Technology and World Change
NANG SU WAI
One of my objectives during the first lesson was to let the course be an avenue which leads me to better understand and analyze the link between the use of technology in the advancement of living standards, and subsequently to identify and predict social and industrial needs to see how technology can be exploited to fulfill these needs.
I realize that prior to taking the course, I did not have a clear and accurate picture of the scope of the module, so necessarily, how and to what extent I had achieved the learning objects that I had set out differed.
With regards to technology and innovation, words which we use so easily in our daily lives, I now have a better understanding of what they are referring to. I’ve learnt the different types and degrees of innovation. Learning about the theories of innovation means that now, contrary to common expectation (including that of my own), rate of innovation and technological progress is not a simple exponential growth. Each technology has its natural limit, and has a lifecycle which we might expect it to take. Similarly, technological advancements typically follow a step-like manner, as in the punctuated equilibrium model, rather than a having a consistent positive gradient. Often, the economic cycles may also be linked to new technological ages, and each era is defined by its generation of new technological evolution. All these enabled me to gain a macro-perspective to technological innovation and progress. This broader and a more long-term view will definitely be beneficial to the strategic planning of any company or even any investments which we will like to make.
Because I now have a better value the need for technological innovation in our work and lifestyle, I find that learning about the sources of innovation offers a framework for developing inspiration and thinking about the next step forward. Innovation is an ambiguous state of affair, and getting inspiration for it is no easy task. The four basis of insights ‘“ association, adaptation, analogy and chance ‘“ suggests that a mind prepared and receptive to innovation and its possibilities could gain inspirations from things that other people might miss out or overlook as being insignificant. More than just the transmission of more general knowledge and understanding of the technologically driven industries and companies from Google, 3M to HiFlux, I have benefited equally from the change in mindset that I have realized in myself throughout the course.
I realized that in some instances, my learning objectives were perhaps a tad too narrow. More than purely about technological innovations, I feel that I have gained a better appreciation of its social, economical roles. Sometimes, the potential of a technology could be defeated by the market, as it could be killed by a lack of funding, a corporate or societal culture incapable of harnessing its powers etc. Often, from the development of a new technology, its innovation, commercialization and eventually its wide acceptance and usage depends as much, if not more, on human factors than the pure technology itself. This, I feel is one of the most important things that many people forget, and is one of the key take-away that I had from the course.
In addition, more generally, I felt better trained to do on-the-spot presentations, to speak up in class and to learn to develop my own points more coherently. I had some of the best experiences in the seminars where guest speakers come in to share on various topics as it is an exciting process to pick up knowledge first hand from the people who had made an impact in the industry working hands-on on issues that we have thus far only read about. It’s not easy to classify the precise scope of the knowledge I’ve gained in that way, but that was only because it was far broader than what a textbook could have covered in theory. These were things that I had not expected to take away when I had set my learning objectives, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to achieve much more than what I had even aimed to do.
P.S. Thank you for making this class an enriching one.
CHEW YANG NAH MELANIE
It seems like a long time has passed since I wrote my first journal but it was barely a month ago. In the blink of an eye, we have finished the last lesson of our TWC course. Looking back on my learning journey and reflecting on my past journal entries, I am definitely proud to say that I have achieved my objectives set up in my first journal. Not only have I achieved those objectives I had first set up for myself, I have achieved even more things and what I have learnt has definitely far exceeded my expectations of this course. Besides textbook knowledge (which I believe is important too), what is more important is I have learnt so much from Prof, who is such a successful technopreneur and is always willing to share her experiences with the class. I have also learnt a lot from the guest speakers and my fellow classmates.
Just a few minutes ago, I re-read my first journal entry and the objectives that I had set out in that entry were
1) I want to learn about successful innovators and from their experiences and innovation processes, be able to develop myself into a future innovator.
2) I want to know what makes an innovation an innovation, and not merely an invention.
3) I want to know how to succeed in your innovations.
I will now go into each point in detail.
1) I want to learn about successful innovators and from their experiences and innovation processes, be able to develop myself into a future innovator.
I can confidently say that I have definitely achieved this objective, which was one of the most useful and valuable things I have taken away from this course. Even though we do learn about textbook knowledge in TWC, the bulk of the course is about learning from real life experiences. In class, Prof often uses real life examples of innovators to help us better understand what we have learnt from the textbook and I have often found this method of teaching very effective. Through real life examples and case studies, we see the application of our textbook knowledge, which is the most important thing to learn from this course. Just merely memorizing textbook knowledge and regurgitating is not going to make one a successful innovator. One has to fully understand the application of these concepts in the real world, and learn from other innovators’ experiences, in order to be a good innovator. Through our in class presentations, our group presentations (where all of us did case studies on certain companies etc) and also through the guest speaker series, we were able to understand the applicability of our textbook knowledge and learn from people who have gone through the innovation process. A lot of what I have learnt from the guest speakers cannot be found in the textbook. We were very fortunate to have Mr Andrew Liew with us, who gave a very inspiring speech, and the knowledge that I took away from his speech is definitely something I cannot learn in books. We were also very lucky to have so many other guest speakers share with us their company’s innovation processes, from which we learnt the difficulties that the companies faced and also we see the applicability of what we have learnt in the textbook.
How do all these help in developing myself to become a future successful innovator? What I have learnt in the textbook definitely comes in handy, as I have learnt about the process of innovation, the importance of protecting your ideas, ways of funding your innovation, and the qualities of technical entrepreneurs. From there, I will at least have an idea of how to start out the process of my innovation. After learning about the qualities that technical entrepreneurs possess, I have reflected on it and whatever skills needed that I already possess, I will make sure I maintain them and develop them further. Whatever skills needed for technical entrepreneurs, that I do not possess, from now on I will try to learn and develop those skills. What I feel has been the most useful has been the real life examples shared in class, and from the talks given by the guest speakers. From the many case studies, we learnt about the successes and the mistakes of some innovators. Many of these case studies have definitely left an impression on me and I believe I will remember those successes and failures and learn from them in the future when I become an innovator. When we learn about successful innovators, we often study in class the reasons why they have succeeded, and this will definitely be useful for me in the future. In addition, when we learn about failed innovations, we also study why they have failed and in future, I will definitely make sure I do not commit the same mistakes. I remember reflecting on what actions will I take after listening to the first two guest speakers in one of my previous journal entries. I have definitely learnt much from Mr Liew, who emphasized the importance of perserverance and the importance of people in innovations. What I have learnt will definitely prove to be useful in the future.
2) I want to know what makes an innovation an innovation, and not merely an invention
I have definitely achieved this objective. In fact, I believe I have already achieved it in the first few lessons of the course, where Prof kept stressing the differences between invention and innovation. Innovation involves commercialization, which invention does not involve. This difference was stressed by the differences between science and technology. Later on in the course, we also learnt that funding for innovation is so much more than just funding for inventions, which most inventions should be able to fund without significant problems as compared to innovators. Through the many case studies and guest lectures that we had, we also learnt about real life examples of innovation and this helped us to understand the concept of innovation better.
3) I want to know how to succeed in your innovations
I guess no one will ever know how exactly to succeed in your innovations because there are a lot of things which are out of your control, for example how consumers will respond to your product, etc. However, I believe I have learnt a lot on what is important in the process of innovation, and also what it takes to succeed in your innovations. Although applying all the knowledge I have learnt does not necessarily guarantee that my innovations will succeed, at least I am sure that I am now aware of the major issues that I will have to take note of if I want to succeed in my innovations. For example, I now understand the importance of protecting your intellectual property by patenting your ideas to ensure that you have a right over it. I also know the importance of funding your innovations and the various ways to obtain funding. All these will definitely be useful and have to be remembered if one wishes to succeed in his innovation. I have also learnt tremendously from the guest speakers, who shared their experiences, and their innovation processes with the class. They were all successful innovators and they definitely faced difficulties along the way. One thing I have learnt from the guest speakers is the importance of perserverance and passion for your innovation. It will be difficult and it will require a lot of hard work to see your innovation all the way through to the end. However, all our guest speakers definitely believed in themselves and with their determination, succeeded at the end. They are definitely inspirational role models to whom we can learn from and look up to. Prof herself has also shared with us her valuable insights from her experience as an innovator, and I have definitely learnt much from her sharing sessions. Therefore, even though there is no formula for successful innovations, I believe I have fully learnt and understood what is needed to be successful, what it takes and the important things to take note to ensure that your innovation does not fail.
All in all, I am extremely satisfied with how much I have learnt from this course, and I am amazed at the amount of knowledge I have taken away in such a short period of time. What I have learnt has definitely far exceeded my initial expectations of this course. I believe all of us have learnt so much because of the way class is conducted and because of the very useful components of our course. The class is conducted in a very interactive style, and every lesson we get to do our own research and present our findings to the class. In this way, we get to learn from one another. We also get to learn much from Prof during her lectures. Writing journals after every lesson has helped me reflect on what I have learnt, and this has been very useful and has helped me achieve my objectives for the course. The group presentations, where we had to do research on companies and present our case studies, definitely helped us understand the application of the textbook concepts through real life examples. What I have found very useful too was definitely the guest speaker series, where we had the opportunity to listen to real successful innovators and interact with them during the Q&A session. All these have helped enrich my knowledge about technology and innovation and helped me achieve more than what I initially expected myself to achieve from this course.
CHUA LI SI FELICIA
I think that I have achieved my objectives set up in the first journal, as I have learnt in detail the involvement of technology in the world today. I also feel that I got more than what I set out to achieve as I learnt about the ill effects of technology in the last lessons, in addition to the contributions of technology. This has given me a holistic view of technology and its surrounding issues.
I feel that more could have been done on my part to check up on other topics that I became interested in, such as contributions that women made to technology. However, I still think that I have achieved my objectives since the lessons taught me to continue finding out more even after the course is over, especially since technology changes rapidly.
VITHIYA D/O RAJENDRA
I started this course with the view that technology is important but life would be far better without it and wanted to know if that was in fact true though it may be impossible to achieve. My opinion was that life was much more fulfilling and a lot less stressful further back in time when technology was not as prevalent. Through the course not only was I able to find a solution to my question but was also left class with a completely different perspective on technology.
With regards to by altered view, perhaps one of the significant moments in class (for me) was when prof mentioned that even a spoon is a technology or rather that science with a purpose constitutes technology. Hence it now seems to me that we do not have the option of living without technology as it has become a prominent necessity for us.
Regardless, I still believe as said by the guest speak Mr.Koh, that most problems have a solution. Also I view that the like applies to the problems posed by technology as well and technological problems often come with solutions. This was seen in many of the in class presentations. For instance, it was said that one shouldn’t regularly eat microwaved food or get absorbed in cyber games to an extent whereby reality becomes a blur.
Shockingly or perhaps in accordance with human nature, though most of us are aware of the hazards of technology, we persist to use it. Hence in answer to the question I set out with I believe that at this day and time technology has become so overwhelmingly pervasive that it should be added to the list of basic our necessities.
Lastly yet another I lesson I learnt but had not anticipated is that it is futile to blame a technology for the ill- effects it causes. Often extreme hard work and dedication is required to make an invention then commercialise it. We the mere users don’t have the right to criticise such technology. Rather we have the choice to make on whether to use or not to use a potentially harmful peace of technology. Seeing that in the internet age information is abundant, we should be able to find details on a piece of technology to assist in our decision of whether or not to use the technology. If there is anyone to blame, it could only be ourselves.
YAP CAI PING
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal?
I think I have achieved my objectives set up in my first journal because I have a deeper knowledge about how innovation takes place and various issues regarding intellectual property rights. Furthermore, the guest speakers were especially enlightening and provided precious insights about the fields they are working in. This was especially so for the speaker from Storbest. I felt that they gave us an opportunity to have a peek at ideas and issues that arise behind the scenes.
However, this course empowered me with greater knowledge of advantages that technology brings to our lives than the disadvantages that were caused. The last part about the ill-effects of technology was perhaps a bit too hurried. The in-class presentations for the ill-effects of technology were covered without much in-depth discussion hence I felt that my knowledge for that area was not entirely complete. On the other hand, this topic is based mostly on general knowledge and we should be able to gather such information from textbooks and newspapers.
I am glad to say that I had made an active effort to pay utmost attention to all the presentations and speeches by the guests. However, I could have done better for my class participation and asked more questions throughout the duration of the course.
I am very happy to say that I have indeed achieved my goals set in the first lesson/journal.
I wanted to ‘˜learn, unlearn and relearn’ by approaching every learning point with a fresh and humble point of view. I think I’ve consciously done so by treating them as new facts, even when I might have learnt about it before the course.
In my journal, I mentioned that I hope to become more aware of technology and how it came about through ingenious innovations. I think I have done so through our lessons when we learnt about sources of innovation, and even their inspirations, and how they gradually lead to advancement of technology. As a conclusion to our summer term, I have also learnt much about possible negative effects of technology which have proven to be so pervasive and overlooked in our daily lives. We are alerted to many interesting and sometimes alarming changes to our human instincts, such as our tardiness due to comfort brought about by technology.
I have aimed to gain appreciation of the impact of technology on the world and overcome the common tendency of overlooking the importance of technology in directing the future of the world and its economy due to its inherent existence in our lives. I think the introduction to theories of innovations and academic attempts to predict innovation cycles have opened my eyes to how technology drives the world. I’ve gained much revelation of the interdependence of technology and the economy through theories of innovation. By projecting a technology on the s-curve plotted by its performance and engineering effort, it can easily display the progress of technology and its potential to grow. Some of these academic attempts, such as the Kondratiev’s long wave, may not always hold true in all situations and decades but it has indeed served us well in terms of the practical benefits to increase predictability and certainty in business operations and improve business efficacy in order to alleviate the effects of impending economic crises.
Upon reflection, I’ve actually learnt more than I’ve set out to achieve! In addition to the above, I was also able to pick up valuable knowledge relevant to application in my future studies and career when we had our lessons about intellectual property and laws. Through mini-case studies every lesson, I was able to understand with greater breadth about innovation with the help of my classmates through their presentations and views. We were also given the opportunity to learn from seasoned technical entrepreneurs and innovators when they shared their thoughts on innovation in the real world in terms of how their work interacts with their environment, as well as obstacles and milestones to their current success. I think what we’ve expected to learn has gone far beyond the boundaries of the classroom which is indeed one of the most valuable takeaways of the course.
In my opinion, I feel that I have achieved not all but most of my objectives set up in the first journal. The very first objective was to develop awareness for technology, its deployment and effect on our society. I think this objective has been met clearly through the understanding of innovation, its theories, how technology changes as well as its ill-effects. The theories especially have showed how innovation and technologies are developed and the effects on the society in different phases. The second objective was to understand how the society manages technology. I believe the theories especially, along with topics on intellectual property, technical strategies and funding. These topics have showed how the society has responded to technology and managed it. Last but not least, I tried to relate it back to my major by understanding its impact on the social changes caused by or has caused technology to what it is today. While it is true that the theories did offer some explanation, it was merely a touch-and-go situation. Hence, I dare not say I have met all my objectives. In conclusion, this course has provided me with some meaningful insights of technology and innovation in our society.
MELVIN DINESHRAJ S/O BALAKRISHNAN
My objectives have been achieved to the extent that I wanted to explore past examples of life-changing technology and study their source of innovation and method of commercialization. This was clearly covered in class, with a whole chapter devoted to identifying the sources of innovations.
My second objective was to develop the skill to identify the ‘˜next big thing’ ie. to identify cutting-edge (or radical) technology and capitalize on the first mover advantage. I now realize that innovation doesn’t always have to be radical. Incremental and architectural innovation have resulted in numerous successful products and the key was in the way those products were commercialized. Watching the case study video of the safety ladder showed me that the way you commercialize a product is as important, or even more important, as the inventive step itself.
As such, I would say that I've achieved my objectives to a large extent, and unlearned things that I had misconceptions about previously. This course has been eye-opening, definitely.
NGU WAH LIN
I hoped to learn key technologies and policies that drive innovation. I have studied the term and different types of innovation like incremental, modular, architectural and radical innovations as well as different forms that innovation can take, such as product, process and service innovation. I was able to learn the foundation of limitless innovation such as the impact of technology to business, human and society. I understood the phases of Kondratiev long wave cycle and dot com business. I have gained the knowledge in different kinds of theories of innovation which are Technology S-curve, Punctuated equilibrium, the benefits of Dominant design and Absorptive capacity to analyze the innovations.
I came to know the insights to form the innovation and the importance of sources of innovation to review the innovation process. In addition, I also learnt the activities and steps associated with the process of innovation. In terms of the models of the innovation process, I studied the Technology Push, Demand Pull, Coupling Model, Integrated Model and Network Model so that I can apply the suitable approach in different kinds of business.
I set the target to find out the value of innovation and the challenge of innovation. I came to recognize about the intellectual property right to prevent others from using, copying or making the invention of new technology and innovation. I have discovered that a lot of firms get benefits from registering patents, trademarks and copyrights in order to publicly disclose the invention. Since funding is the main issue for the challenge of innovation, I was conscious of the various types of funding such as venture capitalists, banks and grants from governments at the Start-up Enterprise Development stage. In order to solve the funding problems, I found out that Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and many public services provide funding schemes to the innovative technopreneurs and entrepreneurs for the initial funding requirements.
Furthermore, I acquainted the knowledge of Product-market Matrix strategy and Porter’s generic strategies as well as the nature of technology strategy which consists of selection, acquisition, development and exploitation of technology internally or externally. I became aware of the qualities that entrepreneur should have and factors like market and technology typology that lead to the growth and development of technical entrepreneurs.
I wished to learn how innovation is approached and managed within the firms. I got the chance to listen to the views, approach and experiences from the real world’s successful entrepreneurs and technopreneurs invited by each group and from lecture throughout the term. Additional readings and research for weekly journals helped me to understand the concept more in-depth.
I believe the concepts of innovation that I learnt in the Technology and World Change course can be able to apply as a core element in the way of my career. I also consider the course is able to stimulate out-of-the-box thinking by providing successful stories. Therefore, I think I have achieved my objectives that I set up in the first journal.
TOR MEI TING JOYCE
In the first lesson, I had mentioned that I wanted to learn more about the impact of technological changes on society. Also, I wanted to better understand this tool that human beings have created which unintentionally causes more harm than good in some cases. At the end of this course, I think I have indeed achieved all these objectives and much more. The course had surprised me in terms of the broad coverage that it had, and very often, I left the classroom with many issues to ruminate. Not only did I learn about the impact of technological changes on society, I understood human behaviour itself better. The interaction between human beings and technology is a curious phenomenon. Instead of technology being made as a tool to us, it is so pervasive now that it is dictating our lives sometimes. This seems to be a case of human beings being a victim of their own success. I see this especially in the case of the people who fell to the dot com bubble. I also realised that we may not really be advancing although we supposedly have more knowledge now than before. Very often, people create technologies that suit the market demands, and these technologies are not necessarily more superior than before. A good example is the ubiquitous Apple Ipod which is simply modelled on the transistor radio. I am amazed at how human beings had the expertise to construct the Egyptian pyramids so many years ago, while no one knows how to do it now. I think we are really experiencing a case of degenerative technology that has only caused our lives to become more complicated and stressful.
From another perspective, the course had been meaningful in providing insights into the workings of a business in the real world. Many guest speakers who came shared with us their experiences of innovation and setting up a business. I enjoyed this aspect very much because it gave a practical edge to the course. I enjoyed learning more about big corporations such as Google and Microsoft. It exposed us to reality and how the corporate world really works. These are valuable insights that I think connects us to the human side of things and will be crucial in our success in future. I had expected this course to be very technical. However, I am pleasantly surprised at how it turned out in the end. Now, I see it as much more than a course simply on technology. It is introspection into sociology, business practices and human behaviour as well and most importantly, it encourages us not to be afraid to take risks to pursue our dreams.
XIE LITING JOLENE
My learning objective for the course was to learn effective theoretical and practical understanding on TWC and also be inspired to innovate. I have definitely achieved my first objective as I have learnt a lot of theories and their applications in the real world. One of which would be the application and usage of the technology S-curve to understand industry maturity and assess technology life cycle. In addition, as it was hands-on and team-oriented, I felt that in-class presentation facilitated the deep understanding of the topics.
I also learnt that technology need not be as technical as it seems, like in the Egyptian years; many great inventions arose due to religion reasons. However, my inspiration to innovate is still held back by many fears and doubts. As learnt in class about intellectual property rights, it seems to me that filing for patents is an extremely cumbersome event and also infringing IPR can lead to me being sued by other companies. Sure enough, commercialization of an invention does not seem like an easy task and I thus feel that I am only inspired to invent but not to innovate.
SITI FATIMAH AYUNINGDYAH
I think I have achieved most of my objectives. I have learned a lot more about technology, world change, and everything that comes with them, why and how they happen, etc. But most importantly, I have also learned things that I never thought I would learn in any formal institutions.
I was introduced to things that are actually pretty useful to know, and not just theory. I was exposed to the experiences of people who have 'made it'. I also found that since I had a class full of very 'active' speakers, I learned a lot from my peers, from their opinions during discussions, finding out that some of them are actually aspiring entrepreneurs are pretty interesting, too. I also learned a thing or two about the latest technology, though being a rather technologically-challenged person that I am, I still can't fully comprehend it.
To be honest, I don't think my IT or technology knowledge has improved much, but what I've taken away form this course is much more valuable and is definitely more than what I expected I would take away.
ONG YEE CHING YVONNE
Reading my first journal entry again, I realize that all I asked for at the beginning of the class was just academic knowledge. And yes, I did achieve them because everything was covered as part of the syllabus ‘“ both in the textbook as well as in the in-class presentation. However, Prof, I would like to say that I’ve taken away more from this course than I expected. The course made me think and reflect upon my career, as a person, my views and gave me a number of goals I would work towards to after this course.
Academic wise, yes I would never forget the repeated emphasis that innovation includes commercialization and that it is equally if not, more important than the invention itself. The rest I shall not repeat since it is all in the textbook. Haha.
Career wise, I would say, I would really consider whether or not I would want to become an IPR lawyer. It has never crossed my mind but after you spoke so fondly of it in class, I thought to myself, why not? Of course the fact that there will be hard work needed to be put in along the way scares me. Prior to this course, I felt inept at specializing in an area of law that requires so much knowledge of a discipline I’m not familiar with. But this course showed me so many avenues to gain the necessary knowledge needed. During the in-class presentations, I learnt how my SIS friends did their research on technology related issues, through speaking to them I learnt so much more about current technology and its potential. It reminds me of how the old saying goes, Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Through this course, I gained knowledge of ways and means to get hold of information surrounding technology issues (and others of course!). I also made many friends who will be a guiding light to my future career. In fact, this is the first time that I’m making so many friends who are potential networking partners in a university core module! Hence, I feel that the course has aided me greatly in considering my possible career paths. At least with newly found networks and avenues to seek knowledge about a different discipline involving technology, I’m opened up to more opportunities and I’m thankful for that (:
Also, I learnt a lot about the ‘real world’�. I admit that I’ve got quite an idealistic view of the world. But your stories in class made me reflect on this ideal picture I drew of the world. I remember you questioning whether the legal system is flawed. Yes all along I knew that the legal system favoured the majority and sacrifices have to be made at times in order to benefit the society at large. However, I never really knew what it meant to the minority, the small fries, until you told us about your stories.
If so, what does it mean to me, you may ask. Now that I know about this flaw ‘“ that legal aid is provided for criminal cases but is simply not available for corporate cases and there is a need for it ‘“ I feel that I can change it somehow. I really do. With the increasing emphasis of entrepreneurship, I believe that a similar system as CLAS (for criminal cases) can be made available for the corporate world in time to come. It may seem a little ambitious for now but at least this is a start.
Greed and The Greatest Fool Theory is still deeply imbued in my mind. Succumbing to greed, forsaking your loved ones is just stupid. Greed can make one very ugly and what does it result in in the end? Just another fool. I don’t want to be one of those hoping that there will be another fool coming along my way. I don’t want to lose my rationalization ability and lose my loved ones just because I’m greedy. And l make sure l never do that.
As a person, I realized the importance of how I project myself. Seeing presenters after presenters during the in-class presentations made me realize the significance of confidence. Confidence in the things you say, confidence in the way you answer questions and confidence as a whole. This, I have to admit, is something I lack. And no, I’m not going to just end there. I will work hard at it. Actually, there really is nothing to be afraid of when you are up there talking to many people, so long as you know your stuff well. Yes, I will work hard at it!
All of the above exceeded my initial objectives and I’m thankful for that Prof. Thank you (:
KING ZHI LIANG
From TWC, it has made me analysis innovations that happen around me which I do not take my time off to notice them. From the mini cases that were brought up during the class, I learnt a lot about the theories behind these innovations. I always thought that innovations are just about the work of R&D. I never realize that the theories actually play significant roles during the time of innovation. While these theories are applicable, I feel that they are still different from the practical world. I bet that the entrepreneurs or technopreneurs do not know all those theories when they succeed. If there are steps to help entrepreneurs or technopreneurs to realize their dreams, their innovations might not be creative after all. I am not saying that following the theories to innovate means there will be failure. However, I am saying that a lot of things cannot be control. The more we wish refrain things from going wrong, the more things will go wrong. Hence, let nature take it cause.
If there is a follow-on course from TWC, I would like to learn more about technopreneurship. I had learnt a lot of things about technopreneurship from Professor Lim class. Given that Professor Lim was a technopreneur before, maybe that was an advantage for the class. The speaker’s seminar exposes me to more than what I can learn from the book. Other TWC classes do not have the chance to hold speaker’s seminar session during their module. Therefore, I feel fortunate to be in Professor Lim’s class. I am able to learn things outside the book and realize how technology changes the ‘˜real’ world. The speakers had provided me with valuable insight for not just the purpose of the module, but something I can take away with me for a lifetime.
From the speakers, I realize that there is actually no magical formula for success. It is all depend on your own capabilities. With the understanding from the theories we learn from TWC, we will be clearer of our direction if we wish to become an entrepreneur or technopreneur. Professor Lim once mentioned that none business modules that we are taking can compete against the entrepreneurs or technopreneurs in the past. Senior entrepreneurs or technopreneurs crave their way out using their own brain. Education is only to bring awareness and build foundation on us. We still need to crave the other half of the road ourselves.
If there are follow-on course from TWC, I would like to focus on the insights and further analysis on the side effects of technology. Although we have covered that in our class today, I still feel that we still need to look into other effects of technology. No matter how technology changes, nothing beats human touch. Due to convenience and time constraints, we are doing our journals through the online system. However, it will be better if these topics are discussed face to face.
Before I stated my TWC module, I heard that TWC is all about technology and history. This summer term class proves me wrong. I feel that the class had fulfilled the objectives of the module. The class breakouts do really make me learn beyond what is required. I really enjoy the class.
I believe I have achieved my objective which was set in the beginning of this course; getting understood the way businesses are conducted and get deeper understanding on how people have applied/used technology in their businesses to improve competitiveness and run ahead among their counterparts. From Prof Pamela sharing about how City-Bank actually want their ATM machine to be different from others in order for it to be user-friendly and interactive, I understand how the business leverage on the technology to be ahead of others. This point is also highlighted again by today Guest Speaker from IDP, where he mentioned that they were the first to use computers to design and they could finish much faster than others in designing.
I had have learnt a lot more than what I have mentioned above; from lectures of Prof Pamela, exchanging ideas with peers as well as listening experiences of guest speakers from different industries. Therefore, my objective is fulfilled. I am confident that the knowledge from this course would help me in my career and hope I could become a famous innovator like Prof Pamela one day.
I cant remember my first answer but what I do know is that well, even though tiring to study and go to work, but what I used to think of TWC as a time wasting course changed. Actually a lot of things thought are very useful in the industry. For example, the thing about outsiders being able to innovate as they can see what people in the industry cant see, as they've been doing the same thing for so long, couldn't be more true. When I first came into the department in my company, I couldnt understand a lot of things and why things must be done the way they are. I thought of other methods to do things and streamlined various processes. This, after studying TWC, I realised is Process Innovation. Luckily I had good manager who is open to change even though the rest of the team is inertia to it. The process has since been used by the whole department and everyone has accepted it knowing its advantage and how cost efficient it is. Back to the first lesson, I think I mentioned very politically correct answers, but now I'm confident to say with absolute conviction that anyone and everyone can innovate and we innovate in everyday lives so much that we don't even know we are innovating. It is good that I've attended the course during my internship as I could relate everything done at work back at the course. This might not have been possible if I am not working.
LIEW WEI YEN ASHLEY
Yes, I achieved my objectives from the first lesson. The TWC Course maybe over in an instant, but the lessons I’ve learnt will probably remain with me for a long time. These lessons are not derived from textbook theories alone. Instead, I’ve learnt important life skills. I may have to wait another three years to apply it in the working world, but I am confident that several crucial skills learnt would still be relevant then.
One example of a life skill learnt was that of presentations. All of us may possess a wealth of knowledge. However if we cannot communicate this to others through our words, it would mean little. The in-class presentations gave me an opportunity to communicate the group’s ideas to the class, under the stress of time limitations. I learned that no matter how little time we are given for a task, we should make the most of it. Communicating one or two points effectively is more useful than rambling on ten points.
I started off this course with an open mind. However at the same time, I mostly saw innovation in terms of products. Soon enough, I learned that innovation also applied to processes and services. Until I heard about ready credit innovation from Pamela, I realized I had taken credit cards as a given.
In my first journal, I pondered how technology affected every inch of our personal lives. My response now to that is to look it at it from a more holistic view ‘“ how innovative people have used technology as a pervasive tool. I realize now that technology is just a tool. Ultimately, it is the brains behind these technologies that create effective changes.
I also desired to learn first-hand from the guest speaker series. I certainly did! Many of the speakers, including my father, were really down-to-earth and had humble backgrounds. Practical tips such as having passion for whatever job you are doing, and never giving up in spite of the odds, are invaluable to me.
Finally, I mentioned that I wanted to participate actively in class. I must admit that at first I was intimidated by all the SIS students ‘“ their participation practically dominated the first few lessons! However shortly I found myself having the urge to participate more; not for the sake of participation alone, but for learning.
TWC was a learning journey for me. It exceeded my expectations in terms of life skills learnt. I may not have picked up most of it yet, but the experience sharing of others have taught me a few. These few seeds have been sown. Who knows one day I might be an innovator in my own right!
After attending this course, I think I have a better idea of the different aspects of management especially the aspect of technology. It has given me an opportunity to explore the nature of innovation as well as to equip me the relevant abilities that I need to have in order to be a technical entrepreneur. It also inspires me to read up the successful stories of technical entrepreneur and how they have overcome their obstacles and remain competitive in the market.
The course has fully illustrated how technology and innovation helps business to prosper and how people make use of the technology to speed up the business process such as the ‘˜float glass’ process. No doubt, there is negative impact of technological changes such as the ‘Dot.com’� bubble, the benefits that technology bring is still tremendous.
Therefore, I think I have achieved the objectives that I have set in the first lesson and indeed this course has provided an insight of what is technology is all about. Not just memorizing theories but to analyze real life examples and apply the theories that we have learnt in this course.
I believe that I can implement these solutions into my future career especially if I want to become a technical entrepreneur after I have graduate.
LAW CHEUK TO
My objectives for this course were learning to accurately determine target markets and management of innovations. As well as understanding the dynamics of innovations and gaining insights to manage technology and innovations from case studies and sharing ideas with peers and industry experts.
At the end of this course, I believe I have achieved some of these objectives. From the different topics covered, I have gained insights on the nature of technology and innovation, the different theories behind innovation and how innovation can come about. But more importantly, I learned the different strategies of how innovations can be effectively exploited and commercialized for the market.
Theory aside, I believe the part of the course which benefitted me the most was the case studies and the guest speakers that were invited. As much as theory is helpful for understanding innovation, the tacit knowledge and experience brought into the class by the guest speakers where much more valuable.
Looking back, I think I was ambitious to think that one can learn to accurately identify target markets for innovations. Learning from the guest speakers, their skills in managing innovation and inspiring coworkers to believe in and work together towards radical changes in processes and mindsets is not a skill which can be picked up from theory alone. Apart from actually going through the process and hard work like our speakers, learning from listening to their stories is probably the next best thing.
Moving on from this course, I would want to focus on investments. I think with the steady inflation and ever decreasing interest rates, investments are becoming a form of wealth protection. Seeing how technology companies being one of the major players in markets around the world, it would be interesting to learn from the real insiders how the whole system works and possibly pick up life skills from there.
MOHAMAD FAUZI BIN AS'AD
I think I have achieved part of the objectives I set up in the first journal. As mentioned in the first journal, I mentioned that I wish to learn the intricacies of the relationship between technology changes and the world’s reaction to it.
After undergoing TWC course, I would say that I had learned how innovation is the main source of technology change. The course itself dwells a lot on the concepts on innovation. We had learned the processes, approaches and how innovation can take place. However, while innovation forms a huge part of technology changes, I do question if it is the only factor as it’s the only concept that was covered within TWC that is attributed to causing changes.
I believe that the world’s reaction is covered somewhat within the lessons on an intuitive level. This means that the impacts the changes have on the world had to be derived from the case studies and examples that were covered. As such, it can therefore be said that I had learned the world’s reaction to the changes in technology.
However, I do not believe I have as yet formed a solid impression on the relationship between the two entities. Personally it is because I believe that besides innovation, there are other causes that can contribute to technology change. Therefore, I felt that attributing innovation alone to technology change is insufficient and therefore form a weak relationship with world change.
TAN XUE SHAN
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal?
My objectives set on the first lesson was to learn more about how to create, analyze and leverage on successful technological innovations with respect to the diversified environment. I have aspired to achieve the objectives through active class involvement, intensive research on conceptual and real-life case studies, and valuable interactions with the guest speakers.
The learning scope of my objective was rather ambitious and defined rather broadly in the first place, therefore, I would not say that I had gain sufficient knowledge on how to strategically create, analyze and leverage on successful technological innovations with respect to the diversified environment. However, the course has definitely given me an introduction and allowed me to gained valuable insights to technologies and world change.
First and foremost, I tried to widen my knowledge on this aspect by regularly keeping myself updated to the latest technology news. I then learn to analyze and understand the real-life case studies on how technologies and the leaders can and had affect the world. Some of the more frequently visited and useful sites include the http://edition.cnn.com/TECH/ , http://www.businessweek.com/technology/ and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/default.stm. I realized that in today’s society, technologies are prevalent in all parts of the world and it has affected our lives significantly, whether we like it or not. On one hand, corporations are aspiring to innovate for and in response to the latest trends and demands of the human kind in ensure constant acceptance, growth and success. For example, because of the close scrutiny and concern placed on global warming, major industry players like Microsoft are in fact innovating in the areas of environment concerns. In fact, to challenge the younger generations (students) to save the world with technology, in one of their most prominent global competition, Microsoft's global Imagine Cup, Microsoft sets the competition theme as ‘sustaining the natural environment on which life depends.’� to cater to the public’s demand and to encourage the younger generations to innovate for the good of mankind. On the other hand, technologies have taken control of and changed our life in significant ways. An extreme example on how technologies have affect us and the way we live would be the case where a 16 year-old uploaded a video onto YouTube, which features her crying for help to the public due to inability of the law to bring her rapist to justice. In this case, for the online generation, the Web offers what traditional counseling does not. It's a chance to communicate without having to face someone or fear their judgment. Some people are seeking legal advice and medical information, and many younger victims believe that they can warn others about their accused attacker, counselors say. (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/05/15/rape.online/index.html). The analysis of all these real-life case studies have allow me to gain deeper insights into how technologies have changed the world, in terms of business operations and how people live. Last but not least, the readings have also introduced to me some of the inspiring innovators (Eg. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Sim Wong Hoo) and their achievements of the modern days.
Secondly, through the textbooks and Professor’s teachings and explanations, I have also gain a deeper insight into the different aspects of innovations, technologies, technical entrepreneurship and world changes.
Thirdly, through thorough research work, active class-discussions and participations in the in-class presentations, it gave me the opportunity to gain more general knowledge about the different forms of technologies and innovations, on how they have evolved over the years and the impact in both the positive and negative ways. Many of these presentations have left a vivid impression on me. For example, in our first lesson, we were given the question, ‘Using an innovator of your choice, indicate the impact of his/her innovation.’� Our group did on the innovation of Velcro by George de Mestral. What I learnt from this innovation is that technologies and innovations can come in many forms, not only in terms of the IT hardware and software aspects. Moreover, it doesn’t have to be complicated or complex to be useful or successful. In the case of Velcro, it was a simple innovation made in 1941, but its use is still prevalent in today’s modern society, and it is even widely utilized by major companies by Crumpler. The other interesting in-class presentation was the one on the Egyptian archeological findings. The interesting thing that I learnt from this presentation is that in today’s society where we have the more advanced technologies, knowledge and well-educated talents, it does not necessary means that technologies will be more advanced and impressive. As in the case of the Egyptians’ pyramids and mummies, with limited equipments, manpower and technologies available at that time, they are able to display and create these amazing innovations. Even till today, humans are not able to fully understand the technologies behind these. Last but not least, on our last in-class presentations, we discussed about the ill-effects of technologies. Our group presented on one of the more immediate effect ‘“ loss of sleep due to the 24
7 attention required. Even though I have yet to enter the workforce, I could feel this effect while taking the different modules upon my acceptance to SMU. For example, for my TWC module, I would experience the stress and anxiety of having to keep track of my grades/performance and complete my assignments on-time, even in the midst of the night. Till now, amazingly, it has almost become a habit that I would check my school mail and vista for at least 10 times per day.
Fourth, in the guest speaker series and case studies presentation, I felt deeply honored to be given the opportunities to meet-up with some of the prominent leaders of the various industries. I have learnt a lot from different speakers, but as an information system degree student, I was particularly impressed with the speeches given by Mr. Jack Chiam (Chief Information Officer of MediaCorp Pte Ltd) and Mr. John Thomas (Manager of IDA Next Generation Broadband) in terms of their content and passion. First and foremost, when you talk about MediaCorp, I would think about all the TV series and artists. I would not have thought about how pervasive the technologies operations in MediaCorp are. Mr. Jack Chiam has kindly shared with us the importance of technologies and how it has evolved over the years in this industry. MediaCorp may seem to be a monopoly in terms of the media industry in Singapore, but as a member of the public, I could see that the business model is slowly evolving due to the emergence of technology and consumer’s lifestyle. During my last lesson, we also received a talk from Mr. John Thomas, who introduced to us one of the initiatives (Wireless@sg) of the iN2015 Masterplan. It was a rather interesting talk, because it is something that is close to heart and it is currently happening around us. Intelligent Nation 2015(iN2015) is the blueprint to navigate Singapore’s exhilarating transition into a global city, universally recognized as an enviable synthesis of technology, infrastructure, enterprise and manpower. One of my friends has once introduced the masterplan’s introduction video to me. Few years ago, everything in the video seems so imaginary, but through the speech today, I realized that the ideas are gradually being translated into reality. I understand that the iN2015 masterplan’s initiatives will affect and create many business opportunities. All these initiatives will promote Singapore as an even more popular business hub and bring in new businesses. For example, major industry players like Google has chosen to open a R&D centre in Singapore. Mr Richard Kimber, Google's managing director of sales and operations in South-east Asia, said Singapore was picked for its "very vibrant ICT (info communications and technology) space." Google was also drawn to Singapore because of the Government's active promotion of technology, he added. The Government has already put in place moves to protect intellectual property, and built Singapore's Internet infrastructure up with a $100 million wireless broadband network. (http://www.asiamedia.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=64526)
Last but not least, the journals have allowed me to assess and enhance my learning as I do my reflections. But maybe because I have been taking the journals rather seriously, I would actually spend hours on the journals. I personally feel that it would be rather hectic if the course is conducted on the normal school days. It would also be nice if there are questions that allow the students to voice their viewpoints about the discussions and grading etc.
I may not have fully attained my objectives at this moment in time, but it was an enriching experience, with lots of exposure into the different industries’ technologies and innovations. I would still continue to keep myself update with the latest technologies and news and whenever possible, I hope to identify and grab some opportunities for innovation. I have also brought along some life-long experiences with me. For example, the in-class presentations have taught me the importance of producing quality presentations given the time constraints.
YEO HWEE RU SHARON
Yes, I think I did achieved one of my objective that I set out in the beginning out this course ‘“ how technology has impacted our lives in the new dimension and changed the world. It has indeed made vast changes to our lives in terms of its quality and efficiencies. From Microwave cooking harms to Egyptian clothes and cyber gaming addiction, we learnt how these technology improved our lifestyles drastically.
Truth to be told, I am truly thankful for those inventors and innovators that made life so much easier for us now. Of course I do want to be an innovator too.
When I listed down in the first journal that I wished to be able to invent something in the first journal, I was serious. I have always wanted to invent a showering machine, as funny as it sounds I believe there would be market for it. This is because there are many times I often find myself extremely exhausted and when I get home I feel like bunking into my bed immediately but I have to shower definitely.
So I wish for this capsule machine that can ease the process of showering, like a car wash venue at the petrol station that we see. I hope that one day I can make this dream come true now that I have learnt about innovation and technology.
MARTINA MARIA STRASSER
Yes, I think I have achieved my objectives set up in the first journal. I wanted to know the steps to be taken from an invention to an innovation and the role of marketing. I learned the generic model of the innovation process which includes the invention (insight/research, development) and commercialization (design, production engineering, pilot testing, full-scale manufacture, market launch). I got to know that without marketing an innovation can not be successfully launched into the market which means the innovation process is not completed yet. I also studied the different models of the innovation process which are used in practice. Further, I wanted to be able to see if an improvement of an idea is already an innovation and how you can protect your own innovation. The simple model of the typology of innovations helps me to focus on components/core concepts and system/linkage to decide what kind of innovation it is.
So now I know that a reinforcement of a product’s components can be already called an innovation. I gained knowledge of the intellectual property rights and heard examples from the working life which gave me the understanding of how difficult it still is to protect an innovation even if you have the IPR. I was interested if a new technology automatically leads to a wave of technologies and I was taught the long cycle or long wave which was analyzed by Nicholai Kondratiev. So I know now that each long wave represents the application of a new group of technologies, each of which had a very powerful transforming effect on the economy. At this time I have a broader view of technology change and its impact on the world. During all the lessons we had to do researches so we had real life examples which we could connect to the theory learned. These researches also kept us updated about current technology changes. I used the lessons to discuss relevant questions and to get a better knowledge of certain topics.
All in all it was a really interesting course because we also had to do our own researches, had time for discussions and could profit from Pamela Lim and many guest speakers which already had a lot of experience in the working life.
PANG SI YING CHRISTINA
I think i have achieved most of the objectives i have noted in first journal. I have learnt much more about how technology impacts on our lives, the past and current technologies, the theories etc. Most of all, i learnt that technopreneurship is much similar to entrepreneurship with only slight differences, and how technology-based companies such as Apple and Microsoft works.
The case studies done during in-class research also helped me in understanding the different concepts.
TWC has been an eye-opening course which has brought me face to face with many myths and mistaken assumptions about technology. It has helped me understand innovation from its fundamental level along with the technology factor involved in it. Our prof has also given us a deeper understanding into other aspects of innovation and business which can never be learnt from books or internet. Her advice and insights from her past experience (politics, law) has proven to be invaluable in bridging the gap between theories in books and the practical reality of life.
If there is a follow-on topic from TWC, I be interested in Technopreneurship as I feel that this course would give me a more valuable insight of marketing and succeeding in the field of technology. Technology plays a very crucial role in enhancing business but a business is done not to sustain technology. I also feel that such a course would also give me strong insights, in terms of statistics and case studies which could cover how key operating considerations like finance and risk analysis affects the adoption or rejection of new systems. Furthermore, I would also like to explore in greater depth on strategies that could convince top management on the viability and subsequent adoption of the new technology along with the decision making process to relinquish old technology. I feel that such a course would give students a better idea about technology and its impact on businesses as well as the society. It would also provide a strong foundation and give students a headstart who would be more daring to take calculated risk as they aspire to become technopreneurs who would shape our future.
HO GUAN HUI
Yes, I have achieved the objectives which I have first setted up. In this course, I have learnt the process of innovation and what are the features that technical entrepreneurs have in order to succeed in their business. These are related to my initial objective of how companies decide to commercialize some radical innovations and the process of how an invention is being commercialized. Especially with experienced guest-speakers giving talks, it makes my objectives even easier to understand and also gives me a wider point of view on technology world change.
Class participating also allowed me to clarify some of my doubts. I am glad that our class has a very lively crowd. That also allowed me to learn from others and understand some of the concepts that I thought I was correct, but was not.
Despite of some lessons were hard to understand and busy schedules, something that I am very proud of myself so far would be, that I have actually achieved the goal of reading ahead and did a 20 minutes research before every lesson. It has been very useful and I will bring this habit to other modules.
Apart from achieving my objectives, I have also learnt some supplementary topics that were useful in helping me to understand my objectives like understanding the negative effects of technology and how an innovative business gets their funding through various associations.
Thank you Professor for guiding me along the way, the course has been very interactive and challenging.
My objectives that have set up in the first lesson were to understand whether this course id about how technology leads to the world change or how does technology change the world. Besides, I wanted to be an efficient and effective learner and team member.
I think I have achieved my objectives in one way or another. After 12 lessons, I have learnt theories of technology in terms of invention, innovation and commercialization. I have also gain knowledge of world change related to technology through different ways and perspectives. Such as the in-class and group presentations, case study, some live and interesting examples gave by Prof Lim, and speeches gave by several guest speakers. Among all the courses that I have taken so far, Technology and World Change is the only one course allows us to learn from so many interesting ways. It was much easier to remember what I have learnt compare to courses that just have lectures full of theories.
Although the class is very competitive in participating, I was able to participate in class like asking questions, clear my doubts and answer questions during our presentations. In each team meeting and discussion session, I was able to speak out my ideas, thoughts and opinions freely and contributed some useful information. As a team member and leader sometimes, I have also completed and allocated tasks. Last but not least, I have been having fun to work with my nice team mates.
CHUA MEI XIU
Well, I believe I have achieved part of my goal to speak up more in class. But there are still times whereby I have a burning question but I choose to direct it to my group mates instead, because I dont want to appear like someone who is trying too hard to get class participation points.
To me, getting high class participation points is not as important as in the process of learning, it's really about how much I have absorb and to apply, and not about asking questions for the sake of getting points. Although it's an extrinsic motivation to speak up more, it takes away the instrinsic part of wanting to know the answer to my questions.
I must honestly admit that I learnt alot from my groupmates, especially Kelvin. Whenever I have a question, he is always ready to help me with it or any other groupmates who are always have problems. I'm sure, he will be a great talent in the company that employs him!
As mentioned in my first journal, I discussed the importance of acquiring the courage that innovators have. And I surely did! Thanks to Mr Andrew Liew, Mr Colin Phua and the guest speaker from DP today! These gentlemen showed extreme courage and humbleness even though they are extremely successful now. They believed in what they are doing and through their words, I can sense the intense amount of courage and determination they held as they fought their way through the business jungle, just to put across their point to realise their ideas. It was truly inspiring!
I think it wasnt easy for them to change the way how things work for many years, but with strong belief and determination, they made it to where they are now and had definitely become wiser than before.
Therefore, having courage is vital in any area in our lives. With it, we can go against all odds to achieve our goals, and without it, we will be nothing at all.
WONG WEI HAN KENNY
Do you think you have achieved your objectives set up in the first lesson/journal? (Points: 10)
"Technology... the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it." - Max Frisch
To this quote, I quite disagree! I did experience technology, in an education sense that is.
Perhaps I took away more than I had expected. I didn't just learn about definations, concepts and technology's impact on society and the world, and as well as intellectually engaging others using this knowledge gleaned through the module. I learnt alot more. Every lesson was an exposure of sorts, innovation itself was more then just the concepts shown on the slides every lesson. It was really about the experience that was shared by everyone, professor, students, guest speakers and surprisingly, even from technology itself, the world wide web that is!
I had to adjust my mentality over the weeks as the class trail blazed through the lessons. Apart from getting used to the almost daily presentations that had to be be prepared in a jiffy in the breakout sessions, it was also about being flexible enough to engage others in controversial discussions and issues regarding the assigned presentation topic. Engaging intellectually is one thing, engaging in controversial or thought provoking issues was another.
Hearing the speakers was also very value adding as well. Strategies for the protection of your innovations, finding ways to finance them, defining the right way for the development of innovations like business strategies like the Anson Product Martket Matrix were the many excellent stuff learnt through the module. Ultimately, they are textbook stuff. What made them even more relevant was when the guest speakers shared about their vast experiences, it was information that actually made what we learnt,to put it in layman terms, very real. It was then you could actually understand how to apply those 'textbook stuff', and why so, all due to the fact that we had the first hand information of how the industry works.
In the end, I did not just achieve my learning objectives wrriten in my first journal. Rather, I took away more than I had expected from this module. Truth be told, the experience from this module is certainly quite priceless.
I set out on this course with an open mind, to try to learn as much as possible. Even though this course was just an university core subject I wanted to get over with as soon as possible, I felt that compared to other university cores, this was THE most interesting one. At the end of the course, I would say I have indeed achieved my objectives I set at the first lesson, but not all my objectives which evolved during the process of the course. I will talk about these in the journal entry.
First and foremost, I would like to say that you did inspire me by sharing about your experiences, about obtaining IPO for the company, about getting funds, etc. One of my objectives I set for myself is to try to inspire myself and get myself on track onto entrepreneurship. For me and David’s business, we were facing some problems and we were getting pretty jaded and pessimistic about the whole idea of entrepreneurship and setting up your own business. I once thought to myself ‘“ perhaps just getting a government job was enough for me. However, after attending the course, somehow the fire inside me was once re-ignited again. Things such as you talking about submitting a company for IPO, getting $500,000 from 500 friends, it all seemed very impossible to me last time, but right now, you made it sound like it is within reach in the future. This is one of my most important objective and takeaways which I treasure
Next, another objective was to learn as much as I could from the speakers, and I certainly have done that. The quality of speakers during the class was phenomenal, and this, I would have to thank my classmates for it. Mr Andrew Liew touched on the human spirit needed to be successful in the future, his passion, his fears when going Doha and how he overcame it. His lecture taught me the importance of passion, the passion to want to CREATE and BUILD and most importantly, the love for working and meeting people. Prof bought up a good point today, last time you had a choice on whether you wanted to have a ‘People’� career when u interacted with people, or a ‘Machine’� career in which you mainly deal with machines. Currently, things have evolved to that you would need to interact with people no matter what career you are in ‘“ even as a software developer, or software engineer. So, having the love for interacting and meeting people is very important. Mr Darren Chang from Yebber taught me the importance of changing and evolving constantly. Yebber is a good example ‘“ they evolved and changed their business model and content to suit the current needs of consumers. From the textbook, we learn that Innovation is a never-ending process, we have to continually partake in it to advance ‘“ and Mr Darren Chang further emphasized the points. I feel this was great, when theory meets practice. Mr Colin Phua inspired me just by being himself. He taught me that being entrepreneur, you did not need to be super outspoken (like steve jobs kind of image) to succeed. Perhaps, with honesty in business, treating your customers well, your business will take off too, in the case of Storbest which is worth millions now. Hyflux was started off by Olivia Lum, who really had a humble beginning ‘“ as an orphan. This showed me that we did not need to be blessed with a silver spoon in our mouths to be able to make it big one day. She did it, and did an extremely good job at it. This showed me that ANYONE in the world can do it, with the right attitude. If she could do it, so can I!
Mr Jack Chiam gave a pretty technical talk but I really benefitted from it. The Media industry is really not as stagnant as I thought. The processes and innovations that go on behind the scenes are amazing, such as the integrated broadcast system. I will be bonded to MediaCorp for 4 years after I graduate being an iDA Scholar, thus this was really beneficial for me. Zuunbo itself is a real-life example of what I aspire to be, even though they’ve just started. I thought their idea was pretty good, even though a company in USA started it first, but did not apply it to Singapore. Lastly, John Thomas from iDA talked about the innovations that are happening now, and will happen in the future with regards to Wireless@SG. To me, this meant endless possibilities to ride on these innovations to develop my own ideas further. Lastly, the most inspirational speaker was today’s speaker from DP Architects. I’ve long heard of DP Architects but to meet the man himself was great. Furthermore, he was a great speaker and shared all his knowledge with us. His story was inspirational, how 18 people who forked out from their own pocket can develop to the top architecture company today. I liked what he said when the company was not making money, he simply did not take any salary. Shows how much passion he had for his company and his dreams to develop it. All in all, the guest speaker/case studies really served their purpose well and I managed to learn a great deal of information which will definitely help me in the future. I’m certainly grateful to be given the opportunity to listen to these lectures.
My knowledge has been greatly widened after this course and I’m happy for that. However, there are some things which I hoped to learn but did not have a chance. One of them is for Prof to talk more about how she herself started off, and developed into a multimillion company. I hoped that more experience about yourself could be shared! Maybe next time then! One more thing is perhaps a small session could be organized during class to give our own entrepreneurs in the class a chance to share their experiences. I do have some stuff to share, and there are quite a few in the class who have started their own company, not only me and David. Perhaps hearing our own classmates share their experiences would be good also!
All in all, the course was great, I learnt a great deal, satisfied most of my learning objectives. I would definitely recommend the class to my friends to bid for.
As for the next question, even though its optional, I would still like to make a few comments. I feel there should be a next course, but not in the form of a lecture-based lesson. How about a full summer holiday to develop your idea, with SMU BiG to fund your ideas? Prof would be guiding the teams along as they develop their business. Perhaps this should not be graded, but can be counted as part of internship? This would be great I feel. Of course, only selected ideas will be allowed to enter the class, so the funding can be put to good use.
Finally, I would like to thank you for such an interesting module!
In my first journal, I articulated the one burning question I had. ‘Can technology save us?’� Can technology save us from the various crisis that face humanity? My objective for the course was to inch closer to an answer.
Now that this course has come to an end, I have to say that I have, unfortunately, not come to the definite yes or no answer that I had been hoping for. My answer now could be that, only time will tell. As we are on the horizon of a food and oil crisis, with parts of world plagued by near simultaneous natural disasters, only time will tell if technology will provide us with salvation. Technology has definitely made our lives better in many aspects. For example, it has made disaster relief so much more efficient.Transformative technologies such as the internet have transformed the way we live and see the world. This is just the tip of the technological iceberg in terms of potential to change the world. However, as to whether technology is our saviour, we have to keep in mind its ill effects as well. Technology has the power to do us as much harm as it does good. For example, technology made weapons of mass destruction possible. Technology has also made genetically modified foods possible. This is widely regarded to be the light at the end of the tunnel for the looming food crisis. However, GM foods are not without its controversies. Although its ill effects on health and the environment are widely disputed and somewhat inconclusive, I personally feel that it is only a matter of time that tinkering with genes backfires on us. Hence, we can see that as much as the power of technology points us in the direction of salvation, it is like an arrow with two opposing heads. As much as it can save us, it can also destroy us.
Technology is like a double edged sword. Although it has brought us many benefits, we must keep in mind that technology has also in part contributed to our predicament in the first place. For example, we must ask ourselves what contributed to ozone depletion, global warming etc in the first place. In short, I would just like to say that to answer the question as to whether technology can save us puts us at risk of a chicken and egg like argument. Like a cat chasing its own tail, trying to find the root of the power of technology, whether good or bad, gets us no where in the end. I feel that at this point in time at least, it is near impossible to tell which side of technology will emerge victorious. Hence, I feel that TWC, besides having enriched my knowledge of technology and innovation, as well as providing me with many life skills, more importantly, has made me achieve my initial objective. I now understand that there may never be an answer to my question, but if there is, only time will tell.
I think I have achieved those objectives that I've set up at the start of the lesson, although honestly I failed to follow up on the things I should do to help me achieve my objectives better e.g. reading the newspapers more frequently. However, I have certainly gained a better understanding of the course itself and I very much enjoy what I have learnt so far. I always thought technology as something very foreign to me, but after the 11 sessions of technology and world change, I realized that almost everything in our daily lives revolve around technology. Our lives are closely related to technology, be it a simple technology like a spoon or a more complex technology like the computer. I am now able to view technology and their impacts on the world in a different view, and at the same time incorporate the various theories and concepts that I have learnt. In fact, we are aware of many things about technology, but we just did not put them into the respective theories and concepts. After attending this course, I could better organize my thoughts and knowledge I have about technology.
CHO SAI CHUNG
Yes. I do. This is the only course that so many speakers can come to speak to the class. I really learn a lot from the speakers in terms of understanding how certain businesses have come so far in achieving what they have today, how technology has played important roles in moving businesses forward and also how certain innovations became great value adding to companies. These are things that are very useful in the working society, the experiences and sharing that the speakers have brought to us which can never be found in the textbooks.
I am now a better researcher and presenter than before. The limited time given to us to do research and presentations taught me how to think and work fast. Apart from that, it was also a great experience for team members to share different notions on many issues and that created a lot of discussions and was really fun.
There were many takeaways in this course. Most importantly the networks because who knows, the person seating beside you could most probably become your future business partner!
TAN ZHEN ZHENG ADELINE
I think I have achieved my objective in this course to learn about the different kinds of technology evolution over the years. I have seen how internet has evolved over the years and how technology plays a significant role in our daily lives and at the business level. Technology over the years has changed human civilization in today’s ever-changing society. I have also learned that technology has brought about both good and ill effects.
Through this course, I have learnt more than what I expected to learn. The course taught me some of business guidelines such as intellectual property rights and some real life examples and case studies to learn from. Professor also shared many valuable business practices with us in class and this has widened my knowledge of how the business world is like. Hearing such examples and experience from Prof Lim, an ex technical entrepreneur, it has changed my perception of technical entrepreneur. It was also very interesting that guest speakers from the industry were invited to talk about the different kinds of technology used in different industries. Through these speeches, not only have I gained additional knowledge, I was also being introduced to new fun existing websites such as zuunbo.com and yebber.com. Local entrepreneurship was introduced to us and this is very inspiring.
Due to the hectic schedule, I was not able to complete reading ‘The World is Flat’� book that I intend to read. However, I was able to absorb other knowledge in class presented by my peers. Through this course, I was able to learn from peers through independent learning and intensive research for our assignments.
In this class, I have also learnt to be fast in doing research and presenting
If there is a follow-on course in TWC, I think I will focus on both the commercialization part of the innovation and the IPR. After the last lesson of the course, I realize in many cases the inventor invented something new, but they finally failed. This is because they are not good to commercialize their inventions. They may fail in respect of the marketing, funding, or business strategy. Even they have the technological inventions; they still face the difficulty to let the market to accept it, which is a long way to go. And we Asians especially lack it when compared with Westerners who are good at marketing.
For IPR, I think Chinese are smart and we have four great inventions in the ancient time, but now we fall behind Westerners in terms of technology. This is partly due to IPR protection. In the western countries they have IPR related laws since 1623 to protect the interest of inventors who put in a lot of effort. On the other hand, in China, IPR laws appeared not long ago. And I think this has been playing a key role in history. We have some great inventions such as paper, and powder. We don’t know to protect them, and thus others learned them, but at the same time we don’t get any benefit. After that because there was no law and regulation to protect the IP, this may likely affected the people’s ardor to innovate.
Therefore I would like to focus my study in commercialization of invention and IPR protection if I have an opportunity to take a follow-on course in TWC.
CHUA ZHI HON
If there's a follow-on course from TWC, I'd like to have a topic focused more on Investing in Technology-based companies. I'm interested to learn more about the workings of starting a venture capital firm focusing on technology investments.
I think VCs are interesting as you get to play a part in the growth of a startup that might eventually be the next MSFT/AAPL.
I think its really exciting.
WOO WAI PENG JACILYN
In the blink of an eye, we have come to an end of the series of ‘Technology and World Change’� lectures. As I am writing this journal, it frightens me at the rate of how time flies. It is indeed too fast and too soon. Before I realized, I find myself missing this module already; be it the daily journal, regular presentations or even the regular lectures.
With reference to the very first journal that I have written for this module, I set off with the heart of wanting to achieve the following:
1. learning to learn
2. working under pressure
3. the ability to conduct an in-depth analysis for any issues
Prior to attending this module, I have always thought that preparing a good presentation requires heaps and heaps amount of time. Less did I expect that we are capable of preparing a good presentation in a short span of just thirty minutes as we have done so for the regular in-class research. Giving credits to the in-class research where we were only given thirty minutes to conduct research and prepare our presentation under ‘˜immense’ pressure, I am proud to say it for myself and probably the rest of my classmates that we are able to strike off the condition number two as listed in my personal checklist.
In all honesty, I am truly thankful for this summer module because prior to what I have listed as above, I have bagged more than what I have asked for. Starting off with the regular class participation, I have along the way picked up a tip or two on how my peers and professor analysis a simple day to day issues. With that, I have widened up my scope and learnt to see things beyond the surface. Moving on to the guest speaker series where we were really fortunate to have with us experienced industry players to share with us their valuable experience, it has really taught me valuable tips from how to start up your own business to their personal success formulas. Most importantly, through the guest speaker series, it has taught me a set of very important life skills which I will take away with me for the rest of my life. For instance, for the guest speaker today, despite his impressive port-folio and profile, he remained humble. In addition, he always commits his best to all projects without short changing his clients. Even if he would have to forgo his pay, he will still give his best and he is always ever-determined to get his job done. To me, this is the most important aspect of ‘Technology and World Change’� because these valuable lessons are truly heart-warming and sincere. In addition, these lessons are life lessons that you will never ever find in another module in my course of study in SMU.
To be honest, I wished that this lecture will never end because it has really been a superb learning journey and experience with you. It is really nice to have you, a senior, to give us regular guidance and business tips because I know for sure that it is almost impossible to pick up such skills and tips in the future unless you experience it and learn it for yourself.
With that being said, thank you for being a wonderful professor. I really hope we can still take learning out of the classroom. You have been my inspiration.
Once again, thank you.
Before I end, I would like to share this link with you:
It is a lengthy hour lecture but do spend a moment to watch it because I really find it meaningful personally.
All the best for your future endeavor.
TAN JIA LING KRYSTLE
Looking back to the first journal, we are to indicate what we would want to learn from this course and also how do we plan to achieve that. I have indicated that I would like to gain more knowledge on and learn the application of technology in our current lifestyle to help solve business problems and day to day needs.
Now coming to the end of class, I felt that I have gain a lot, if not more then what I have expected to gain from this course. The topics covered have provided insight to help us see how the real operations in the business world work. In addition to it, all the guest speakers invited by other classmates have provided the real experience, some of which may be learned from books but to hear it from true experience enable us to better relate to it. Therefore, in my own opinion, I felt that I have achieved what I set out to achieve from this course.
Being a social science student, technology and world change is something far beyond what the future holds for me, however, this course has greatly inspired me to set up/create my own business, hearing so many true experience has spark some form of interest in me. It allows me to see a different opportunity for me. If there were to be a follow-on course from TWC, I will definitely be interested to attend and hope that the course will be more specifically focus on aspect of technology such as technopreneurship. This way, with more focus topics, it will provide students with a more in depth understanding.
PHUA HUI LIAN KIMBERLEY
Upon the completion of twc, I have proudly declared to others that this module is by far the most interesting module I have taken in smu. My objectives I had set previously included that of gaining a clearer understanding of this new phenomenon on how technology can be integrated into various products and services. In addition, I had wanted to discover my 'personal character' towards the analyzing of different situations and develop a broader mindset. My second objective is that of becoming more confident, and be less afraid of presentations.
I believe that through the course of the module, both objectives have been fulfilled on my part. The sharing of personal experiences, the guest speaker series, and the introduction of various industries and their adoption of technology has all enlightened me. It was indeed an eye-opener. I guess it was in a way rather thought-provoking too, in the sense that it led me to think about myself, and my chain of thought. Not being very updated and well-read on the topic of technology, I believe stepping into the working world with a lack of knowledge on the technological aspect is a huge loss on my part, since (from what I learnt), it is the driving force for most companies, and it is what that gave companies the break through they needed to be ahead of their competitors. I for one, am not really fond, or well-read on the different types of technological gadgets or industry standards out there, and previously, had deemed such stuff totally un-related to myself now, and in the future. But my thoughts have since evolved, and I do believe in the wonders of technology.
Through the various research efforts carried out in class, and through the insights of many issues from discussions and presentations, I can declare that I have attempted and tried to develop an open-mindset in the topics and tried to assimilate the information dished out. Many times, I found myself asking myself the question ‘˜Is it really possible to do it (as in myself developing such a product, or process) ?’ I mean it really is impossible for only the geniuses in the world to create different and unique products. Otherwise there would be too many geniuses in the world, and the terminology would then be overrated. And what was really heart-warming was that it was emphasized and re-emphasized again that ‘˜If others can do it, why can’t we? ‘˜ It was extremely encouraging, and I had allowed that thought to sink in deep in me, to urge myself to believe that it is not impossible, anything can be done, as long as I want to do it, and I allow my funds and resources to be allocated into the right locations.
The second objective I had listed previously was that of gaining more confidence to speak in class, and I am very thankful for the way the module was planned, such that everyone in class was given an opportunity to present in class. With the numerous presenters each week, I saw numerous methods of presenting ( right from the yebber guy, who had 162 slides, to Mr Andrew Liew, an extremely confident speaker who captured everyone’s attention in class ). From my classmates, I witnessed individuals who spoke for the sake of getting attention, and individuals who asked questions merely to gain more insights for the topic. This made me think, because very often individuals only participate when they are familiar with the topic discussed, and with all the IT terminologies coming up in class, it often leads to the same group of people with their individual opinions on the discussed topic to participate, leaving the other portion of the class clueless about the discussion. But I believe that despite not knowing anything about what may be discussed (for example, IDA and wireless @SG introducing the premium package with higher speed etc), there are other areas in which one can learn. For example, team work, how they came up with the concepts etc. There was no need for anyone to feel isolated in class due to lack of knowledge. I have since learnt to become more confident, in the sense that if I have a question I want to ask, I will ask, and not wait till the opportunity flies (which was what happened in the last 2 semesters), but I think the class atmosphere matters a lot too. I liked the co-hesiveness of some groups (not all, because some tend to be too competitive, and it just spoils the learning atmosphere in class.
Frankly speaking, yes. In my first journal, I spoke about my objectives which include learning from instructor and my peers, and performing self researches to understand more on technology that is discussed in the class. In fact, every time when I leave the classroom, I start to reflect upon the key concepts and the knowledge that I have brought out of the class. And in every occasion, I realized that there is always a pool of key concepts that I have taken with me after class. I can conclude that this class really serves to be an excellent learning platform in which the knowledge and experiences shared among us are so rich and inspiring.
Another thing worth to be mentioned is that the overall learning from this class has indeed exceeded my expectations for this course. The discussions on IPR, funding and some ‘˜dark’ secrets on how businesses are done are very much useful towards my learning process. I am also glad that I could learn from speakers of different background sharing their innovative ideas and experiences. At least, this is something that I don’t get to enjoy in other courses. Apart from the knowledge gained from other people, I think my own researches on technologies that are discussed in class have enabled me to build stronger fundamentals on how certain technologies work. All these have eventually contributed to my objectives achievement although it spanned across a duration of only a few weeks.
In conclusion, I really appreciate the experiences and knowledge shared by my peers and the instructor in this course Technology World Change.
MUHAMMAD HUSAIN BIN RASHID
Reading thru my submission on the first journal, I feel that this course have change alot of my perception and give me a wider view of the world and the technological innovations. To think of it, I begin to understand the connection between innovation, technology and how it runs together to create a better world.
From the development of the innovation, to marketing as well as the practical aspects of the innovation, I begin to understand the link and how trends started or killed innovations. How the S-curve of technology works as well as the difference of innovation. This course frankly have achieved to break my mindset that innovation = invention and the case studies as well as the input from various guest speakers give me a different perspective of the whole world.
Overall, I managed to change the view and thru interaction with professor and fellow classmates i have learned more than my objectives in my first journal.
YEOH HUI XIN
Yes, I have achieved my objectives set up in the first journal. I am really glad that I have learned a lot from this course.
After this course, I have learned that innovation is not as easy as I thought. To be either a successful technical entrepreneurs or innovators, one has to foresee many obstacles and be able to overcome them. Just like what Mr Koh Seow Chuan, the founder of DP Architects, said, you need to stay optimistic at difficult times. Sourcing out for ideas may seem tough, but the real obstacles are actually the need to protect your ideas well and to manage innovations efficiently. When we were learning about the Intellectual Property Rights(IPRs), I realised that it is very difficult to choose between protecting or not protecting your ideas using IPRs. One has to consider that there might be a risk of ideas being copied during the application of IPRs.
What I like the most about this course is that respectable speakers were invited to talk about innovation. After listening to many technical entrepreneurs, I have learned the importance of optimism and determination. These will help me greatly in SMU. Being optimistic can push the team and oneself forward. Determination can drives one to his or her limits so to explore one self even more. Eventually both will enable one to achieve even greater heights.
KIERSTEN OW YILING
I have achieved my objectives set up in the 1st journal in this course. I have not only learnt theories that were text book based, but also believed in myself that I can deliver a good presentation, that is factual, to the point, and interesting. TWC has educated me a whole lot, and I am glad that my team and I worked together on what we did.
NGIAN MAY FANG SERENE
I would like to see a different approach to teaching advanced TWC. Instead of classroom based teaching and many small presentations, I would suggest that, since it’s a follow up course, we go out into the local industries to understand and assess various technologies that has shaped the business to what it is today. It could be like field trips where we are there to witness first hand technology and innovation at work. This form of learning could prove to be more useful and beneficial rather than only Internet-based research and learning. That is why there are courses such as Business Study Missions, to facilitate higher and first-person learning.
Field trips to industries followed by journals, summaries and even projects can be used to complement one another in helping us consolidating what have been learnt. Just to give an example, we could go down to Hyflux, Changi Airport or Citibank. These are common places we have heard of in everyone’s talk with regards to technology and innovation. We should not be so reliant of technology (The Internet) such that we become so inept to step out to the non-virtual world to seek information. So isn’t it time for us to go and find out what goes behind the service counters?
CHENG CHUI YI JOANNA
At the beginning, I aimed primarily to learn more about interdependence between technology, society, politics and economics. On top of that, I also wanted to learn from my peers. I did not want to specify what I wanted to learn from my peers because I felt that in doing so, I would be selective on the type of knowledge I would receive, thus limiting my learning.
After completing the entire course, I am proud to say that I have achieved my primary and secondary objective. Rather than just learning the course concepts, I have also gain valuable insight into practical things like starting a business. However, I admit that being a law student does make me wonder how much of what I learn during the course would be applicable to my career. Despite these uncertainties, I tried to maintain an open mind. It had paid off! The lesson on IPR (intellectual property rights) was very interesting and it would certainly be a possible career option. Class discussions were entertaining at times and it was fascinating to see what others had to offer. I have learnt a lot from my peers, especially those from SIS because of their knowledge of technology, which is not something that I read about every day. The break- out sessions were also helpful as they force me to do research on a particular area of technology. Although sometimes my group does not get to present, the knowledge I have gained through the research far outweighs anything else.
I benefitted a lot from the guest speakers. Some were too technical, causing me great distress as I struggled to digest everything that was said. However, I learnt a lot from speakers like Mr Collin Phua (from Storbest) and the co- founder of Yebber. Rather than offering us lofty ideals, they were surprisingly ‘˜down to earth’. That was what I needed. I was inspired by their stories of courage, of how they dared to pursue their ambitions. They also offered practical tips on how to start a business.
Thus, I have attained more that what I had expected.