs we came across. The man behind the business has to only understand the overall concept of the process and could hand over the technical parts to others. This gave me a lot of encouragement as I initially thought that technical entrepreneurs need to be from a technical background.
With the insights obtained from all the various in-class presentations and our own research, I have managed to understand more about how technology companies work. Furthermore, it is clear to me now that whichever field I get into in the future, technology will play a key role in it. I now understand that there is so much potential in the tech field that has not been made use of yet.
As such, I have achieved my objectives and more, and this knowledge would certainly be useful for me in the future.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I prefer the topic of Investing in Technology-based company to Technopreneurship. Because my interest is in investing. To be honest, I never thought of to be a Technopreneur. I have more interests in how to invest in Technology-based company and what I should concern when doing the investment& ; Is there any common risk in such a investment& ;
DONOVAN TAN BOON HEE
Throughout the course, the ample number of articles and readings have definitely enriched my technical knowledge. I have been able to examine the the wondrous options available for companies to develop their processes and establish more efficient and effective working practices. Furthermore, innovations such as Lasik have allowed for people to become symmetric and beautify.
As theorist have questioned, ‘˜wants led to desires leading to inventions’’ or ‘˜inventions led to an acquired taste and desire for such inventions& ;’’ It is amazing how big the world is yet small. Understanding the technology behind each case study and presentation led me to imagine the growth potential of the people and the possible demise of the human race. With each creation, it brings about advantages and harm to the human population and our mother nature. Constantly we battle with the dilemma of using the product for good and evil. It never rest and never fail to amaze me how intentions when unpure and sinister can lead to destruction of many. E.g. Industrial revolution.
Through the age of development, we have sort to improve our lives and attain more efficient and effective means achieving a desire, with each goal achieved we forego another part of us which subconsciously seem to delude us into believing that nothing is lost. However, after years of build up, tons of negative effects slowly but surely surface and with a strong gust attack the human race with a wrath so compelling that we begin to realise that maybe things weren’’t too good after all.
Intentions though pure can lead to disastrous effects. I have come to realise that in a world where nothing is completely harmless, we have to be certain of our actions and be prepared to pay the price of the ill effects that it will render us. Be awaken to our surroundings and responsible to all stakeholders involved. It is rare to always have a win-win situation but if we have managed to involved sufficient people and ensure that enough grounds are covered, contingencies are made, soon enough we could develop more correct ways to dealing with the problems we have created for ourselves.
Technology means no harm to us. But humans having the greed and sins for more always create unnecessary excessive usage. We have to harness the greatness and benefits of technology for its usefulness and advantages and stand strong. For in the long run, the possibilities of success of the race though inconceivable in our life time could destroy our younger generation’’s hope for success and achievements as we have been given a chance to attain.
Above the examples I’’m referring to are the ill-effects of global warming, shortages of food and farming lands, global dimming, mental and physical harm on humans, and the other side effects of all that we have done in the name of growth, development and success. We have to be convinced that our actions and inactions can withstand the test of time. Be certain that we will live beyond the generations and centuries that are to come.
On a shorter note, the case studies have opened my eyes to a world of entrepreneurship. Each presentation has increased my knowledge on the usual challenges faced by entrepreneurs throughout the world. Commonly the issues relating to funding. E.g. IPO, VC, FFF. The potential of the products introduced by each entrepreneur though not new offers the market and consumers more effective methods of achieving an end or a product that revolutionise the way we work, live and think. Though some may have alter the social norms and behaviour, the true effects have yet to be discovered. This is common of most inventions. I constantly think of the benefits that a new creation can bring but lose sight when I try hard to measure the negative effects that bring about. Remember that innovations and inventions are set out to achieve a right means to an end and not to create too many excessive ill effects that can harm our children.
From the class discussions, it has encouraged me to think about the plans I have for my future, where setting up a business is definitely a key milestone. I am looking forward to the risks and adventures that are in the pipeline of a business plan. The uncertainty and the ups and downs. If we have never been through the horrible nightmares of unfolding our dreams, we will never be able to achieve the greatness that we hold so close to our hearts.
Before I set my next goal to achieve in life, I have to thank the Prof for giving support and allowing the class to be enjoyable. Definitely to my project mates and class mates who have brought with them much wisdom and information to supplement my knowledge of the world. It has encouraged me to achieve goals that are once beyond my reach. (The reflections have made clear my path that I must take. Thank the journals for providing me with guides along the way.)
To myself I say that I have to achieve financial independence and success in my business no matter how difficult and tumultuous the task.
P.S. Prof, I would definitely be delighted if follow-up class to develop entrepreneurship and nourish the students in our school with the right mind set and tools.
YEOW SHI YUN
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like it to focus on technopreneurship.
While there are many learning points that I& ;ve picked up from TWC class which includes learning experiences shared by prof herself and the technopreneurs from the group presentations, I feel that these still mainly revolves around theories. I look forward to a course where we can learn how to structure a proper business plan, and transform the theories into execution of an actual business plan.
Some suggestions for the technopreneurship class:
Each group has to come up with a business plan to be approved by the SMU Business Innovation Generator which can offer to pay $1 for every dollar that the group invest in their business. This would be for groups who are interested to carry out a prototype of their business plan, keeping in mind the time and resource constraints of planning and executing a full-scale business plan within 13 weeks.
The class would not involve much teaching by the prof but instead he/she acts as a advisor and mentor to the various groups. Hence the professor would have to be someone experienced with technopreneurship, preferably a technical entrepreneur who can offer advice and network resources for the class. This course would give aspiring technopreneurs a chance to experience the challenges and satisfaction of technopreneurs to see if they are cut out for this job.
After 13 weeks of lessons, the groups who wants to extend the success of their business plan can apply to other institutions who can provide extra funding for their plan to be executed in full scale, for example the Entrepreneurial Talent Development Fund (ETDF) available.
LIM ZHEN XUAN IVAN
I certainly gained a much greater insight into the world of a technopreneur especially after my case study on Paddy Tan. Through our 3-hours long interview, I am able to apprehend the challenges and fears he faced and learn how he is able to succeed as a technopreneur, he is today. Being a technopreneur in my opinion is more difficult than an entrepreneur as one need to be well-verse in not just business but staying ahead of the latest technology curve as well. Technology is ever-changing and one never knows when ones’’ technology or innovation will be replaced. His shrewd method of probating his computer programmers to come together for fear of them taking his innovation also tell me how difficult and ruthless a path of a technoprenuer might be. I also learn about the many schemes and funding available that our government actually offers, from SPRING Singapore to Venture Capitalist. All these learning experiences and information make in more aware of the real situation a tech companies actually faces. I think these greater perspectives I have gained will be much more useful than what I can learn from the textbook. Although I have yet to fully comprehend how great technologies today fail to reach the less fortunate people and improve their lives, I think it is more of a social problem in our constantly evolving world that we do not have the luxury of time to go during our TWC lesson. Overall, I have achieved most of my objectives that I have set up to achieve in the first week. However, this is just a introductory module about technology that have certainly spark my interest to explore into the different aspect of technology. Most note-ably into the success stories of famous technology companies like creative, google, yahoo, baidu, etc.
If there is a follow up course, I will prefer an introductory module on how does a start-up a tech company needs. I believe the integration between business and technology is indispensible in any companies today. To be able to well-verse in both would be excellent. For those especially, the Info-System students who wish to start-up their own companies in the technology industries, a module in this aspect would allow them to know the ‘œsecret’� formula of how these companies become successful as well as the pit fall to avoid being a victim of a dot.com bubble. I will certainly be interested to venture into this aspect as my interest in technology grows.
I sincerely believe that this TWC module have been a very interesting and enriching journey for me. The smooth transition from the learning about innovators and their innovation to the management aspect and then the impact of technology really widen my horizon to the world of technology. The constant in-class-presentation that we often have also allows me to be more confident in my presentation and understand the concept and application better. As I recall from you, ‘œone must be able to present his or her idea effectively to excel in any career as other can simply snatch one’’s idea and present it as his or her own.’� Hence I will always try to improve on my presentation as well. Overall, I certainly enjoy the lessons you have conducted and the many insights you have shared from your experience. I may not be a tech-savvy person, however, this course has certainly allowed me to understand the great importance of how technology can impact a business and a person. I will take this as a beginning to hopefully embark on something innovative in the future. Thank you. :)
(Sorry for writing so long)
QUAH LI TZE HILDA
The objectives I set for myself were to
1)Learn and apply the concepts learnt during the course of TWC
I think I did manage to achieve my objective for the first half of this aspect for I did learn new theories that I did not know could be applied to the business world and strategies that we learnt. With regards to the second half of this point, which is to apply the theories learnt however, I think I didn’’t really have an opportunity to apply them as yet.
2) Gain more knowledge about the IT industry.
Here I did manage to gain certain insight on the technological world. For instance ‘“ through this course I realized the importance of technical skills when it comes to being a technopreneur as well as the different technopreneurs and how they managed to obtain success. TWC also provided me with the opportunity to interview people such as Goh Beng Yeow which I found was a fruitful learning experience. So overall I did achieve the objectives that I set out to achieve initially.
CHIU CHEUK NING OLIVIA
Given that TWC is such a mentally simulating course, it would be great news to have a follow-on course! In my opinion, interesting subjects include how to start up a technology based company, how to see beyond the web 2.0 faÃ§ade to identify the true problems within a IT company, and perhaps a course to help us design and implement a new technology as a class. Among these, my interest lies in setting up a technology based company.
The course can touch on pitfalls to avoid when starting up the company, like which technology to go into, covering how to market research for that niche market. Also, knowing how to hire IT people is also crucial. From what I know from some friends from Accenture, it is more than what meets the eye when hiring Indian coders. They explained that I have to know how to see the good ones from the ones pretending to be good, and it would be a useful skill to have if we can internalize it for the course. Also, learning to build up branding despite being an IT company will help to overcome constant competition and copying to rise up among the rest. Lastly, being in such a volatile market, the knowledge to ensure positive cash flows would be extremely valuable. Knowing that Prof Pamela has been extremely successful in her business, it would be a great opportunity to attain such practical knowledge from an insider.
Regarding the comment Prof wrote on my previous journal (sorry I just discovered that i could read comments!), I met Bill Gates because I won a national infocomm competition last year. It was in the form of a reality TV show on Channel 5. For more information you can check out http://www.sis.smu.edu.sg/students/iwhiz_olivia.htm. =)
My objective set out in the first lecture was to learn how to become a successful entrepreneur.
Well, through the experiences that Professor has shared in class, I believe that I have become more educated in terms of how to become successful entrepreneurs. From the more trivia points like choosing the right spouse to important points like how to obtain funding, the kind of institutional support, I have learnt important lessons on becoming a successful entrepreneur. However there& ;s one thing I have come to learnt more and more as I progress through this module and that is the importance of IT. I believe that to succeed as an entrepreneur you need to learn more about IT. The role that IT plays in innovation is very important. Thus if there& ;s anything more I want to learn, it is IT(programming, software engineering and the sort).
WU LIAN ZHENG
From the 10 lessons that I have attended, I come to learned about how IT have influenced different industry from the presentations and case studies presented. My objectives set out for the course was to understand IT from the TWC perspective, and for that, I believed I had come to see more opinions in this course. Subjects covered in class were not merely on IT, business scenarios that were highlighted by prof brings more ‘œLife’� to discussions topic. She had shared on her thoughts on how to enable innovations with technology via she experiences and this had also greatly broaden my horizons. This course had definitely ended on a high note to me personally.
If there is a follow-up-course, I would prefer the scope of the course to touch on IT entrepreneurship. The emphasis of the course maybe not solely stress on definitions of entrepreneurship (as covered in the later chapters). I hope the course can also cover some ropes and ‘œtricks-of-trade’� to IT entrepreneurship. It may not be a ‘œWikipedia’� (type of content i.e. ‘œknow it all’� on IT entrepreneurship), but hope the course can also provide some networking sessions to introduce us to people in the industry. It would definitely shed some light for students that aspire to be an entrepreneur in the technology field.
JOEL NG YI KANG
The course ‘˜Technology & World Change’’ has updated my views on technology in the context of wider issues and their complex relationships. More importantly, I was given a sneak preview of the world of technopreneurship by Professor Lim, with her invaluable snippets of advice that stems from her experience as a technopreneur, such as her recommended sources of funding, personal views on intellectual property & patents, as well as importance of writing and speaking well to impress potential business partners and investors.
Patricia Fripp, a professional speech coach, once stated that ‘œTechnology does not run an enterprise, relationships do.’� I felt that this statement is especially true, as I have learned over a period of 13 weeks, that there are no special principles that make technopreneurship unique from entrepreneurship: Both regard radical innovations critical in remaining competitive and excelling in the marketplace, both regard skilful management important to staying in control, and both view profitability as an important constraint that must always be satisfied lest the firm disappear into oblivion.
The parameters of both technopreneurship and entrepreneurship are the same. If we want to step up our technopreneurial know-how, what we need to do first and foremost is learn and master the principles of entrepreneurship.
Thus, I fervently hope that there will be a follow-on course from TWC lectured by Professor Lim, with the focus on technopreneurship and aims to develop entrepreneurs and managers that possess the skills and stamina to grow technological businesses through global learning experiences. Such a course is very versatile ‘“ it will be extremely relevant not only to aspiring technopreneurs but also to students whose interests range from forging business partnerships with technology whiz to securing a career as a venture capitalist specializing in the field of nurturing technological startups.
A course in technopreneurship should provide students with a wholesome learning experience through a rich array of activities beyond the classroom, combining institutionalized learning with experiential learning and overseas learning. Besides knowledge competency building and experiential learning in school, it is ideal that students be given the opportunity to undergo startup and corporate study visits in Silicon Valley.
Perhaps in a bid to further students’’ interest in technopreneurship, students can be given the opportunity to put to use the knowledge learnt in a business plan competition judged by angel investors and venture capitalists.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to focus on the investing in technology-based company.
Honestly, I did not really find the theories we have went through in this course useful. Though most of the terms come with detailed elaboration, only a few of them show me the practical usage.
However, it does not mean I found this course useless. Since I did learn a lot of practical information from professor’’s sharing, I do appreciate this kind of real life business knowledge and the ways to observe and think about the phenomenon either in the business world or the society. Thus, I think we need some course which could emphasize the real life business and be more useful for our decision making. A particular course should has such concern that the course itself is able to provide the professor a lecture filed that is not restricted in the academic teaching, but more experience sharing on how the real business world works and how to make use of the information we could read from book by ourselves. And the course, Investing in Technology-based Company, has the scope which is capable to be explored in such way. And since technology is one of the main characters to push the development of the whole economy, we could expect the high potential economical return from the investing in technology-based company. We need more practical guidance from the business persons who can provide the inside information rather than the theories from the academic research. I do not mean to deny the use of the academic research, but I do believe they are just the references which could help us to do the decisions to some degree and they could not really teach us how to do the business. Therefore, I expect some kinds of more practical courses over the theories of the textbook.
CHUA XIU YING JOY
In the first journal, the objectives I set were to recognise the significance of innovation and invention in the business world, and how it could actually affect a nation’’s economy. Also, to learn more about the great inventions and innovations that were created. Last but not least, to learn the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Frankly, through the course, through the many in-class presentations, I have come to learn about the many great inventions and innovations in the world. From the first airplane that the Wright brothers created to A380, and from the first telephone that Alexander Graham Bell created to the mobile phones we all have now. We have seen the advancement of technology and how it has helped us in our daily chores. Technology has become part and parcel of life and it has become very difficult for us to neglect the presence of technology. I also learnt the significance of innovation and invention in the business world, how one company’’s innovation and invention can help in differentiating the company from the rest and from then on, earn profits. For example, the Apple iPod.
In conclusion, I have achieved most of the objective set up in my first journal. Most importantly, I think I have learnt the spirit of entrepreneurship. Having learnt about the many great innovators, entrepreneurs, I think I have learnt the spirit of entrepreneurship. Also, through the guest seminar and the case study about Mr. Nicholas Li, I have come to achieve what I think is the most important objectives that I have set, that is the spirit of entrepreneurship. I have learnt a lot through this course and I hope I will be able to put into use what I have learnt throughout my SMU life and also after I step into the corporate world. Maybe someday I will find myself as an entrepreneur.
WONG JIA MING MELVIN
A course about investing in a technology-based company seems to be a very interesting course that i will seriously consider if offered. Sadly, i only have 1 more sem left in the school and i dont think that i will be able to have the priviledge of taking such a course.
From what I can see, techonology has become such an integral part of our lives. There is so much growth opportunities in the technology sector. Investing in such a company might seem late considering most of the large successful companies have already taken flight. But I forsee that although the dot-com and IT waves is already over, a new genre of technology will very soon emerge.
Such a course will give me the tools i need to make an informed choice in investing in such a company. I believe that the course will provide a comprehensive cirruculum of how to select a analyze the technology that the company is involved in, how to select the best one, how to evaluate the worth of such a company, investment alternatives, and finally financing options.
The course might be heavy thinking that so much will actually be taught, but i think that it will be really useful since i will definately want to be able to make a good choice in future when i& ;m trying to find someplace to invest my savings.
Finally, I really enjoyed the entire TWC course and am slightly disappointed that i did not have the opportunity to take this earlier in my SMU curriculum.
Today was my last TWC lesson of the semester. For the TWC module, only one more hurdle lies before me, the final examinations. I had set myself some objectives in my 1st journal entry, and it is now time for me to see whether I have met those objectives.
One of my objectives was to attend every TWC class on time. If I remember correctly, I did attend every class punctually. I regrettably missed the talk given by the 3 technopreneurs, as my LTB module Final Project Execution fell on that Friday. Despite this, I made the extra effort to find out from my close friend, Loh Wei, about the information shared during the talk, which I must say was very interesting.
Another weekly objective of mine was to read up before every class, participate actively in class, and after class, reflect on the content discussed. If I were to be as honest as possible, I achieved these objectives in the earlier weeks of the semester. As the semester drew to a close, I found it harder and harder to read up before class as projects and reports start to pile up from other modules. However, I felt that I always gave the groups presenting the attention they deserve and I have tried to actively participate in class discussions.
With weekly in-class presentations and 2 major presentations, I felt that I achieved my objective of improving my abilities in teamwork, discipline, creativity and self-confidence. I personally feel that my most memorable from the course was when my group, Team 6, presented a case study on Olivia Lum. We prepared very well for the presentation and rehearsed countless times. The crowning moment for me was when a majority of my classmates told me that they thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, which was engaging and informative. I am happy and proud to have created a successful shared learning experience for them.
My last objective was to give my best. I felt I did the best I could, given the circumstances. I feel that the efforts I had put in have been reflected in the grades I have received so far. With the final exam just around the corner, I hope to make that one last push, and hopefully (fingers crossed), score and A or A+ for this module.
While grades are important, I feel that what is more important are the lessons we take from this module. Prof Pamela Lim mentioned she would be more than happy if we could take 3 things out from this module, I could easily name about 10 of the bat, which I know will stay with me for a long time to come.
So far, this TWC module has taught me more than I expected to be learnt from this module - technology and its related issues. It has taught me on how to look out for potential investment technology-based company and its related risk and rewards to it. And the financial related issues that a technical entrepreneur would face in his/her start-up of business. As such, this module has seems to be more than a university core module, but a business core module instead. Other than technology related issue, it also cover finance, competitive advantage in business and marketing strategy.
I’’m very gratefully for what was being taught in lecture, in-class presentation and case studies on technical entrepreneur, as it has sparked my interest in gaining better understanding in technoprenurship. Technoprenurship was never my area of interest as I’’m not technology savvy person and never inspire to be an entrepreneur in the future. However after going through all the seminars, in especially to the last 3 seminars on case studies on successful technoprenurs and guest speaker seminar, those successful technoprenurs have certainly motivated me in becoming one in the future. Especially on those stories in suffering hardship in their earlier stage of their venture and how they thrive hard in being a successful technoprenurs have again certainly touched my heart and created a passion in me in becoming one.
If I’’m given a chance to further any course after this TWC module, I would definitely choose a module that is closely related to technoprenurs as to equip me with more knowledge in this field. Or module relating to IP laws or contract laws so as to protect myself in the future venture.
I would like to focus on investing in technology-based company. Singapore encourages local technical innovators, which has brought significant technical nationwide pull-up, and made Singapore more successful despite its limitation on country size. To support these technical entrepreneurs, there are sufficient investing and funding system behind. Learning this part would be helpful for business man in the future, even outside technology-based company.
From our group case-study, I’’ve known a lot more about the spring and SEEDS funding for the start-up companies. Moreover, different universities also sponsor their own students, alumni, and staff to participate in business career. Knowing more would enable us to reduce the funding obstacle when doing our own business. In addition, it’’s also a complementary way to protect ourselves.
ONG QIU XUAN
As a year 2 information system student who is also second-majoring in finance, I’’d be delighted to engage in a follow-on course from TWC on investing in Technology-based company. Seeing that I’’m one who is interested in investments, I’’d love to discover and understand more on the do’’s and don’’ts of investing in technology-based company in specific. Why technology-based company one may ask. Well, it’’s because I’’ve learnt through TWC that with a lack of monetary assistance, technopreneurs may not be able to bring their innovation to light (since innovation encompasses commercialization). Besides, as one who truly believes in ever-growth and proliferation of technology, investing in technology-based company (be it monetary or effort) would be self-fulling as well. Interacting and learning from knowledgeable investors in technology-based company would definitely be something I look forward to.
SOH HAN CHONG
Just a recap on what objectives I have setup during first lesson learning journal:
Learning Objectives: -
-What it takes to be an innovator& ; ‘“
-Impacts of innovative technologies towards our society if implemented.
-First mover vs First to scale. ‘“
-When do we Enhance, Extend, Expand our services/products with the right timing, and right investments to sustain competitive advantage& ;
-How to successfully exploit ideas into innovations& ;
The module, Technology and World Change has indeed delivers an incredible learning outcome in my opinion. To accomplish these objectives, I have planned various ways to achieve it and I am glad that the materials that are set from the course have answered all my queries and objectives.
Sharing of experiences during the course is one of the components that I enjoyed most. Sharing through Prof’’s Lecture, invited speakers and various class participations has bring the learning out of the classroom. Why is experience sharing meaningful to the course& ; There are many theories and concepts in the textbook that tell learners to differentiate and categories concepts but not applications. People might argue that case study in the textbook might fulfill this purpose but it cannot be comparable to sharing the experience in class or hearing it from the person. Through sharing, different view points are exploited, and a debate started. After that is done, various viewpoints are cleared with a deep understanding. That is the beauty of experience sharing.
Through Group Project presentations, my team shared with the class about our findings as well as the opportunity to share the findings of other teams. Having able to know about other’’s presentations and viewpoints, broaden the understanding of the topic. It allows us to know about innovator/ technical entrepreneur difficulties in setting up their businesses, the ability to know various strategies to enhance, expand and extend as well as the different methods to get funding.
This will prepare us the general knowledge and skill sets with the necessary mental preparations for us to set up a business. I have benefited from it greatly, very satisfied with my team with the findings and learning I have for both group projects.
I believe that one of the benefits through seminar style of teaching methods is to allow more room and response time for people to engage in class participation. It is only through class participation that your doubts are answered and your experiences shared. From the first learning journal, I promised myself to engage more in class participation and engage more actively in discussion, through discussions, have benefited me in many ways. For example, the interview with Laurence Kim for one of my project, he did mention that technical skills set are not important but the conceptual business idea and business management is the key to success. However, there are some equally successful technical entrepreneurs who think likewise and even Guest speaker Leslie Koh and Prof Pamela Lim did mention that technical skills play a big part towards the success of technopreneurship.
To conclude, I am extremely satisfied to have completed the learning objectives and expectations set for this course. Technology and World Change is really a memorable course for me. Lastly, thank you Prof Pamela Lim for the valuable experiences that you have shared with us. Hope that we do keep in touch. The learning outcome that I have gotten out of this course is great and I appreciate your efforts.
ALEXIS PANG LIXIN
Yes, I believe that I have achieved my objectives that I first set up at the beginning of the course. I have learnt how ideas may be put into action, bearing in mind the opportunities and constraints of a Singaporean entrepreneur. I have also heard from entrepreneurs’”not faraway rags-to-riches success profiles, but local people, even students like me! In this sense, the course has exceeded my initial objectives; it goes to great lengths to contextualize learning. While I have the relevant knowledge, this knowledge is not beneficial if not applied. Also, knowledge always needs to be updated. Therefore, it is up to me to keep reading up on entrepreneurial news, it is up to me to open my eyes and ears to new developments in Singapore, it is up to me to upkeep my understanding of technology.
But most of all, it is up to me to find that big idea.
LEONG JIA YONG
If there were a follow up course on TWC, I personally would be very interested in Technopreneurship. As someone with an engineering background, knowledge on technopreneurship would allow me to visualise the product lifespan from cradle to the grave. However, that being said, I do not feel that SMU students have adequate grounding in sciences to fully appreciate followup courses. Even in TWC classes, my course mates have time and again demostrated that they lack the basic understandings in sciences. Technopreneurship requires one to have a complete understanding in the technology the business deals in, unless one is a opportunist entrepreneur.
I think that topiocs such as investing in Technology-based companies would be more apt. Students can learn about the current patterns in investing in technology base. (this has the added advantage of keeping the non tech people away from managing tech people)
CHAN WAI SUM MAVIS
Yes, I would be highly interested in a course on Technopreneurship.
After learning about the general idea of what technopreneurs face when starting up and how they overcame these difficulties, a follow-on course would be able to go into further detail as to the intricacies of the matter. What& ;s more, such a course could enlighten everyone on the process of starting one& ;s technology-based business and should allow every student to present on his/her idea for a technology-based business. This would allow the students to share their ideas with each other and with the teacher.
Indeed, another interesting topic would be Investing in technology-based company. I feel that this is also another topic worth exploring as Prof& ;s brief comments on the matter still left much more to be uncovered. Matters such as the time of investment, the value and the viablility are some issues that can be covered by the module.
Hence, I feel that TWC has served to awaken my interest for technology and technology-related businesses. I& ;m know more aware and I& ;m more keen to learn more about what Prof taught me in class. Thus, I would be happy to attend any follow-on courses on TWC.
SARA LOW SHU LI
Q1) Let me first begin by saying that the TWC class this term really took me by surprise. As I mentioned in my 1st journal, I used to associate technology with the computer and engineering fields and thought it would be something of little interest to me. However, I must say it has been a rather exciting and interesting course. Every week without fail I have learnt something new. I may not have transformed into a Thomas Edison, but the insights I have gained about technology is much more than I have ever in my life. Not only have I achieved my goals such as learning and gaining more insights about technology and what makes a technical entrepreneur, but more importantly, I have learnt a lot of soft and life skills. This was because the class discussions and presentations were very dynamic and the lessons taught was what everyone could identify with. Last but not least, I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the professor herself as well as the 3 speakers that shared about their struggles and how they overcame them. They all served as a great means of motivating me to aim for greater heights!
TAN HUI XUAN
I will recommend the follow-on topic on ‘œTechnopreneurship’� for a number of reasons. As quoted by Prof Marsell from Harvard Business School, ‘œbeing an entrepreneur is not a personality characteristic, it is a learned skill’¦An entrepreneur doesn’’t seek risk; he or she tries to minimize risk’¦it’’s actually about managing uncertainty. What is teachable is how, given your character, you can live in an entrepreneurial way’“as opposed to changing your character.’�
The parameters of both technopreneurship and entrepreneurship are the same. However, the term ‘œtechnopreneurship’� is redundant and often people tend to see the ‘œtechnology’� part and forget about the ‘œentrepreneurship’� part. If a community wants to step up its technopreneurial, first and foremost is learn and master the principles of entrepreneurship. There are no special principles that make technopreneurship unique from entrepreneurship: Both regard innovation critical in remaining competitive in the marketplace, both places management important to staying in control, and profitability as an important constraint that must always be satisfied.
A technoprenuer is an entrepreneur who is technology savvy, creative, innovative, dynamic, dares to be different and take the unexplored path, and very passionate about their work. They take challenges and strive to lead their life with greater success. They don’’t fear to fail. They take failure as a learning experience, a stimulator to look things differently and stride for next challenge. Technoprenuers always try to redefine the dynamic digital economy.
Technopreneurship is not a product but a process of synthesis in engineering the future of a person, an organization, a nation and the world. In a digital, knowledge based society, strategic directions or decision-making processes will be demanding and complex. This requires tertiary level and professional development programs and training to produce strategic thinkers who will have the skills to succeed in a dynamically changing global environment. Traditional educational programs, however, lack the methodology to transform today’’s students into creative, innovative, visionary global leaders who understand the importance of technopreneurship.
Technology and entrepreneurial skills are the catalyst of the nation’’s economies development to prosperity. The most famous of them all is, Bill Gates, who makes Microsoft, Steve Jobs for iPod, and the success of Google.
Technopreneurship programs should be added as an integral part of the education offering an entrepreneurial culture by planting the seeds for new ventures, preparing entrepreneurs through technopreneurship education, and providing the infrastructure to perpetuate and support new start-ups and ventures. The program should integrate value chain of enterprise creation; one that encourages start-ups, tolerates failure and rewards well.
The key essence in such technopreneurship programmes is creativity. Creativity is breaking the conventional mental blocks and playing with imagination and possibilities, leading to new and meaningful connections and outcomes while interacting with ideas, people and the environment. However creativity alone, without technoprenuer skills and competencies, is not viable to sustain a business in a digital, knowledge-based economy. You need an integrated collaborative approach in turning an idea into a viable sustainable business in a digital economy.
What was relevant and very much ‘˜cutting-edge’’ last week may be replaced and hurled to obsolescence today, giving us more reasons to cope with technology. Technology can be harnessed and put to good use; it is not merely a tool for commercial or industrial productivity, but personal productivity as well. We must learn to take advantage of technology as it changes through technopreneurs.
A good, solid institution provides a sense of value for discipline and a working knowledge of rules. The acquisition of IT skills, however, should not be confused with utilizing technology in order to enhance business processes. The technopreneur learn to manage his technical skills, put everything in the proper perspective, viewing how these skills relate to doing business.
In summary, we must first make the first step by deciding to grow; to diversify our lives and our businesses by being technopreneurs. Then, we must recognize the potentials that technology offers, and how it relates to progress. It is then that we must learn how to make use of that tool we call technology as it changes, but not before learning the rules; studying them in order to change them.
CHEOW KIM FERN CALEB
Personally, I feel that i have achieved some of the objectives that I set out for myself at the start of the course. I have learnt many important lessons on innovation- things that I would not have normally stopped to think, or care about. I found the lessons on technical entrepreneurs especially interesting as I saw how many normal individuals overcame the odds to be successful businessmen, and the risk they were willing to take to reach where they are now.
I have also achieved the objective of being a responsible and hardworking member who contributed effectively to my team. I must say that I had a great experience working together with my team to learn more about issues pertaining to innovation. I have no doubt learnt lessons from my teammates throughout the course of this 12 weeks.
I have enjoyed this module as it has indeed widened my perspectives on the spectrum of business. Hopefully, I will be able to use technology and be able to innovate, even as in my climb of the corporate ladder in the future.
TWC itself was a fulfilling course and i have surely learnt a great deal out of it. be it the different phases of innovation or actually the break of innovation into various types and phases. i had never imagined that innovation and technology will have such cycles and phases - so much theory behind such practical things. it helped me understand the terms better.
however, to have a follow-on course for TWC, i think Technopreneurship is the right way to go. there are thousands of innovative ideas striking us everyday and which if channeled well can be a great success. as the workd is becoming so technology based today, we all are exhaustive consumers of the products and find loopholes and gaps in them. through the vast availability of knowledge on the net, we even know how things can be rectified but are not able to take that extra ounce of courage to strike our own.
jsut to have the innovative idea is not enough to become a technopreneur. this is what the course should focus on, basically building grounds for all other aspects which need attention before one starts to almost risk everything one has.
everyone may not be interested in a course like this, but for the interested few, it will be a boon. the Part B of the weekly journal, more to do with the business plan making needed more attention in class and this is what the new course should focus on. SWOT Analysis, market research, formulation of the idea etc are important aspects and for the interested few, they must be taught this.
a course which gives the students a push to actually go ahead to do something will be a great success over time.
Hope to hear about it soon!!!
LOH MIN CI
Thankfully I still remember the objectives in the first journal after all these weeks. I believe my ambition then was something along the lines of ‘˜turning ideas on paper to profit reality’’, in this very real Singapore context.
If so I don’’t think this journal will do my learnings justice.
I must admit, I’’ve always felt relatively dumb in TWC classes. Like the average oblivious consumer I’’ve never had much interest nor knowledge in technology other than it as a tool, and reading that technology section in CNA it never seems very helpful to real life application. Thus as peers around me spring up with ideas experiences and insights, I listen intently and absorb with keen interest and running questions; but the lack of exposure deterring me from much contribution myself. One thing though ‘“ because of this I always looked forward to our (830am) TWC lessons; because I always knew that there was something new to learn in class that day, I could count on taking back information of value, and my breadth of knowledge and exposure would be visibly, tangibly increased at the end of 3 hours. I say tangibly because frankly, unlike lessons like LTB & FA (hey no offence) I was actually going to remember this knowledge, and use it in future.
So have I achieved it& ; I set out to learn if business ideas could truly turn into profit- making companies. Today I know that as long as one has a sound, viable business idea that makes economical sense, it will gain some foot no matter how small it starts out as. To start you merely need that seed, confidence and entrepreneurial desire, yet sustainability requires a complex mix of strategy, market understanding, funds and foresight; I had never visualized that m-commerce had such dimensions.
I wanted to know the necessary procedures, integral things to look out for, the local situation. Today I know the steps to take & the direction of a company, from the sources of funding to eventual listing. I learnt who to approach for investments, that government aid is not always feasible, that with only a certain no of investors and capital I could get listed, and where or how to do so. & I know exit strategies.
I wished to hear advice from real people who had done it, get the know-how. Real people like Leslie Loh & Neeraj Shabbi, who in other cases there was simply no chance of meeting. & seriously, what better way to learn technology than from a real life technopreneur& ; To see the trends, learn the ways and understand reality like one in the circle does- invaluable. I’’ve realised that it’’s true- you’’ll get the problems of low funding/market penetration/low pay/ struggling sustenance, but that it takes some initial focus & foresight to overcome it. & I’’ve learnt the importance of family and spouse.
Ultimately I wished to learn the secret winning formula behind ventures. In 3 words, pain and pleasure. Find out what the market wants, that gap in between demand & supply- & work on it. It’’s about being creative observant and lucky enough, as well as being able to differentiate youself. (see, i listened in class.)
See the most important takeback from twc lessons is that today, I am actually able to visualize beginning & enduring the challenges of my own start up, and it seems entirely possible that even I, under cultivated conditions could start my business venture, where previously i have never even entertained entrepreneurship thoughts. Though venturing into technology would require relevant expertise, entrepreneurship is now much more realistic & within reach than ever. Im more aware & equipped than before, and with that comes confidence. You always knew that ventures were risky things; but now I actually have the guts to do it.
so yes, I wanted a down-to-earth learning experience, and i got it- lessons the textbook couldnt provide, from the class’’s discussions, your nuggets of wisdom, the research & exploration.
I thank you for a eye-opening 13 weeks.
LEE KENG YIN
I actually think that I would be better off as a Social Sciences student than as a business student, so if there would be a follow-up topic, I would like it to be focused on the social impacts and implications of technology.
For example, in the lesson today we had presentations on some problems, and a very real problem was Sleep Deprivation, because people had to work 24/7. This represents a very real social change, brought about by technology.
The way people interact, the whole "hiding behind a computer screen" idea, the different ways people act in real life compared to in their emails, this could also be another case for investigation. Cyber-addiction, be it to gaming, facebook or simply a "second life", could be a specific example.
Alternately, the focus could be on problems that technology creates or could potentially create, and then finding possible solutions or preventive measures to those problems.
Global warming, technology fraud, loss of social skills, the problems are numerous and cover a huge variety of disciplines. Seeking measures to prevent these problems could very well improve society in the near future!
In the last couple of lectures Prof I feel you have really given us good advice, from simple things we seem to have forgotten like sleeping enough, eating healthy, hanging out with the right crowd...things like this could even be included in the course as a form of self-discipline to prevent technology from taking over our lives.
TAN JIN JIE
Reflecting back on the first week of TWC, I wrote on my journal
that I want to understand how techologies help businesses and how
to help end consumers to improve the overall quality of life. I
also mentioned that I wish to achieve these through peer sharing
during in-class discussions and through other SMU modules that
somewhat relate to TWC.
Well, after 13 weeks of TWC, I would say some of my objectives are
met, if not all. Of course, I have a better appreciation of how
innovation spur the advancement of technologies and more
importantly, its effects on businesses. Through the various case
studies that different group presented, I had a better knowledge
of how techonolgies are applied in various industries, such as
water industry (Hyflux), computer (Dell) etc. Also, the different experiences shared by other classmates provide insights and other view points of looking at the same issue.
Besides that, I also took security and IT law during this semester. Though these modules are not directly relate to TWC, I do however, managed to pick up some links here and there. For example, in my IT law module, I learnt about copyright and IPR, which was again taught in TWC. Even though the same topics are taught, the point of view and angles to look at the same thing are different.
To sum it up, it has been an interesting journey in TWC. I think the best part of this process was the personal experiences shared by both the professor and students alike.
I do achieve the target I set in the first class. But now I feel what I assigned for myself is of a too low standard.
I only acquire myself to read more news about technology and involved more in the class. That’’s because I didn’’t expect the course to be a very interesting and useful one at first. But a few weeks after the course started, I realized that I’’m wrong and there’’s a lot to learn.
The fact is that the course is not a standard Prof-teach-everything one but a big interactive discussion. While touching on some new gadgets or technologies, people who have relevant knowledge can share with the whole class. And that’’s when I realized my knowledge on technology was so limited. So I started reading technology news, like what I’’ve set in my objectives. But soon the group presentation came, which required a lot of information and I was short of information again because the information online is not specific enough. This time I did what the year-3 in my group did: read relevant books. Through reading and listening to my classmates I really learn a lot, both the knowledge and the self-study methods. And now I’’m accustomed to find the information myself.
Another fact is the change on me. I never dreamed of become an entrepreneur before. And I never believe I can handle all the difficulties along the way of starting the business. After the course, I got a general idea of how the entrepreneurship is like. Thus it was no longer a mystery for me and I started to believe that I can be a successful entrepreneur one day under my efforts.
After I gained so much from this course, I think I should have set a higher objective. It’’s good to study with all my groupmates, classmates, TA and Prof. I really appreciate this course.
YEO CHONG JIN
‘œIt is essential (for myself) to learn and apply what I will be learning in Technological World Change Module and acquire the skills needed to bring out innovations through analysing and improving any given current invention.’� Was what I had mentioned in my first journal.
As this would be the final journal, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Prof for the lessons, presentations, case studies and entrepreneur seminar.
Through the lessons, my perceptions have changed drastically. Rather than just inventing, innovations may be even more feasible. Often mistaken as just a copycat analogy, innovation actually includes further improvements that enhance a certain technology. Take for example, Apple took on the MP3 players from Creative and improved on its user interface and appearances. One needs to be open and receptive as well as Prof showed this clearly during my last presentation on the case study: the Naro Car ‘“ where Prof mentioned about our comfort zone with the cars today, in relation to its boxed look where it was ‘˜taboo’’ in the past due to its similarity to a ‘˜moving’’ coffin.
Innovation is not one of instant effects, it is a journey. Just like how we have to do assigned in-class presentations, it is a way of learning and exchange of ideas that is beneficial to all who participated. It is the process. I think through classes, I have learnt to not only effectively source out information but also efficiently through the short period of time given ‘“ a skill that is valuable and essential in the face-paced working society. Analyzing on the weekly topics and case study, it has sharpen my skills to pick out pointers and critique upon them, which gives me better understanding at the end of the day.
Working in a team with quite a few foreign students, allowed me to understand their strengths and weaknesses better. This taught me how to react to a given situation as to how to tap on their strengths to make the best out of everything.
The technical entrepreneurs invited to share their ideas have expanded my horizons of knowledge and understand better what it is like to be at the frontline for your very own product, fighting the wars bravely to conquer new lands victoriously. Prof Pamela Lim stood up as not just a technical entrepreneur for profits alone, but also for the welfare of her employees ‘“ which is a noble characteristic for an entrepreneur. Hence, other than money, passion and compassion are crucial.
I have also learnt the reality of philosophies shared by Prof: 1) Know yourself and your enemy and 2) Run when all else fails. Rather true especially in the world of technology where competition is stiff. Sometimes, things do not just work, and hence we may have to let go and move on fast, otherwise we will be dragged down.
Yes, I have achieved my objectives set up in the first lesson/journal and there is still room to learn more!
‘œChange the world with my technology’� was what I have taken away from TWC. =)
Once again, thanks Prof for everything.
TAN POH SIAN DONNA
Answering the latter: Basing what has been covered and I have learnt in TWC thus far, I would like to see a follow-up course on technopreneurship. Technology and entrepreneurship have been thrown around a lot in the recent decade or so, and are still viable bandwagons that many individuals aspire to hop onboard, yet the combination that results in ‘˜technopreneurship’’ remains fresh and undeveloped, holding much potential for Singapore that is branding itself as a regional hub of all things commercial. I believe it is a term that may ring a bell for most people today, but remains elusive and the majority do not know what it encompasses and its aspects. I also believe that technopreneurship lies close in the vein of what TWC entails, about new waves of technology and products that have changed or redefined the world as we see and know it. Technopreneurship, as a course, would not be narrowly defined as just how one goes about being a pioneer in an aspect of innovative technology, as is the common perspective perhaps, but the areas related to it as well, such as funding, investment and marketing etc. Hence, it would be a comprehensive, more current and, hence relatable, topic that would interest many of the young, tech-savvy students today. I see that a course that focuses on technopreneurship would cover an array of related issues but perhaps close in on a few areas in detail, which would help students understand more about what it takes to be a technopreneur or to be involved with working with such individuals. It would go from a broader understanding of technology and its trends to a more specific conception of working with and in the technology industries.
Technology and World Change course has told me a step-by-step way to make one to become a technopreneur and make his/her innovation known to the world. Moreover, it has driven me the challenge to become a technopreneur also. Honestly, I really like the professor teaching style and I STRONGLY agree that lecture is not the best way to learn. That is to say that SHARING is by far the most effective way, as I am myself a very practical person whereby I often learn things from my daily experience and other people experience. Throughout her sharing for the past 13 weeks has given me a lot of inspiration and some ideas about how people success with their technologies. Having said that I am totally agree with prof& ;s point that everything must comes with ‘˜why& ;’’ because as you keep asking & ;why& ;, you will eventually come up with something new. It might not be a complex or smart question, because even the simplest question like ‘œwhy does apple fall& ;’� can make a big difference. By implementing this approach as common attitude in life, I believe that I have the chance to create technology/product that people even cannot think of and can change the mindset of other people. This means I have the chance to become a successful technopreneur.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to the school to add a management course called Technology Management. It is understood that nowadays technology changes fast, which means that people will need to be able to catch up with the pace. In addition, from the topic of stress related due to the availability of technology in the breakout session, I realized that the expansion of technology, such as computers, phones, fax machines and the Internet, has resulted in heightened expectations for productivity, speed and efficiency, increasing pressure on the technopreneur and his/her workers to constantly operate at peak performance levels. There is also the constant pressure to keep up with technological breakthroughs and improvisations, forcing employees to learn new software/technology all the times. Thus, I would like to make this Technology Management course to touch more on assisting technopreneurs to find technologies, projects, funding options and information about which is the best product/service to be implemented to sustain the business performance. The course will be more likely to be what action that technopreneur must take after his/her success as a start up business to keep the operation of business process go smooth and have high productivity.
In conclusion, I do agree that TWC is a must-have course for all SMU students to create the awareness about how technology can change people behavior toward daily life and working life. It has been a great pleasure to me to have learn a lot of experience and knowledge from this course.
SORIANO ANDREA NICOLASA CARANDANG
I am personally quite happy about what I have learned in TWC and am very enthusiastic about the fact that the theories it teaches have very real manifestations in business, as is evident through the experiences of various leaders in the industry such as Leslie Loh and Cliff Go. As such, I would be very interested in a course which is able to bring this up to another level, something which tackles, to a greater depth, the practical application of all these things in executing an innovative business idea.
I would personally be very interested in a procedural course about how to put up a technology based firm in Singapore. As an international student, I don’’t know how to go about actually setting up a business in Singapore. A course which could tell me exactly what paperwork I need done, which offices in charge I should approach and whose advise (lawyers& ; consultants& ; what kind of consultants& ;) I should seek would be of great practical use. I would also appreciate if this course should have the option to culminate in actually drafting and presenting a technology-based business proposal. This will not only allow students to try their hand at innovating, but would also be able to help them pinpoint how to improve their ideas into a truly feasible and perhaps profitable venture.
LOW FEN LING EVELYN
I feel that TWC has taught me a lot more about technology theories. While these theories are applicable, I feel that they might be a bit detached from the practical world. In other words, few technopreneurs or entrepreneurs actually knew all these theories when they succeeded. Although it has been interesting studying the hard work of the academics, I feel that these theories are not necessarily the key to success. For example, technopreneurs and innovators do not need to learn specifically about the 7 steps in the innovation before adhering to it. Instead, I would believe that these steps are a ‘œnatural progression’� which they were bound to follow.
Therefore, if there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to learn more about technopreneurship. I appreciated the fact that we had shared a lot about being a successful technopreneur in class. However, I think that there is a need to learn more about the issues of technopreneurship in general. This is relevant in today’’s knowledge-based economies where entrepreneurs are highly valued. If there is such a topic, it would be interesting to learn about the ‘œfailed’� technopreneurs. In our lessons so far, our focus is on successful technopreneurs and how they succeeded. We have neglected those who did not make it as successful technopreneurs. While we now know how those people did things right, I believe that most of these formulas for success only work once. Therefore, we should find out the mistakes of those who failed. Consequently, even if we do not do the right things all the time, we can prevent ourselves from making the same errors.
Also, another follow-on topic which is highly fascinating would be a deeper analysis of the negative impacts of technology on the world. Although this was covered briefly in today’’s class, I believe that there are many other effects of technology which we can look into. I think that this would help us to understand the detriments of the technology underpinning our everyday lives. This would add a human touch and personal aspect to the course. Also, we would be able to appreciate and use technology wisely.
Although this might not be the place for feedback, I would like to say that I truly enjoyed TWC lessons which a good break from usual lessons. I have learnt beyond what I set out to learn as the class breakouts were very insightful. With these thoughts in mind, I will end my last journal entry.
TANG MANH TUAN
During this course, I have learnt a lot and gain much knowledge about many kinds of technology and how they became popular through innovation. As the objectives I set up in the first journal, I think I have not really achieved all of them. The reason is I did not really put all my effort to study hard on this subject. Technology and World change is a subject that requires to do lots of research and readings because there is a huge information that we can never get. However, I rarely read those articles. Instead, I just focus on what I have heard in class and pick up some interesting stories that impressed me. Therefore, in my opinion, my knowledge about technology and world change is still narrow.
However, if I have a chance to take a follow-on course from TWC, I would like it to focus more on technology such as investing in technology-based company to gain more further knowledge. This time, I will try harder to achieve what I have not during the course.
YEO SHU LI BRENDA
Honestly, I began TWC thinking that it’’s going to be one of those SMU ‘œwaste-time’� modules. My schoolmates who had taken the class (with other profs) told me not to expect anything interesting or worth learning from it. ‘œIt’’s all useless technical stuff’�, they say. However, I found the first lesson very interesting. I really enjoyed the way the lessons were being conducted and how we actually learn from one another’’s presentations. It’’s really a novel way to get the class to pay attention, be involved and really absorb what is being said. And it really works! Instead of having the prof talk for 3 hours, we were the ones talking and we’’ll definitely listen to the things we have to say.
Because of what others have told me, I didn’’t have very high expectations of the class and my objectives were the norm of reading up class materials, keeping myself updated of the latest technology. I really thought that it was going to be as technical as what they said it will be. I did not expect to gain that much insight on what it takes to be a technopreneur and how technology has its own life cycles and strategies. We definitely touched on technical stuff but it wasn’’t hardcore technology per se. I’’ve learn about the effects of how certain technology affects our lives whether in good or bad way, how technology has evolved overtime and how ancient technology are still being applied in today’’s setting. It’’s all very interesting to really see how technology evolved to become a double-edged sword and why that happened. I expected the class to be a 3 hours monologue filled with technicalities and mind-boggling information that cannot be digested. It was really a pleasant surprise to drag myself to school every Tuesday morning and not hate or fall asleep during class. I seriously had fun with the weekly presentations.
I feel that the class has gone way beyond my expectations and my objectives for the class definitely did not do it justice. I’’ve learnt a lot about technology and most importantly, I had fun throughout the learning process. I definitely do not feel that TWC is a waste of time. While it might sound like I’’m sucking up, I really did enjoy taking your class and I’’m glad it wasn’’t any other profs’’. Thank you for making TWC fun for me. It made waking up at 6.45am worth it. =)
If there were to be a follow-on course to TWC, I think the focus should be on Technopreneurship. I’’m sure there are students out there with bright ideas but need the right direction to push them forward. It would be interesting to have such a module for students to learn more about the things to consider and the next step to take or to simple take the opportunity to pursue a project. There are so many courses on entrepreneurship but none that really targets at technopreneurship. It would be interesting to see what SMU students can come up with.
This semester is memorable. I have learned a lot about the concepts of entrepreneur and innovation. What I feel most deeply is that to be an entrepreneur is really not easy. You must be savvy enough to cope with different situations. The professor& ;s rich experience in her career told us that the real business is not as ideal and wonderful as taught in the class. The real world is cruel, and one must be very careful in order not to be cheated.
In the first journal I said that my ultimate aim is to apply the knowledge about innovation that I learned in class to the real business world and gain considerable profit.
Now looking back, I feel at that time I was really ambitious and a little too naive. To achieve my ultimate aim is really tough work. I must admit that now I& ;m still too far from achieving the objective I set in the first week. I still have a long way to go. But I will not give up. No one will succeed without suffering from great pains, and I am no exception. Hopefully I can one day achieve the objectives that I set in the first week of this course after countless setbacks.
WONG YI MING DESMOND
After going through this course, I must say that I have gain some valuable insights as to how to start-up a business. Besides learning these insights, I have also learn about the tools available that can guide me in starting up a business. Through this course of learning, not only did I learn from Prof Pamela but I also learned a lot through my classmates, team mates, guest speakers and Mr. ‘œNaffi’� who shared with my group some of his valuable experiences. As a senior of my team, I have also managed to help my team mates improved their presentation skills and also share with them some of my knowledge. I definitely believe that I have gain more knowledge and experience through this course which can help me in the future. Now as a budding entrepreneur, I hope to be able to find a suitable innovation that can reduce people’’s pain and enhancing their pleasures with the aid of market and technology shifts. With that I must clearly say that I have not only met my objectives of the course and also exceed them.
YEO TEE HSIEN
I think my opinion of TWC has definitely changed a lot since the 1st week of lesson. To be honest, I truly felt TWC is something easy for me and perhaps took it for granted, which can be seen from my first journal attempt. However, as the weeks passed and now being in week 13, I feel totally opposite of what I felt then. Throughout the weeks, I can really see how technology actually impacts businesses as well as global issues at all levels, though the former really interests me very much, probably because Prof Lim always has personal experience as well as industry knowledge to share with the class which definitely makes the lessons come to live. It also served to change my mindset of the business world and how I used to think of it to be so rosy. I must say that was a naive point of view after attending this course because I realised that in this society, Darwinism is emphasized, and it is really hard to succeed in a business and be ethical at the same time. Difficult, but definitely achievable like I have seen in some cases.
Furthermore, this course has allowed me to understand not only local startups, but also the work practices and history of large organisations through case studies and group projects, Microsoft, 3M, Amazon.com, among many others. Through doing research and listening to valuable input from other groups, I have learnt a lot in terms of how successful organisations work, how they manage to keep profits sustainable, how they solve certain problems like funding, government intervention etc, basically how they expanded with limited resources and managed to stamp their mark in today& ;s economy.
Of course, not all attention is placed on these successful MNCs. Local startups are being studied as well, and I must say the talk in week 10 was really a value-add to the course. It gave me, someone who previously did not have the confidence in local startups, a whole new outlook in the business world. It made me realise that yes, dreams do come true if you work hard and smart. The road may be tough but definitely perserverance among many other qualities will get you somewhere. I also feel I am doing this course at the right time, with BGS (Business, Government, Society), and as I mentioned earlier, it is really tough to be successful economically as well as ethically, thus my opinions on certain companies have really changed as my respect for them has certainly gone up from when I started this semester.
So yes, I feel not only have my objectives been met, my mindset has been changed by TWC in this short few weeks. My level of thinking has grown deeper, at least I hope, and I am able to relate to more ideas and opinions of different people.
However, I do not think there should be a follow-on course from TWC. I do have another suggestion though, which is to have TWC at 2 different levels, one for 1st year students, and another for final year students. I feel the course for 1st year students will serve to change mindsets, opinions and open a whole new spectrum of ideas and avenues to the year ones. And as they pass through the other modules of their individual schools and prepare to step into the working world, there should be TWC again to act like a checklist of their 4 years in SMU, and to really determine if they are ready to step into the working world, or for some even setting up their own companies.
As I see it, this might be the end of my TWC course, but it is definitely a new beginning of limitless opportunities for my exploration.
YEO YAN HUI
An interesting topic for me would be along the line of technopreneurship where the focus is on the strategic management of innovation and technology in technology-based firms. Perhaps a more focused study could be made relevant to both China and India since these two economies are believed to have the biggest potential in commerce. TWC has laid out a preliminary platform to understanding the importance of both technology and innovation in not just everyday-life but also viable profit-seeking businesses. It would be valuable to follow up with a deeper insight to the management of innovation and technology in industries such as that of high technology like software development and biotechnology research. Areas of study might include motivating and managing workers in such firms, organizing for innovation, handling information technologies and eventually, making critical strategic decisions. It would indeed be a pity if an opportunity lands on an aspiring technopreneur yet he does not know how to manage it and let it slip out of hand. Speed is crucial.
Chief Technology Officer of Hewlett-Packard has once highlighted the importance of speed to market. For example, he said that the value of being one month earlier to market for a typical Hewlett-Packard product is worth more than the entire engineering and development cost of that product. He also said that being either six months earlier to market, or six months later, impacted the profitability of that product by one third over its entire life. In other words, if you get to market six months earlier, you will increase the lifetime profitability of that product by one third; if you are six months late, you will decrease the lifetime profitability by 30-35%. This is a very, very powerful statement: speed to market is a major factor in determining product profitability and success.
Therefore, skills and knowledge on the strategic management of innovation and technology would poise as valuable to one, at the tertiary level, who is thinking of stepping onto the path of technopreneurship upon graduation. I hope to equip myself with this set of skills and knowledge so I can be on a competitive edge against others and quick to respond to opportunities when they arise.
ANG WEN JIE JEREMY
There were many motivations and objectives when I first started out this course. The greatest motivation of it all was to learn and experience the process of starting a business. To achieve this, I considered attempting the individual assignment as a means to learn how to handle a start-up. However, this process did not teach me much about that. Instead, I learned more about the process of ‘œstarting-up’� through Prof’’s sharing of experience and the interview with Darius from TenCube.
Nothing inspired me to venture into starting a business more than hearing experienced entrepreneurs share their stories. I think the greatest revelation I received in all these ‘˜experience sharing’’ is the value of a great business idea. I learnt that a great business idea attracts resources (investors, market share, employees, etc.) and it is very important to own one. And a great business idea requires innovation and it is not easily formed ‘“ innovation is about selling a new product in an old context where a need has been already present but no one has thought of filling that need.
In some sense, I have achieved part of my main objective of this course as I have gained a theoretical insight of what it means to ‘œstart-up’�. However, I believe that the most effective way of learning something is through doing it; I will never receive an experiential growth of ‘œstarting-up’� until I try it. Looking ahead, TWC will probably one of the inspirations for me to start a business in the next few years.
The second objective I want to reflect on is my curiosity on technology ‘“ I wanted to grow in understanding of the significance and consequences of applying technology in business. In retrospection, I believe that I have met this objective. When I first started TWC, I knew about the presence of technology. But I did not know the width and the depth of the influence of technology in today’’s context. Having come to an end to this course, I now know that a business without technology integrated into its foundations will not last long. The challenge then, is to find a technology that is both sustainable (at the beginning of the technology curve) and easily accepted by the mass market (where the market is ready for this technology).
In summary, I have to an extent, met a large part of my objectives for this course. Looking forward, if I could take up a post TWC course, it will definitely be the actual starting up of a business.
NG LI BOON ELIZABETH
If there is to be a follow-up course from TWC, I do think I’’d like a course specifically dealing with technopreneurship.
It is extremely interesting (and a little scary and wondrous) for me to consider that this may only be the beginning of the digital age. Many have already spoken out against the pervasiveness of technology in this modern day as it is, but I look around and I still see many, many too-human processes, the trademark of which is laborious inefficiency. Imagine a world as that portrayed in science fiction movies: Where robots sweep and clean; where cars steer themselves on computerized roads after a destination is keyed in; where you can talk to your stereo and ask it to choose a music that best suits whatever mood you’’re in! Imagine developing that technology. Imagine the market for it!
The examples I’’ve quoted above may seem extreme, but I’’ve always felt that if the human imagination can put these scenes into movies, then there is nothing stopping us from putting it into reality, either. Who can say how quickly technology is going to progress& ; Either way, there is no denying that the waves of technology seem to be rising higher and higher, ever-advancing and looking set to continue changing the landscape of life and living (barring, of course, something short of Armageddon). The future holds a promise of being framed entirely in technology, and this translates to the unique choice every one of us faces even now, daily: Do we learn, do we invent, do we innovate, do we move ahead& ; Or do we turn away, thinking it’’s too much already, it’’ll never catch on& ; Do we risk falling far behind& ;
As the face of technology and its place among humankind transforms and evolves, I do feel that it is going to be so important that we know how to utilize it, how to bring it to others, and how to develop and enhance its numerous facets. So many people around me now (myself included) acknowledge the growing power of technology and the increasing opportunities it brings; yet, hypocritically, many of us remain stuck in the rut of the pre-existing notions of success, a prime example of which is studying financial accounting and getting a job in a good bank. Who knows, someone might soon write a program that will allow the computer to do financial accounting for us, quicker and far more efficient than we could ever hope to achieve manually! What many of us are really doing, then, is waving a placid and too-wasteful goodbye at those opportunities that technology brings as they sail past us.
If we, the business-people and consumers of tomorrow, the ‘œeducated elite’� who have had the great fortune of being exposed to and having been taught about how to surf the waves of technology even as we step into the ocean, don’’t seize these opportunities’¦who will& ;
To conclude, what I have glimpsed so far of technopreneurship from the TWC course has been fascinating, and it has definitely sparked my interest. I therefore do hope that there might be a chance to further this interest, and to learn more skills and know-how of technological enterprise as we stand at the forefront of the next wave.
IBRAHIM IMJAD JALEEL
I remember almost every single word which I penned down in my very first journal. The first thing which came into my mind at that point in time was, whether a subject like TWC could be taught with in a time span of just 13 weeks& ; While I was inking my very first journal I thought of various things started to come into my mind. I’’ll state and try to evaluate my stance on those beliefs currently:
‘¢ What could be the content covered in this module since technology has been evolving ever so fast in this globalized world& ;
‘¢ Can a text book be current enough to cover all the aspects of the ever changing dynamics of technology in various aspects of daily life& ;
‘¢ Can we really learn such an interdisciplinary course just within a mere 13 weeks if not in a time span much less than that& ;
With all these and many more in my mind I was eager to attend the next class to gather more on how this module is been conducted. I’’ve always known that different professors take different approaches to their classes. With all the experience and with all the knowledge I’’ve attained from the course, a lot of those doubts were answered. Prf, mentioned is class that its not only technology which keeps on evolving but rather every dime about the whole world. Hence if someone wants to keep himself well updated he should constantly be a student to learn and appreciate constant change, no matter how old one might be. The other take away was her very right claim that, what we learn at the university life may not be applied after graduation even by 20%. Our cutting edge over those without the university degree is our line of thinking, ability to analyze and take those risks which are foreseen unlike the many others. Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com is a good exemplar to profs claim. I was humbled by what I heard due tot the initial take of mine on the course. I’’m so confident that that learning is not only about a text book or a specific syllabus but its all about the exposure which one is willing give and onces devotion to the notion of education.
The approach adopted by prof to break the class into mini groups for the break out sessions was new dynamic into my learning curve. It was as if a direct answer to my question of, ‘œif such an interdisciplinary course could be covered in such a short span of time& ;’� This approach really made it look simple and very effective at the same time to achieve this goal. The research work which we conduct in class among over 8 groups enables us to get a clear picture about 8 different technological evolutions taking place in the world. We then link that back to the concepts in the text book, where by we are able to give life to the brush strokes in the canvas.
This module made me evoke my inner thoughts, enabled me to think along a different line as prof, and unveiled a lot of her insight in the class. One example to this would be the scroll button of the apple ipods. Prof stunned us by reveled that the sleek good looking shuffle button was an invention of several decades back. This was brought back into the life by apple. Now I’’ll never be moved by a product, or clam or even the boasting of a CEO. Now I have the mindset of doing the proper research about the product rather than get taken off by such advertising campaigns.
Now I would like to sum up my experience. I had a wonderful time in this course not only in terms of learning but the close bond which I managed to build with my group mates. Year one students and years twos from various faculties made up my team. This enabled me to learn the group dynamics and after all in the corporate sector this is what I have to do. Work with people from all different back grounds and with various mind sets. The daily presentations polished up my presentation skills and helped immensely in building up my confidence. Most of the other modules it’’s a one off presentation for the whole semester. Numerous real life examples were brought to light both by prof and all my class mates, helping me build up my knowledge and giving me such motivation that I too could be an entrepreneur or an innovator. I have lot to take away from this course. The journal entries which we have to post have played a vital role in reflecting my self and do an introspection of myself.
I realize why this course so important students like us, coming from a full fledge business school. This is not just a module but a motivational tool as well. I come from the humble back ground of a small country of Maldives, and this exposure is immense to build up my inner self profile. Last but not least I thank you prof, for all the guidance and assistance which you have rendered to all of us through out this course. I have learnt a lot and it was a great experience and a pleasure to have leant this course under you.
Wish you the very best and I wish to take a different module under you once again in my MSU academic career.
I quote you ‘œit’’s not the external materials which makes oneself efficient but the mind set. Your example of your son preparing for the swim competition and the gears which you provide speaks for all’�. I sincerely think it’’s very true and it has helped me to do well in sports etc even though I don’’t have the Nike soccer shoes or the chin guards. It’’s the mind set.
NGUYEN TRONG KHOA
I don’’t think I have achieved the objectives which I set up at the beginning of the course. Rather, I would think that what I have learnt during this course is a foundation for me to achieve my goal, which is taking advantage of technology to make my life richer both financially and spiritually. Three months is a relatively short period of time while I do not expect my goals to be fulfilled in less than 10 years’’ time. However, I must say what I have learnt from this course is very crucial because it is the foundation and I surely need a foundation if I want to build something.
Technology is changing every changing. What you call new today will become obsolete tomorrow. That shows how exciting and appealing the hi-tech industry is. However, investing still remains my interest. And one day when I want to invest in technology, what I learn today will help me a lot in making my decision.
SER XUE LING SERENE
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal& ;
After all these enjoyable TWC lessons, I realised that the objectives that I had set out to accomplish in the first journal are rather tangible/theoretical. However, during the course of this journey, I realised that there are certain intangible objectives that I, as a person, should strive to achieve as well.
These tangible objectives relate to theoretical concepts. At the beginning of this journey, I had wanted to gain a deeper understanding on two things ‘“ source of innovation and uncovering market opportunities. I believe that these have already been well-addressed by the textbook and the case studies.
My two greatest tangible takeaways from this module are:
1. The concept that things often work in a CYCLE
The sun rises and the sun sets. Birth, old age, sickness, death. Recover, prosperity, recession, depression. These are the cyclical works of the nature that is very much beyond our control. But the key here is to seize the split-second opportunity to CAPITALIZE on uncovered market opportunities, and this is to be done by the following point.
2. Give people exactly what they NEED and what they WANT
‘œThe winner is the chef who takes the ingredients as everyone else but produces the best result’� ‘“ Edward de Bono. This winner is usually the innovator who integrates different existing functions into a whole new package that is CUSTOMIZED to the desires of his target audience. The overused success stories of Facebook and Apple iPod illustrate this best. Therefore, the key to innovation in my humble opinion, is to give my target audience, exactly what they need or what they want.
Apart from these theoretical concepts in black and white, I am now convinced that it is important to articulate one’’s thoughts. I have seen from the various case studies that successful people are usually the eloquent ones who are willing to share their ideas with others, to create SOMETHING out of nothing.
As such, ideas are powerless as personal thoughts, but ideas are powerful when articulated to convince or MOTIVATE people. Therefore, keeping ideas to oneself stifles one’’s growth potential, but articulating one’’s ideas well and clear to the mass has a resonating effect on all parties.
To articulate one’’s ideas, what is needed is CONFIDENCE ‘“ the confidence to step out of one’’s comfort zone, the confidence of not fearing to be wrong, the confidence to conquer not the mountain but ourselves. Although I feel that I am still lacking in this aspect, I believe that this module has been the trigger point for me to build up my confidence, and this will carry me through my life. It starts with me, not others.
Don’’t let uncertainty control me, I shall control confidence. Don’’t let technology control me, I shall control technology instead.
WONG SI HUI GLADYS
In fact, i did not really meet all the objectives set up in the first journal as my focus was more on innovations in Asia. However, I guessed I have learnt more than what I wanted. I used to think this course maybe boring as it is all about technology which I am weak in. Prof has taught more than what is in the syllabus but also on life skills such as doing well in presentations and practical knowledge such as getting listed in Singapore. These are things that I will not know about from the books. Moreover, it is through this course, I got to know this term Technopreneur and came to know the boss I am working under, is actually one. I also understand from this course that u need to be a very rich person to start with in order to be successful in future. The speakers that my schoolmates have invited have proven this point to me. Overall, TWC is not just a normal course under Prof Lim as she herself was once a Technopreneur.
CHOO KOON PO
In my first journal, I wrote that I want to become more conscious about global technology and economic development, learn as much as I can from my peers in class and capitalise on any interesting and marketable ideas.
I feel that so far, I have fulfilled the first 2 objectives.
The seminars have greatly stir up my interest and awareness on technology and how it impact the economy. The courses have effectively cover on scholastic aspect of the theories, as well as the practical aspect in the real life examples and case studies we had in class. Now I am more aware of how technology is developed overtime and most importantly, how to tap on technology for my own benefit in terms of business development and entreprenuership.
I really appeciate the learnings we had on start-up companies& ; funding options, strategies, patent issues and business development. I have also benefited much from the studies we had on start-up businesses and the learnings of their successes and mistakes because these are valuable lessons will be put into great use when I start a business in future.
Furthermore, during the TWC classes, i have also learnt alot from my peers during their presentations. I feel that the in-class presentation is a good exposure on learning about different aspect of technology change and entrepreneurship. The presentations often arouse great interest in me as I would go back home and research more on some topics presented in class for my own interest. Some ideas that were discussed in class were also very interesting and I often go back to discuss further with my close friends. The sharing of some of the ideas we learnt during TWC with my close friends has further improve my learnings and knowledge, as my friends would often provide constructive feedbacks or opinions that expose myself into more ideas.
As for the third objective I had which is to put these ideas and knowledge into actions, I feel that whenever the opportunity comes, I will grab it and make full use of the learnings I have in TWC class and apply them into the real world.
Throughout the latter half of the course the module has been focused on sources of funding that a firm can seek to grow and develop. These technology firms (especially web start-ups), are difficult to value and thus difficult to invest. I feel that SMU should offer technology finance to understand the finances and the opportunities of these firms. I feel that SMU should also consider a course on investing in technology-based company.
The absence of a strong venture capitalist environment in Singapore presents opportunities for interested investors to look here, especially when entrepreneurship is taking off with the implementation of supportive funding and policies by the government. SMU, as a business school, should look ahead; especially the looming recession may mean that new and robust firms may be in the works (Kodratiev Wave Theory). We should prepare our students to ride on this wave. However, the high risk nature of the course will mean that it should be a higher level course with emphasis on analytical skills. The course should also involve an active research programme to examine the methods of analyzing companies and to mitigate the risks of the venture fund. This will give students the ability to think beyond the conventional skills offered.
It is noted that venture capitalist do get painted with a negative light. I feel that while trying to teach the skills to be a top-notch venture capitalist in Singapore, it is important to inculcate ethics and morals in this industry, which is well known to be brutal. The course should also include ethical questions posted to the future venture capitalist on the choice of actions they take.
With this I conclude that as a follow-up to TWC, the School of Business should consider offering courses in this relatively untapped field of venture capitalism in Singapore.
LIM JIA YING
This semester of TWC class has exceeded my expectations of the knowledge that was to be imparted in class. As a result, I had definitely achieved much more beyond what I had set out to accomplish in week 1.
My first objective, which was to explore the complementary relationship between technology and business, is fulfilled. The study of technological change theories, such as the long wave theory help us identify which stage our society is currently at. By gaining awareness of our position, we can anticipate trends and make provisions for the future. Other theories also stimulate us to examine products’’ relevance in the market and how improvement could be made through innovation. I feel that all these theories are very applicable to my future business studies as technology is an aspect of our life that has to be integrated, not avoided.
I have also achieved my second objective of learning how to spot a new trend and benefit from such new technology. Through the many case studies that we have done in class, I conclude that taking calculated risks is needed to succeed. As such, this module has indeed instilled readiness for change in me, as I am now more willing to take that leap of faith (after doing all the necessary research). Hence, the need to cope with constant change is reiterated within me.
TWC has also broadened my view about the world. The world has shrunk tremendously due to the advent in the last 20 years and this had led to even greater reliance on technology. Through the interactive case studies presented by classmates, I have learnt about both the positive and negative influences of technology. This has helped understand better the impact technology has on my life. With increased awareness about the negative influences, I would tweak my habits in order to reduce these damaging impacts on my life.
Even though my group only completed one presentation, I felt that TWC was a module that gave me plenty of chances to hone my public speaking skills. I had plenty of opportunities to present during in-class discussions and also the honour of being the emcee for our seminar. This is the first time I have tried organizing a seminar and it has taught me a lot about communication between teammates. Logitics posed to be a perennial problem but my team managed to overcome the many obstacles. It was an exhilarating yet daunting challenge to retain the attention of more than 200 fellow school mates for a duration of 3 hours. As such, TWC has definitely helped me improve my public speaking and presentation skills as it was indeed an unforgettable experience speaking on stage with the esteemed guest speakers.
There was much to learn from our engaging in-class discussions as well. My classmates provide alternative points of view \and it is very interesting to explore news and events from their non-conventional angle. I think that I have made effort to be participative in class discussions but I may have seem disruptive at times as I tend to cut into my classmates’’ speech. I try to be more polite in future. I thoroughly enjoyed each lesson’’s stimulating discussions.
Lastly, I felt that Prof Lim had played a big part in igniting our interest for TWC. Before this module, I did not even dare dream to become of becoming an entrepreneur. However, after Prof’’s incessant encouragement and our exposure to real success stories, I have finally begun to change my mindset about entrepreneurship. I am inspired.
TWC is more than just a content-based innovation class. With Prof Lim’’s warm touch and friendly demeanor, our class has transformed into a journey where young adults like myself can pick up valuable life skills yet acquire academic knowledge at the same time. It is truly an invigorating class. Hence I feel that not only have I thoroughly enjoyed myself every Monday morning this semester, I have also fulfilled my learning objectives for TWC.
TANG CHEE KIANG
In the first journal, I wanted to learn more about how technology has affected Singapore and the whole word in the past, now as well as in the future.
Throughout this module, I was indeed exposed to many innovations due to technology. I learned the types of innovation such as radical, incremental, modular and architectural which involve changes in either the components or the system or both.
I understand how the sources of innovation came from. It could be from individuals, corporate undertakings, users, outsiders, spillovers or process needs.
Also, I learn the theories of innovation and the process of innovation. With all these in mind, I wouldn’’t say that I have equipped myself with all this knowledge because all this is far too much. However, at least after this module I have understood more about the doings of technology and innovation.
The most memorable event as well as the one that made me learn the most would be the seminar talk with the three techno-preneurs. Mr Lesley Loh in particular, would be my role model for me to look up to in the future.
Yes I do, very much!
This course has really been a very, very enriching experience for me as I have learnt how to think in order to be a successful entrepreneur. The discussions have taught me so much about what is going on in the world today. The in-class presentations were very educative as well. For instance I found out so much about companies like Apple, Creative, 3M, GM, Ikea, and many more. Moreover, all this provoked my interest and I used to come back home from class and really read about these companies. The research that went in behind the group presentations (Samsung in the case of our group) made me learn a lot about the companies started, what challenges they faced, how to deal with such challenges, and how they finally became huge success stories.
Knowing more in this way got my mind used to thinking in the way an entrepreneur should. By this I mean, that I have become more open-minded to different kind of practices and processes that are used in business. Before the course I would probably find it hard to digest, but now I know that yes, these are the kind of things that happen today. This has broadened my horizons of thought and now I am better able to think about such issues in a more structured manner. I am sure this will help me go a long way in my entrepreneurial enterprise.
The examples of successful entrepreneurs that were sighted in class were also very inspirational. I am motivated now and I know I can make it big even though I do not have much of a fortune to start with, if my plan is good.
The guest speaker series was greatly inspiring and actually got me thinking about a few very important things. Also, I would like to mention that I am in the ex-co of SMU Ventures which is entrepreneurship society in SMU and my inputs to the club have improved after going through this course because the ideas and thought processes were actually being implemented. This also won me the chance to represent Singapore in Hong Kong this summer for a business plan competition.
All in all, I think this course really got me focussed and I was able to actually understand technological entrepreneurship and also see myself implementing the TWC knowledge in many things. Now I am one step closer to my goals.
YEO MING SHAN ANDY
In my first journal, I said that my main objectives for this course are to have a clear understanding of how and why different technologies evolved, and the impact that they have in our daily lives. Reflecting back on the past lectures, I believe that my main objectives have been met. As a matter of fact, this course has not only equipped me with more knowledge in relation to technologies, it has also given me several key take-away that are very applicable in life.
Through the in-class discussions on the theoretical concepts of technology, I managed to gain more insights into how different technologies evolved as a whole. I learnt about the evolution of ideas (which is also the sources of innovation), I learnt about the essentiality of marketing for ideas and innovations, and I have also learnt about the different funding sources that one can obtain for his or her innovations. To a large extent, through these lessons, I was able to obtain a full understanding of the typical technology cycle; how technologies can evolve to be so successful or unsuccessful.
The weekly in-class presentations and the two main presentations have also allowed me to relate better to the concepts taught in class. These presentations have certainly helped in further enhancing my understanding of the topics taught each week. These presentations are the ones that have instilled the technologies concepts in me.
Finally, through the guest seminar, I was able to gain a most complete understanding of technologies. It is through this guest seminar that I was able to relate the theories and concepts taught back to reality. Similarly, it is through this guest seminar that I was able to see how applicable the concepts taught in class are to a technopreneur want-to-be.
All in all, through the interaction of the above mentioned activities, this course has given me a more in-depth understanding of how technologies evolved, and the impact that they have in our daily lives. This, coupled with the effort that I have put into the course (including the reading up of all assigned topics before every class), make me believe strongly that my initial objectives set for the course have been met.
TEO SU LING
Yes i think i have. I& ;ve learnt more about field of technology, not just the technical details, but certain interesting facts. I& ;m very glad that the prof shares her experience in the technology field with us, something that is priceless and cannot be taught. What she shared in class has made me think deeper about many pre-conceived notions I have and I& ;ve definitely gained insight from that. I& ;ve also made it a point not to miss lesson and complete my assignments on time. Projects were also done most efficiently.
13 weeks seemed to have flown past really quickly, and we have now reached the end of the Technology and World Change module. The TWC course had been an informative course which helped in our understanding of innovations and how they have changed and shaped our lives. Of particular relevance and interest to many of us would be the recent case studies and guest speaker seminars on techno-preneurship.
The series of discussions and presentations we had in class gave me a deeper insight into how we could go about starting a new venture for our innovations, and it also made me realise too, that it is actually not as difficult as I had thought to set up a business in Singapore to commercialise any possible innovations that we might have. In Singapore, the government is fervently trying to promote entrepreneurship among Singaporeans, and there are actually many forms of assistance and funding made available by institutional bodies like the Economic Development Board (EDB), which technopreneurs-to-be may tap on.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would recommend a course which would focus on Technopreneurship in Business, where students would be able to put the theories that they have learnt in TWC class into practice. This course would be for the students who have inspirations for innovations, and it would provide an avenue for these students to bring their ideas into reality. A project-based curriculum would be incorporated where each student would have to prepare a business plan, considering the feasibility of his/her innovations. Once the business plan is approved by the professor, the student could then proceed to apply for funding from institutional bodies like the SEEDS fund under EDB, to startup a company for his/her innovations.
I believe that a follow-on course like this would encourage techno-entrepreneurial students to take the first step out of their comfort zone to develop their inspirations. Personally, I am not one who is active in coming up with innovative ideas, but from the recent in-class discussions, it is evident from the numerous improvements suggested for the products like ‘œRu’�, that there are students within the class who have the interest in becoming techno-preneurs. All they need is a stepping stone, and this follow-on course would be the platform made just for them!
After going through 13 weeks of TWC, I felt that I had achieved my objectives as I did had a better understanding of Technology and the effect it had on our society. Besides what was taught in the textbook, I had learnt to more pro-active in questioning the current events that are happening and not take things for granted. Being Singaporeans, we have the habit to take what the government mentions as the factual truth without questioning. As discussed during class, from genetic modified food to microwave oven to ERP, there are some issues where we often had overlooked without questioning. Thus, one of the valuable lessons learnt from TWC is that one should always question and be aware of the events happening around you.
In conclusion, TWC had enabled me to have a better understanding of the various sources (Individuals, Corporate Undertakings, Users, Outsiders, Spillovers, and Process Needs) and theories (Technology S-curve, Punctuated equilibrium, Dominant design, and Absorptive capacity) of innovations. This had given me the domain knowledge and provided me a better appreciation on various innovations. Equipped with this knowledge, I believed it will definitely enhance my future endeavors, be it in my career or my daily life.
LEONG KIT WAI JONATHAN
In my first journal entry, I mentioned that I wanted to learn more about current affairs and it& ;s impact on the world, through both TWC classes and readings. I am glad to say that I am much more aware of things happening around us nowadays. I am much more in the know of things like rising oil prices, the sub prime crisis in the US, the political situation in southeast asian countries, and so forth. As large as the world is, one event that is happening on the other side of the globe can affect us here. The world is so connected in that way. It has been an empowering experience to know more about everything thats been going on in the world, and I will continue this practice even after TWC class ends. Channelnewsasia.com has even become my permanent homepage on the internet! I have definitely learnt a lot from Mrs. Lim, not just from her insight, but also from her wealth of experience. One thing I& ;ve learnt from her is that what we learn in textbooks isn& ;t necessarily what happens out there in the working world. I found that I also learnt a lot from in-class presentations, because through those in-class activities, I learn more about some innovations, and things like paper-making processes, or the aviation industry. It has definitely made me a more knowledgeable person. All in all, TWC has been a tremendous learning experience.
Before I start on my last journal, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you Prof, for an extremely enjoyable and interesting course. To be honest, I did not expect much when I first stepped into class. To me, it was a compulsory module that I was not sure if I could learn much. To my pleasant surprise, I really learnt a lot from you, the guest speakers and the case study presentations. It helped that you and the guest speakers were ever ready to share your practical experiences with us: the lessons that textbooks could never teach us. For that, I am very grateful.
In my first journal, I sought to answer one burning question: is innovation the driving force behind human progress& ; Although this question was not explicitly addressed in class, the lessons and concepts learnt in class set me thinking. After 13 weeks of class, I would say yes to the aforementioned question. Innovation literally expands the practical realm of human possibility. We have progressed as humans because we can now do things that we could never do before. Modern medicine has prolonged the lives of many; air travel has reduced human boundaries; the internet has accelerated the sharing of ideas and the list goes on. Humans have become incredibly dependent on technology.
My only worry is that we, humans may take technology for granted and inevitably allow it to control us. When technology fails, we are often at a loss. For example, I take the train to school every day and I do not expect it to fail. The train system failed somewhat this morning. To my consternation, I had to wait for about 20-30 minutes before I could board the train. I was at the mercy of technology. It really set me thinking. The competitive edge that Singapore has is its productive workers. The productive workers are in turn highly dependent on an efficient and technologically advanced transport system to get them to work safely and on time. To me, the delay caused me to miss fifteen minutes of class this morning but to companies, the delay might mean hours of productivity lost. Furthermore, if train systems can fail, so can computers that power and facilitate the financial markets these days. If that fails, I am certain the economic fallout would be devastating. I am sure there are back-up computers and technicians in place to prevent such a crisis. Are they sufficient& ; Will we be in control when technology fails us& ;
Besides this, there are other key takeaways that I will always remember. Firstly, the spectre of legacy will always impede innovation. Once we have become accustomed to a certain way of doing things, it might prevent us from adopting ways that are clearly better. I treat it as a personal lesson as well. I must never rest on my laurels and I am convinced there is always a better way of doing something. Secondly, for a start-up to succeed, it must have a viable and sustainable business model. A number of dotcoms that held incredible promise went bust when the bubble eventually burst. Upon further investigation, it was clear that these dotcoms did not have a feasible business model at all. One could hardly identify the revenue streams. The dotcoms that survived the crash are those with workable business models ‘“ companies like Yahoo! and Amazon.com. That lesson holds true till today. Lastly, one must have passion to succeed. The journey of an entrepreneur is often fraught with setbacks and difficulties. Many give up along the way. I believe passion would make the sacrifices less painful and imbue you with the determination necessary to succeed. I concede it will not guarantee you success but it will go a long way in making it possible. This is a lesson that I will definitely keep in mind as I step out to work.
On another note, I would be very interested in a course on Investing in Technology firms. I personally believe technological firms are great investment opportunities. I however refrain because I do not understand the business well enough. This course could fill that gap.
KOH WEI KIAT
I believe I have achieved my objectives that I& ;ve set forth after the first TWC class. But I& ;ve learnt so much more from the course, the guest speakers and the projects. 13 weeks is a really short time for me to internalize all that i& ;ve learnt and if there& ;s a follow up on TWC, I will like to learn more about Technopreneurship.
I want to be my own boss in the future. I want to be an owner of a business that I can confidently call it my own. In recent years, there& ;s a huge influx of technology companies and i& ;m interested to find out more on how did the successful millionaires make it. But i& ;m more intrigued by the reasons behind those who failed.
In the course we are taught much about successful entrepreneurs but not too much on the unsuccessful ones. I believe with an inclusion of this, it will give me a more all rounded view and understanding on the whole technology-based company scene.
Apart from that, I really appreciate the guest speakers that were invited to tell us about their actual experience. I think nothing beats having people who actually made it and sharing with us their real upsand downs.
I would like to quote myself from my first journal, where I specified what I would like to achieve through this course. I wrote, ‘œI would like to understand what technology and innovation is, thereby not only keeping abreast with the fast changing world but also understanding it better’�
In the beginning, I had never been very close with technology or understood it clearly. For me it was just something that made life easier and I could use it without much thought. However, through this course I understood the basis of innovation, understood theories that explained innovation in detail along with its significance in the world.
The best thing about this course was the way it was taught. From day one we were told that the class would consist of interactive sessions via presentations, breakout sessions and case studies, with the Professor only facilitating our learning process. While I found this an interesting concept, it also scared me because of my tendency to sometimes not speak up in class if I was not comfortable with the subject. I knew that given a course like TWC I would have problems presenting in front of the class every week. However, it was exactly this that helped me improve. Over this whole course not only did I achieve my goal of being able to understand technology better and appreciate it but I also developed my soft skills. Presenting on different topics every week allowed me to practice conveying important information to the audience in a short span of time, with minimum prior practice. This enhanced my ability to speak impromptu and over the span of the course I felt my confidence level build up.
One thing that I will always regret however would be by inability to participate in class otherwise. I started out hoping to be able to speak up but somehow the weeks progressed and I found myself incapable of doing so. I am still not sure what made so hesitant but every time I tried speaking people spoke up before me. I know it was incapability to overcome this and I never gave it much thought until Prof once mentioned in class how important it was to have good soft skills. When she explained how only the ones with ability to speak well can progress in life since everything in life is being able to express yourself clearly and before others, I understood the seriousness of the situation. I always felt that my other strengths would cover up for my introvert nature, but Profs explanation that day brought me face to face with reality.
Hence, apart from achieving my initial objective of learning about technology and innovation, I feel my main take away from this course is an improvement in my presentation skills and the realization of the importance of speaking up and expression myself. I really hope to be able to work on this and apply it in my future courses.
TAI WEI FENG
Technopreneurship will probably be the more interesting topic,
With the internet and google, SMU students are probably well informed of new emerging technologies appearing around the world. If such a technopreneurship course is opened, it will be interesting to learn the process of building a practical business model after identifying a new application of the technology.
A professor who was the chairman of the SMU business innovations generator center once commented that the center& ;s resources are under utilized because many students& ; proposals were rejected due to lack of practicability in business sense.
Investment related topics will probably be more of interest to a smaller portion of students who are already engaged in investment activities such as stock trading
TEO POH LING CINDY
Technology World Change class never fail to interest me. In fact, I will say that this is the class that I will always like to be in. In the midst of the course, I have learnt a lot of precious learning and valuable lessons that I cannot find in the textbook.
Looking back, I seem to have grown up and have become more mature in my thinking. This is a course that I feel that it helps to motivate students to become entrepreneurs or technopreneur. If there is a chance for us to have a follow-on course, I hope the focus is on technopreneurship. I feel that this is a good opportunity for the students who are motivated from Technology World Change course to progress further to fulfill their dreams and build up their own business.
Most of the students at this period of time tend to lose their focus and has not determined what path they should be taking in the future. Hence, i will say that it will be good if this follow-on course can also advise the students or help the students to think about which path they are suitable in taking and I strongly feel that it will be good if they have hands-on experiences in trying their business ideas for real. It will definitely be an unforgettable experiences and learning session for the students
In addition, I think it will also be good if this course can teach us on how to start up the business, like what are the areas we have to be careful and what are the procedures we have to take if we are going to set up the business. This is because I feel that these are common areas that most people fail to take care and result in business failure.
I guess that’’s about all. Eagerly hoping to have the follow-on course.
CHUA XUELING SHERLYN
I think I have achieved my objectives in some way or another in this course. I am now more aware of the technology that is around me, their humble beginnings and the changes that is constantly occuring due to the advancement today. Especially in the later part of the course, with the guest seminar, I have seen the application of technology and business in technopreneurs. Learning about how they start from scratch and move up from there is truly a lesson learnt and appreciated. Being able to apply what I learn during the course was one of my priority. I have widened my knowledge about technology through the various in class presentations and discussions with my group members. Technology and its impact on the world cannot be measured quantitatively, but by the extent of the success and convenience it brings to people. In this course, I have learnt to appreciate the process it takes for an innovation to be successful in the marketplace. It is all about developing the new product at the right time and having the right people to help you launch your innovation. Although I did not really accomplish the plan I wanted to take to achieve these objectives, I have somehow learnt more than I expected to. I have learnt that technology is not just about new ideas and experimentation. It goes further. Today, its all about bringing it to people and making your innovation well received.
LOO MEE KWAN
Yes. I achieved my objective and I have achieved and gained more than what I expected. First, my objective was to learn many small and creative business ideas and gratefully many ideas were learnt from the case studies in class and through Prof’’s lecture and meaningful insight. In order to sell your products or services, you might have to be different from your competitors. One example mentioned by Prof was to come up with a special rebate or privileges card to keep the customers. This is a way to make use of technology to put you an edge over others.
I feel that I have learnt a lot from the class and my teammates. First of all, the class did not turn out as what I expected it to be. I thought TWC will be a module which I will learn only about technology evolutions, technical innovations and technopreneurship. However unexpectedly, I learnt about soft skills and life skills!!! And these are really important and I believe will be what I really take away from the class for a long long time to come. I remember that there was even once when Prof taught us more about companies issuing bonds and the venture capitalists’’ mindset. (They are not your friends!) If not for Prof’’s advice, I might never have known until I meet such a blood-sucking VC. It is important to know how to tackle such people. In addition, I also gained a lot of soft skills made possible by participating in the multiple presentations in class.
NEO ZEE HUEY
As mentioned in the first journal, I have set some objectives to be made for this course.
One of the objectives is to know and learn more about technology. From the lessons and my first presentation, I have learnt more about technology like the dot-com bubble burst and the new technology such as blogs and youtube. Although it does not really teaches me how these technology works, which I may not understand if I was taught, I think that I have sufficient knowledge now about the technologies in the modern society.
The second objective I have met is that my presentation and communication skills have improved from the presentations and even the interview with the technical entrepreneur. I have gained more confidence in presenting my ideas and also, the technique in organizing our thoughts and ideas.
As seen, the two objectives of mine has been met throughout the journey of the TWC course. In addition, I have fostered friendship among my group mates. The course has also spurred me to think of new ideas to innovate the products or services. In the past, I always think that entrepreneurs only exists for people who are creative and rich but now, I realized that everyone can do so and there are also funds available for our innovations. Thus, I would like to thank prof, my teammates for giving me this valuable experience in TWC.
ONG GUO CHANG
Yes, I believe I have better understood how technology has been influencing the world today and the impact it has on us. Besides this, I feel I have learnt several important concepts in TWC which to me, could be useful. Additionally, because we& ;re assigned a case study to work on every lesson and we receive additional knowledge from other groups, this has really widened my knowledge of the people and things associated with technology and entrepreneurship. I personally found the talks on entrepreneurship very motivating and inspiring. Although I do not strive to be one, I still feel inspired to pave my own unique path. This is additionally strengthened with the advice I& ;ve heard from different entrepreneurs during the seminar and from the groups. Thanks Prof!
LIM XIN NI MELISSA
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like a topic which focuses of medical technology. This is because I believe that breakthroughs in medicine is still very much needed in our society and I have a strong interest in the area of medical technology. Technology has not only improved our lives, it also enable us to enjoy life for a longer period of time. Medical technology has been amazing, ranging from using laser to treat heart problems and having brain surgeries without even the need to perform lobotomy. Not only will further research in this area generate much benefits, it would also enrich our lives as we reflect on how much technology had brought us till today.
WONG YANZHONG THOMAS
Yes, i think i have met all my objectives set up in week 1. First of all, by learning the different concepts and theories, it has given me a better understanding of how technology can help in a company. In particular, i found the lesson on process of innovation most interesting as i feel the stages of innovation and the relavant factors that can affect the success of the innovation is crucial. I have also known the essential factors to consider if i were to launch my own product in the future which is my dream. Although it may not be in the IT sector, but i feel that the concepts are similar. In that sense, i have learnt alot.
In addition, the individual research that is done in classes weekly enables me to see how people actually apply such concepts on their business. I feel that this is more important as the theories can just be read from the textbook. The research also enabled me to learn from the techoprenuers that we have studied and that is also an important takaway from the course. Many a times, it can be seen that the attitude of sucessful businessman usually has certain similairites and it suggest to me that if i want to be successful, i must also have the drive like what they all have.
Overall, the course was very different from other modules that i have taken as this course gives us alot of room to research. This would help me to remember the concepts better and to apply it in the future.
TAN WEI WAN IVEE
I believe that some of the objectives that I have set up in the first journal were achieved along the course of this module.
Firstly, one of the objectives I had set out to achieve was to be able to learn how to effectively exploit technology. With the learning and application of the different theories, these provided a good foundation for understanding. Understanding more about the Technology S-curve, as well as the other theories of innovation ‘“ such as Punctuated Equilibirium, Dominant Design and Absorptive Capacity ‘“ has laid a foundation for understanding innovation and technology in a way that I have never imagined before. Also, understanding the sources of innovation, as well as the basis of insight has made me more aware of my own thought processes as well as how I see and perceive things around me. In understanding that technologies rise and fall helps me realize that one always has to be on the lookout in order to be able to sense when the technology is phasing out, and when a new technology is about to take centre stage ‘“ and what the new technology is going to be.
Secondly, I have come to learn more about the difficulties with respect to innovations and technopreneurs, especially with regards to funding. Going through the case study for my group presentation, I realize that while it seems as though there are many sources of funding, obtaining the right resources and knowing how to utilize it to fully exploit its potential also has its difficulties, and great care needs to be taken in order not to waste limited resources. Also, knowing where to look and having the perseverance in order to get the funding that one needs are important traits in a successful entrepreneur.
In addition, today’’s lessons on the ill-effects of technology ‘“ while it did not exhaust the list ‘“ highlighted and brought to mind the loopholes and detriments of certain technologies. Indeed, not every technology entirely benefits mankind; this lesson just goes to show that there are two sides to every coin, and that with the development of new technologies comes with it a responsibility to utilize the technology in a manner that minimizes the harmful effects. This is an important lesson, not only because we are forced to look at the uglier side of things, but also because as future possible entrepreneurs, leaders and pioneers in our own fields, we would be entrusted with great amounts of responsibilities, and we would be reminded to always consider the overall social benefit or harm that developing a new technology ‘“ product, process or service ‘“ might bring.
Finally, I feel that all the in-class presentations and research actually opened my eyes to a lot of new perspectives and happenings around the world, as well as new developments and technologies. Research on real-life technologies and personalities has made all the theory come so much more alive, and helped me see how technology is so closely and inherently intertwined with global developments, as well as human development. Truly, we are only limited by how much we choose to limit our creativity; beyond that, the sky’’s the limit. And it is evident that many developments around the world have constantly challenged the boundaries of technological paradigms, and even caused complete paradigm shifts, bringing human technology to another level. Being able to understand that to a deeper level, I feel, has given me a different focus and outlook towards life and technology, and has helped me understand a great deal more about this world that we live in.
LOW WAN TING
If there is a follow-up course from TWC, I would prefer it to focus on technopreneurship. From all the case studies we had in class, I realized that most of the local techopreneurs graduated from NUS. I can& ;t help but wondering, why don& ;t we have as many technopreneurs as NUS& ; Well, this might be because SMU is still & ;young& ;. However, I think it& ;s important for SMU to have such course to discover the talents among students.
POH SHI'EN FIONA
Through the past 13 weeks of lessons, where we research and do in-class presentations, prepare for own presentation and case study, I can confidently declare that I have satisfied my early desire to know more about technology and how it affected the world around us from the past till the present. I enjoyed learning from my classmates as they share their knowledge with the class. Nonetheless, I didn’’t expect to learn about things outside technology and that is the business strategy employed by the large and small corporations. Prof has supplied us with information which is outside of this course such as the explanation of ‘˜Winner-takes-all’’ strategy. In the first journal, Prof asked me what do I think of the opinion that technology has made the world a better place& ; Indeed, technology has brought about many developments, be it social or economic. As compared to the past, we live in better comfort and higher standard of living. However, as discussed in today’’s class, technology has brought about many ill effects as well. As what Prof pointed out which is very true, when a technology is introduced to resolve the problems which another existing technology brings, more problems arise. So in my opinion, the downsides of technology are inevitable. What we could do as individuals is to pay more attention to environmental issues and try to impede the rate of negative impacts technology brings. Otherwise, it is futile to hope that there will be a technology which can eradicate all problems since it is shown that it is impossible to achieve a perfect scenario.
ONG WEI LING
My personal objectives for this course were:
‘¢ To learn how to apply concepts taught in class in the analysis of the innovation process
‘¢ To understand how theory links to practice and help firms or individuals when they innovate
‘¢ To understand the factors which contribute to success or failure of an innovation
‘¢ To keep up with current affairs and be more observant of my surroundings to identify how technology is or can be related.
Through lessons covered in the textbook and class discussion, I have learnt how various concepts can be applied to analyse the process of innovation. For example, during the lesson where we learnt about funding of innovation, I have gained insights into how different investors can help us (i.e. contribute funds, involvement in our firm’’s management) at different stages of the innovation process. Also, the ideas we discussed in class on how to reduce costs by financial bookstrapping are especially relevant, not only to innovation but business in general. It is highly essential to minimize our dependence on others’’ funds and aim for self-sustenance as this allows faster expansion of our business. More importantly, we also learnt about the benefits and disadvantages of approaching different funding sources and this has alerted me to question any underlying intention that investors may have before I make crucial decisions. For example, knowing that Venture Capitalists expect a pay-back rate of 40-50% will definitely play a part in my assessment of their suitability as a candidate for an investor. Should we be careless, all these could potentially set us back well before we even started.
In addition, one of the lessons which I enjoyed the most was on the theories of innovation. Through class discussion and group presentations, we have looked at real life case studies and debunked the common criticism that theories are detached and serve little or no purpose in reality. As we have seen, theories such as the S-Curve have not only shown their analytical capabilities, but predictive power as well. The lessons learnt have further instilled in me the notion that we should not regard theories as absolute benchmarks, but mere tools in guiding us in our analysis and prediction of trends.
Personally, I have made an effort to keep in touch with news related to technology, which range from new products and their nature, to financial performance of technology-based firms. This has greatly helped me as I can use relevant concepts to explain the happenings. For example, many firms, such as Apple and Microsoft, have diversified their products to spread the risk of innovation. This can be explained using Porter’’s strategy of diversification, where firms adopt this strategy to manage their business and technology more effectively.
Furthermore, through the in-depth research conducted by my classmates and personal readings, I have gained a greater understanding of the factors that can determine one’’s success or failure. Internally within the firm, a person’’s characteristics (e.g. Olivia Lum’’s determination) can spur them on to take on any challenges and this enhances their learning process. Besides, it is essential to note that many external factors such as the market demand and other economic conditions can either work in or against our favour, which greatly determines the success of our product. Furthermore, it is essential that we learn how to manage our innovated products and services by negotiating with our clients and securing intellectual property rights ourselves. This goes a long way in ensuring the continued survival of our business.
While this course is nearing an end, I feel that I have achieved my personal objectives but still have many areas to improve. I believe that I need to keep an open mind and constantly be inquisitive about things around me. Only this way can I strive to learn constantly through seeking greater understanding about different issues. Nonetheless, I have achieved so much more that I originally aimed for. On top of classroom concepts, I have learnt important values such as business ethics and how we should always place ethics as our priority in anything we do. These life-long values are perhaps, the most valuable asset and my greatest take-away from this course.
For a follow-up course, the topic I will like to focus on will be technopreneurship. I always have this thought of setting up my own IT company and it will be fantastic if there is such a course which goes into the details on how to setup a IT company.
During the TWC, the seminar talk was very enriching as there are many valuable experience to learn from the speakers. In additional, the case study on selected entrepreneur enable us to learn more in-depth about how the entrepreneur overcomes the obstacles of funding and know of other sources of funding alternative available to entrepreneurs.
A overview of how the course should be conducted in my opinion is that students in the course could form groups to start their own "company" according to the area of interest they have. Next, they start to write their business plan and present it to the panel of judges who should be veteran entrepreneurs who have extensive experience in the market. In this way, the students will be able to learn how to write a good business plan which i feel is very essential in order to get funding for the business.
NORISFARISHA BINTE ISNIN
I had a tall list of objectives from you in the first lesson..
And Im glad to say that i indeed learnt something new from the module. I can see how technology have change the world from time to time by the theories of innovation which ive never though that such theories exist!! From these theories, it serves as a guidelines for people to use the technology to improve products\services.
Not only that honestly, my knowledge about the IT world, is rather shallow.. And im so so so happy that now i noe who is the founder of amazon, how did hp goes by, who is market opener - apple or creative etc...
Its really embarassing being an IT student but i don know some of the things ive mentioned above but im determine to learnt irregardless what it takes!
In today& ;s lesson specifically, it meets my objectives on how technology can change the world.. in fact not always in a good way. cyber gaming, GM etc, all these is causing problem to us human and the environment.
MUHAMMAD FARHAN BIN ZOHRI
I believe one of my aims during the start of the TWC course was to be aware of how the world around us changes with technology and innovation. On hindsight, after a full course, I can proudly say that not only have I achieved that objective, I have also had the chance to learn so much more on the impact of technology and so on. It certainly serves as a platform for me to gain more knowledge on these topics. Furthermore, I think I learnt the most during the in-class final presentations. Relating what we had been taught in class to real-life technopreneurs made it easier for me to grasp the concepts. As such, I am very satisfied with my experiences during these 13 weeks of the course. ANG V-SHAWN
During the last 13 weeks, every lesson has both been enriching and enjoyable. In my first journal, I wanted to achieve two things in this class. First better understand the co-relation between technology and society. Second was to get to know more of my fellow SMU students.
I am glad to say I have achieved both over this course. For the first point, I feel that the many lessons that talk about the intricate link between technology and us. For example our last lesson was an interesting topic where we thought about whether technology was going to be earth’’s savior or doombringer. As one group summed it up so aptly, it is technology that is the problem, it is the application of technology. I think over the course, we have explored how people innovate and in that way affect our way of life. This was exceptionally interesting when people from our class made comments or insights where very few of us were aware of. I am proud to say I have learnt as much from my student peers as from my professor.
On my second goal, I am happy to announce that I have made several friends from the class even though they are not even in my group. We talk to each other whenever we see each other in the lib etc. In fact, one of the classmate was an old friend who I lost contact of for several years! As for my group mates, I think it was an honor to work with them. To start this journey as strangers, travel as teammates and end it as friends. I am sure this bond between us will continue to grow and strengthen even after the course ends.
All in all, I would like to say that it has been an interesting and enjoyable 13 weeks. I think of the two goals that I set out to achieve, I have achieved it. However, I would say that my second goal of making friends is the one I would treasure more. I look forward to meeting up with them again sooner rather than later.
I hope that there will be a course that focuses more on the business aspect of technology and the commercialization process. Currently there are an array of SMU courses that caters to different aspect of business process that is related to technopreneurship, like entrepreneur finance and patent law. However, it is not taught in the context for an entrepreneur, but for a lawyer or CFO. Intellectual Property law module for instance is an advance law module such that non-law student cannot bid for it (nor handle it).
A technopreneurship module that delves in-depth into the different aspects of a technology related firm would be greatly beneficial. From this TWC course, I can would hope to find out much more about;
(i) The fund raising process, and alternative sources of funding support
(ii) Specific problems that technology firm faces; your example of being on the bleeding edge vs cutting edge really sets me thinking
(iii) The business planning process. Guest speaker Cliff Go mentioned that we should plan our cash out strategy as early as when we are setting up our business, yet no courses that I’’ve attended so far ever mentioned this. Most of us (students) are brainwashed into thinking that corporations last perpetually, yet in reality few can go through 5 years without going through some major restructuring or mergers and acquisitions.
A course that can provide a great framework/metal model for us to assimilate both practical and academic knowledge from other courses will be one that I hope could spring from this TWC course.
I have definitely learned most of the things i had set out to learn in this module. I had learnt how technology changes the world around us and how these changes affect each and everyone of us. I had created the opportunity for myself to keep in touch with the latest technology available in the market today and the pros and cons of such technology. Also i learned some technological terms which were new to me through this course. this course gave me the opprtunity to work on technoprenuers and learn about the different strategies that they had used to become well known and successful. these skills that i have picked up from them would definitely help me pioneer my business ideas in the future.If there was a follow up on this course, i would focus on technopreneurship. I guess there are many skills that can be picked up from succeessful technopreneurs which cannot be covered in one module.
MERVYN BARTHOLOMEW LEK WEE LIANG
TWC has been truly an eye-opening experience. I recall the first class I attended back in week 2 with the first set of group presentations. To be honest I was perhaps rather arrogant about the idea of working with year 1s and wondering what good such an unstructured setting would provide. I soon realized what big misconception I had made. Every breakout session with the varied topics presented by different groups added so much more depth and scope to the otherwise mundane and colorless textbook content. Looking back, the things I’’ve gained most from the TWC module are not really what I set out to achieve in the learning journal 1, though the fundamental knowledge about innovation and how as a manager I can create an innovative culture have been duly absorbed. Yet it’’s the spirit of enterprise, the risk taking personae and awareness of new business opportunities in my everyday environment that has somewhat inspired me to look beyond the common path of big MNCs and banks, to perhaps the road less travelled of starting my own venture should the opportunity arise. Even if this dream of starting my own company does not come to fruition, I am confident that these skills and knowledge will put me in good stead to progress in a working world in which technology has become the essential driving force for growth.
As a side-note, I feel that it would be greatly beneficial to have a follow-on module focusing on investing in technology-based companies. This is a particularly niche field of investment management and particularly relevant to fund managers and Private Equity/VC firms alike. The skills gained from such a course would be extremely relevant in the local context whereby technopreneurs are increasing. From my previous internship experience at a Private Equity firm, my boss was particularly uncomfortable with investing in technology ventures as he felt such firms posed greater risks and had specific characteristics that did not match the firm’’s profile. Perhaps through such a module, I would be better equipped to challenge this viewpoint and pinpoint the key things to look for in technology companies. Thank you for your wonderful teaching throughout this semester, you have convinced me and perhaps many more in class that hard work and perseverance does pay off in the working world.
KHOO ZHENYI TIMOTHY
I believed that if there were to be a follow-on course for TWC, the next best course would be a one that teaches students on how not only to invest in a technology-based company, but also on how to make use of the lessons and theories taught in TWC on spotting technology-based companies with a potential to succeed in the marketplace. I believe this course is important because while doing research for our case studies for our TWC presentation, we realized that the problems facing most technology start ups is the lack of funding. Also people are unwilling to fund start ups because they have an irrational fear of it failing. Hence such a course will help people know how to invest as well as allay their irrational fears by teaching them how to look out for a financially sound company.
TEO WEI TING
Looking at the objectives that I& ;ve set up in my first journal, I realised that I have been looking at technology from a myopic view. There are much more to technology that what I would have thought initially before finishing the course on TWC. I have achieved the two objectives set up in my first journal, namely to know more about technology and to be more appreciative of them. After listening to the lectures and presentations, I have certainly increased my knowledge on technology. After looking at all the difficulties that the entrepreneurs faced, especially financial difficuties, I am more appreciative of the hard work that they have put in for their innovation.
However, I feel that the course on Technology and World Change is just the tip of an iceberg. It taught me some of the foundational issues of technology. After attending this course, I have the passion in becoming an entrepreneur myself because I want to have an innovation that will bring an impact on people& ;s lives. Hence, if there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to focus on Technopreneurship. It would be much more practical to learn about technopreneurship by being one, rather than learning from the textbook. After listening to the ill effects of technology in class today, I hope to innovate something that will have a more positive impact on man, rather than bringing harmful effects on man. Afterall, our lives are changed by the progress of technology and I want our lives to be changed for the better.
TAI XIAO FANG
It seems like just yesterday when I wrote my first journal. In a blink of an eye, here I am now, having completed all the lessons for this course and writing my final journal. Before embarking on this course, I have to admit, I was quite a technology idiot. I was content just knowing how to operate my laptop, mobile phone and basically just very simple, basic devices. As for technology-based knowledge, sadly to say, it was almost zilch. Thus, the first learning objectives I had in place was ‘œto gain a basic understanding of some technologies, especially world-changing ones, and learn how they achieved success’�. I must say I have achieved this objective. The one seminar that I felt specifically helped me achieve this is the one in which we learnt about Kondratiev’’s Long Wave cycles. I now know which technologies had a transforming effect on the economy, effectively bringing about an industrial revolution, and thus forming the five long wave cycles.
My next objective was to learn ‘œhow to apply knowledge gained about technology and use it as an advantage in my career’� and ‘œgain sufficient knowledge of technology to be able to carry out informed conversations with my peers and future colleagues’�. In seminars, names such as Steve Jobs and James Dyson were often thrown around. Previously, I would have known little or close to nothing about their innovations and would have drawn a blank had I been quizzed on any technology-related. However, I am now proud to say that I have achieved the above- mentioned objectives and am now sufficiently equipped with knowledge to carry out informed conversations. From our recent case study presentation, the various discussions in class and the group projects, I feel that I have indeed acquired a wealth of knowledge. I admit I have at times been less active in in-class discussions than I would have hoped to as I did not yet possess the required knowledge to be more involved. However, I have been listening intently to what the class has to share and what the seminars have to offer and I believe this is actually the biggest contributing factor to why I now feel more confident about my knowledge in technology.
All in all, I feel that I have not merely achieved my learning objectives for this course. From someone who had close to zero knowledge in technology to someone that could hold a decent conversation with my father regarding VOIP over dinner a couple of days back, (much to his shock that I even knew anything about it!), I must say I have come a long way. I am now quite up-to-date on recent technologies and the course has instilled in me a much greater interest in technology than I had in the past. I certainly hope that my learning does not stop here with the end of the course; and I must say I have not just merely achieved the learning objectives I had set out, but that, and much more.
Though 12 weeks TWC lessons and 1 guest seminar, I think I have achieved most of my objectives that set up at the beginning of this course.
First through all the topics we have learned, I think I have gained more knowledge about the technology part and also other parts that closely related to our lives. Now I have a basic knowledge about technology entrepreneurs, innovations and strategies in business, which are quite essential in future.
Then I have enhanced my presentation skills, no matter the in-class presentations and the group projects. I have learned how to take a first step and how to process other steps instead of totally lost of starting a project. And also, all the in-class presentations help me conquer my fears to presentation.
Last, the best thing I have learned from this course is start to think. Although I update news and receive a lot of information from outside everyday, I rarely truly think about them. For example, recently there’’s a sudden increase in price of rice, and I noticed that but didn’’t take it seriously.
Since lot topics, issues we have discussed in class, I knew that there’’re a lot of thing hidden from the surface and to discover the really truth or cause, we need to think and explore. So there might be a lot of reasons and factors lead to the price increase, and most of them are closing related and important to our lives.
Read through the name of this course, ‘œtechnology and world change’�. Technology and world are changing from every minute. I want to end up here with a old Chinese sayingä»¥ä¸�å�˜åº”ä¸‡å�˜.
We need to find our positions and strategies in this changing environment
JENEVIEVE YEO YU YING
At the beginning of this term, I set out to gain understanding in what drives technology and to understand how technology moves. I hoped to be able to use this knowledge in any future entrepreneurial pursuit.
As to how technology moves, I found the long wave cycle and the notion of technological paradigms and trajectories particularly apt. It is evident that we are now in the recession phase in the long wave cycle. I am looking forward to the next phase, the recession/ recovery phase, where a whole new paradigm of technology will be unleashed.
I also found myself mesmerised with how well the theories of innovation are able to capture reality. There were four theories covered, but I subscribe most to the technology S-curve. I find the S-shaped graph of product performance against engineering effort very apt, indicating that there is an exponential increase in the product’’s performance in the initial stage as everyone jumps onto the bandwagon and tries to improve on the pre-existing innovation. Over time, when the product is almost fully understood and controlled, increasing engineering effort produces diminishing returns. This is when a new generation of innovation is budding. Initially, it may not perform as well as the previous generation. Yet, as it is better understood and improved, it will quickly overtake the previous generation. Of course, there are many exceptions to this theory, such as how the QWERTY keyboard locked itself in place. Yet generally, this holds true to most innovations, such as disk drives and cars.
Not only have I learnt about the trend of innovations, I have learnt about its sources, processes, and resultant business start-ups. The case study on technical entrepreneurs was interesting, and my originally adverse feelings towards entrepreneurship have changed. I now realise that funding is available to such start-ups, especially in SMU. It is definitely a viable option to me now.
I also set goals to do readings before class. Although there were some weeks where I was tied down by other modules, I am glad that I was able to adhere to my commitment on the remaining weeks, even if it meant reading late into the night. As a result, I found myself learning well, building on the foundation of knowledge from the textbook and readings.
After 12 weeks of lesson, I believe I have gained invaluable knowledge and insights through Prof, the guest speakers and my classmates. The TWC module has been an amazing journey and I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how interesting the whole curriculum was. Not only have I learnt theories about technology and innovation, my general knowledge in finance, marketing and management has increased through Prof’’s sharing.
YEOH JIMING KENN
The end is nigh ‘“ thankfully, I believe that to a large extent, I have achieved my main objective in this course, which was to gain a better appreciation the role of technological innovation in current society. Achieving this would place me in better stead to be relevant in any discussion about technological innovation in today’’s global economy. Prior to this course, I must admit that I was a mere ‘˜bystander’’ of the innovation process; after 13 weeks, I can confidently state that I have become a more informed, and interested, observer of this powerful force; a force that has shaped (and will continue to shape) countless aspects of our lives. By actively reading about the history of innovation, I have gleaned a comprehensive understanding of its role in bringing about progress and advancement in economies and other spheres of our lives. By looking towards the future and hypothesizing about future trends in technological markets, I have learnt about the boundless potential of science, technology, and human creativity. Through an examination of both market and innovation strategies, I have walked away with realistic and worldly insights as to why certain inventions translate and perform better than others in the marketplace, and why others do not succeed at all. And to have achieved all these via the channel of participation and interaction, both in and outside if class, has convinced me that learning about and appreciating innovation at work can be a fun and exciting journey!
I& ;d say that I have done a decent job in achieving the objectives set in the first journal. I now have a complete picture on how technology affects the world around us and vice versa and what are the factors that need to be taken into consideration to measure the extent of this influence. Now, every time I read a piece of news relating to technology or developments in some tech company, I can easily relate to it and equate it to some of the concepts learnt in class. An excellent example for this would be the news yesterday about Microsoft going all-guns in trying to take over yahoo. I can equate this to the technology curve and how search engine tech still is perceived to be a niche among the other internet technologies.(yahoo is the second most widely used search engine after google, and by taking over google Microsoft will be poised to directly compete with google)
The class discussions have been very informative and I& ;ve been able to learn facts and trivia I& ;d never have known otherwise like how IBM had the "first mover" advantage in graphical OS and how MS adopted a strategy to turn things their way.
Finally the guest speaker series gave us a great insight into the lives of some people who have made it in this world, the challenges they had to face, how they overcame it. The role of technology has/is and will be significant in the success any aspiring technopreneur and even entrepreneurs and TWC has indeed given us an advantage in staying ahead of the others.
A wise old man once quipped that the journey was more important than the destination itself. As an amateurish attempt at coffee-table philosophy I’’d have dismissed it, even as recently as a couple of months ago! Who would’’ve thought that a dozen action-packed Monday afternoons spent in LKCSB Seminar Room 2.1, learning about topics all and sundry about innovation, ranging from its theoretical aspects and practical applications would prove the wise old man right& ;
Prior to taking up the ‘˜Technology and World Change’’ module, I’’d expected it to be one of those courses where you had wannabe-executive academics analyze, theorize and hypothesize to death technology and it’’s implications, without in any way relating it to the modern world. I’’d have to say that the module definitely lived up to its name, both in terms of explaining the nexus between economic betterment and innovation, but more importantly, by changing my mindset toward business creation as a whole.
One would either have to be a fool, or rather blind to not notice that the engine driving our economy today is comprised of innovators and creators. These are the kind of people who see opportunity where others see risk. These are the people who would rather work for an organization that they themselves have started. These are the kind of people who create jobs and wealth for others as well as themselves. To say that I was enamoured by tales of entrepreneurial bravado would be putting it a little lightly!
Over the weeks, through my interactions in class and beyond, I began to gain more insight on this rather exclusive breed of persons - the circumstances that led them to innovate, how they wet their so-called entrepreneurial feet and most importantly, how they trained their mind to think the way that they did. Even during the Technopreneur presentations, while the mortals amongst us looked at an LCD screen and anti-theft software at face value, your radically different takes on them ‘“ dummy terminals and OEM collaboration but to speak of a few, well and truly floored me showed me that while I learnt a great deal over what little time we had to digest the contents of the course, I still have a long way to go.
I still have a long way be truly able to spot and seize entrepreneurial opportunities through continuously challenging myself to innovate. I still have a long way to go before I am able to assess a situation objectively and take smart, rational risks. I still have a long way to go before I am able to bounce back from setbacks and see failure as one more step on the path to success.
I also remember during this one class of mine last semester, ‘˜Introductory Statistics’’ I think it was, that my instructor told the class about this street in San Fransisco called Lampard Street. He said that this street had the distinction of having the highest real estate prices in the state, but that all owners must necessarily be college dropouts. To me, today, nothing puts the entrepreneurial rags-to-riches story more succinctly than this above statement. Though I agree that while having taken that first little step towards creating an entrepreneurial environment both within and around me, I still, like Robert Frost said all those years to go, miles to go before I sleep!
And maybe, just maybe, with a little luck and some dogged determination, I might clock in those miles quickly enough to own some prime property on Lampard Street some day =P
KOH PUAY HEE PRISCILLA
I think I have achieved my objectives, which were basically to increase my knowledge on technological developments and to hone my presentation skills.
I feel that the weekly presentations have helped in improving my presentation skills, as I feel more at ease to presenting as the the weeks go by. Also, I& ;ve learnt a lot from my classmates, who have a lot more knowledge on technology and how things actually work.
Listening to different points of view during the active class participation also helps widen my perception of issues. Unfortunately, the competitive participation and my lack of knowledge in this area makes it difficult for me to provide my opinions.
Overall, I feel that the teaching style is good as it is interactive and being involved in presenting helps me learn a lot more than just listening to lectures. As I have never held any interest in technology, this learning style makes technology an interesting topic as I discover facts through researching and listening to presentations. The lessons that I learnt are not just basic content; my main take-aways are the ideas of my classmates and the improvement in presentation skills.
DANSON ANG CHERN YUH
‘œDanson, actually, I would like to know what you thought are the factors that make an entrepreneur successful. From you expectations of the course, maybe you are thinking about Small Busines Venture course or something& ; In TWC, it is Technology and World Change, so that is something we have to cover. Hope you& ;ll enjoy it, anyway. :)’� -Comments from 1st journal
Oh yes, I thoroughly enjoyed TWC class. It certainly lived up to my expectations. From the beginning, I already knew that we have to cover contents of the textbook as part of the syllabus. However, I also wished that prof could share some of her valuable experiences as a technopreneur whenever it deems fit. Indeed, I was not disappointed. Your amazing stories certainly made all the bone dry content a lot more interesting. To be honest, I am really fortunate to be able to learn from you and your friends like Dr Clive Goh and Mr Leslie Loh
Apart from the contents of the TWC textbook, here are some of my takeaways from class:
1) Knowing the importance of presentation skills. Learning how to talk to the point and convince people. Negotiation skills.
2) Thinking out of the box. Be observant and sharp in seeing how certain trend could affect our way of life. This will help you create your chances and opportunities to succeed
3) Learning to be satisfied and not succumb to greed
4) Knowing that you don’’t need to have some rich daddy to become successful. It is more about how you can make things happen. It is your abilities which can help you manoeuvre out from difficult situations
5) Make more friends. Take part in more activities. Develop your soft skills
6) Treasure your family. Your children.
7) Showing respect to people and humility (your comments on how many people behaved during the guest speakers talk)
8) Learning how the system works and exploit to your advantage
9) Understanding and knowing the people you are dealing with
Certainly, I do not believe that I need to drink and smoke to become successful. I also do not believe that I need to be cruel and ruthless, trampling over other people to achieve my goals. Most importantly, I need to know how ruthless others can be so that I do not fall into their traps and end up in shambles.
Of course, all these I have talked about will be bullshit if I do not include some of the things which I have not been able to achieve. Oone of the very first things I learn from you is punctuality. Yes in business time is of essence. Truly, I am impressed by the fact that you are able to turn up earlier than many of us for class (EXCEPT for the very FIRST lesson). Haha. Most regretfully, my punctuality for lessons is one area which I am not very satisfied. I need to work harder in this aspect.
Personally I do not favour exams. You are right to say that some people are just obsessed about grades and insist on some kind of structure. These students need to grow up and start working so that they can realise how silly they are. Studying only gives us the knowledge. Grades are nothing in the workplace if you cannot even apply what you learn in school. 20 years down the road, I’’ll forget most of what I have learnt from TWC except for those mentioned above. Thanks prof, you’’ve taught me valuable life lessons worth remembering!