Blogging is a Commitment

The last time I wrote on this blog was July 15…that was over 3 months ago!

I have a new appreciation for bloggers, the time, energy, and thoughtfulness that’s put into each post, I definitely learned a new lesson. I now see (successful) blogging like planting a tree, or caring for a flower. It’s takes a lot of time, patience, and steady watering to have something bloom at the end (and sustain).

Again, we’ll see if this epiphany does anything…

Random Roundup July 15

Funny how when you’re in school (at least for me), writing is such a chore. It’s homework and something you loathe to do…now I’m paying money (via this domain) and putting in my (non-existent) free-time to write.

After my first “roundup” post, I went and hid for two weeks….some interesting things happened in those two weeks.

  1. Congrats to Spain for winning the world cup. On that note, Spain’s Rafael Nadal also won Wimbledon….Wow, Spain’s turning into a sports powerhouse: Soccer, Tennis, many basketball players in the NBA…now only if they could turn their economy around…
  2. Lebron James joined Dyawne Wade and Chris Bosh at the Miami Heat. Would’ve been nice if he took the minimum and joined the Blazers =), but that would be a dream. I thought Bill Simmons said it best here:

13. I think it’s a cop-out. Any super-competitive person would rather beat Dwyane Wade than play with him. Don’t you want to find the Ali to your Frazier and have that rival pull the greatness out of you? That’s why I’m holding out hope that LeBron signs with New York or Chicago (or stays in Cleveland), because he’d be saying, “Fine. Kobe, Dwight and Melo all have their teams. Wade and Bosh have their team. The Celtics are still there. Durant’s team is coming. I’m gonna go out and build MY team, and I’m kicking all their asses.” That’s what Jordan would have done. Hell, that’s what Kobe would have done.

In May, after the Cavs were ousted in the conference semifinals, I wrote that LeBron was facing one of the greatest sports decisions ever: “winning (Chicago), loyalty (Cleveland) or a chance at immortality (New York).”

I never thought he would pick “HELP!”

And more on the random side here’s some neat posts I wanted to share:

  • Interesting thought about mobile email. Is using a mobile device a free pass for typos, spelling/punctuation mistakes, and being terse?

Sent from my iPhone”, “Sent using BlackBerry”. Why am I beginning to dislike those little tags at the bottom of email responses?

Because there’s an implied apology built into them.

  • Business week wrote about a study showing the monetary return on a college education. Kinda neat that MIT came out on top, but not sure if this is the right study to do for undergraduate education. I would more like to see this study done for MBA programs.
  • Professional sports are a way to spur the local economy and help build the community. With the whole Lebron courtship, it can be viewed not just as basketball but an investment for the city. This thought was written about here:

But if Ohio is willing to give business incentives, financial incentives, and tax incentives to encourage companies to move to Ohio, why not consider kicking in financially to try to keep one of the state’s prize assets.  Turn LeBron into his very own “enterprise zone.”

Even Major Bloomberg has voiced that Lebron should come to NY. And I think it was great to see cities getting involved to this level. One person can help change a city (for better or worse), especially someone like Lebron.

MBA MIT Sloan First Year Recap – Favorite Classes

 

MIT has a lot of good professors and classes. In terms of teaching, I’ve been impressed with what MIT Sloan has had to offer so far. Obviously well renowed in their respective fields, but also great teachers, enthusiastic about their subject, and so open and willing to work with the students.

My personal favorite classes from the past year:

15.012 Applied Macro and International EconomicsRoberto Rigobon + Tavneet Suri. This was the most entertaining course I’ve ever taken at MIT. Together they do a great job teaching the class, and Prof. Rigobon’s energy is especially amazing. If I have half that energy when I’m 30, I’d be very happy. I did not think that I could ever have this much fun learning economics at 8:30am in the morning. It’s a great Sloan experience.

15.014 Global Economic Challenges – Kristin Forbes. Another excellent economics class, and is amazingly taught by Prof. Forbes. In 2003, she was the youngest ever member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, and so along with her academic work, she has a lot of experience to share as well. The class is great and so relevant especially with the current recession as a backdrop.

15.402 Finance II (Corporate Finance) – Paul Asquith. I was privileged to have been able to take this class. It was packed to the brim with students, wait list over 20+ long. All the second years told me that I cannot miss this class, and it was well worth it. Prof. Asquith is an amazing teacher with the knowledge of the entire history and working of corporate finance, with an incredible passion for teaching…if he did not, he would not go through the pain and effort to teach and could’ve been very rich on wall street. (as someone with zero finance background) This class changed the way I looked at finance.  Applying the principles of the class…Is my personal capital structure optimal for me (100% debt)?

15.810 Marketing ManagementMark Ritson. Prof. Ritson was a visiting professor to MIT Sloan last year, and this class was a treat. Even though I was taking 7 other classes, I made sure to sit in every class. One of my classmates stated this class was “life-changing.” This was one of the best taught class I’ve ever taken in my life. With his deep experience in marketing, working with the top brands around the world, he had so much  to bring to the classroom. It’s a shame that other Sloanies won’t have a chance to be taught by him.

Having never taken a business/accounting/economics/finance/marketing class EVER, the MIT Sloan MBA program so far has been worth while. It has allowed me to learn the theory behind a variety of subjects I’ve never had the chance to dive into, as well as understand the mechanisms used in business today.

MBA MIT Sloan First Year Recap – 2010 Sports Analytics Conference

One of my favorite things that I did the past school year was being an organizer for the 2010 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

http://sloansportsconference.com/2010/

This was our 4th year of the conference, and we started organizing it the second we walked onto campus in September. My task was to organize two panels, which eventually combined with the other panels, and run logistics/operations for the conference. I say it went pretty well, thanks to @danschanoff for the complement:

In terms of marketing, we did an excellent job with no budget, at one point being the top trending topic in Boston on Twitter. My classmate Justin Jensen, MBA ’11, wrote how we got there here. And further, we got plenty of media attention this year. Some of my favorite links were:

Our panelist list was ridiculous. They were amazing and made the conference special. They came from all over the sports world – players, media, coaches, researchers…amazing. A few of my favorite panelists:

  • Michael Lewis – Author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and others.
  • Mark Cuban – entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks
  • NBA GMs (at the time) – Kevin Pritchard (Portland Trail Blazers), Steve Kerr (Phoenix Suns)
  • Bill Simmons – ESPN’s Sports Guy
  • Bill Polian – President Indianapolis Colts
  • Matt Silverman – President Tampa Bay Rays

And of course, many props to our co-chairs (Daryl Morey and Jessica Gelman) and our organizing team.

The 2011 conference will be even better!

Week Roundup June 27 Sports

My first roundup.

WORLD CUP – When I watch the World Cup, I feel like a citizen of the world, it’s  something you can talk about with anyone. Some of the interesting tidbits to me thus far.

  • South Korea-Uruguay: Second time ever Korea made into the elimination round. The match against Uruguay was intense. On one “hand” South Korea got lucky for the handball that wasn’t called, but it didn’t help as the Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez, made an amazing goal.
  • US-Ghana: Another exciting match. I hope this World Cup coverage continues to help grow the sport in States. I wish for soccer to become huge in America.
  • England-Germany: Bad bad call ref. I wonder how much that goal would’ve changed the match? Definitely the mental game changes when you are tied, or when you are losing.
  • North Korea-Portugal: I thought it was fitting that North Korea lost 7-0 when it is the first time they aired live coverage of the game in their country. For their own propaganda, it’s kinda hard to spin this in a good way.

TENNIS – I have one picture to describe the week at Wimbledon.

I grabbed the screen shot here. It’s going to be a while until these match records are broken. 70-68 in the last set. That’s insane. To me this match falls into the category of Eric Gagne’s 84 consecutive saves record and Wilt’s 100 point game, i.e. something we may not see again. Oh yeah, in lesser new, the Queen of England visited the tennis courts.

BASKETBALL – I can’t believe the Blazers fired their GM one hour prior to the draft. That’s not even comprehendible to me. I’m not going to judge the reasons for the firing, but I did feel that more communication could’ve been made with the fans.  The open letter from Pritchard, I felt, was a classy gesture, it gave me a tiny bit more closure to the whole situation. I wonder how Blazer players feel about all this? Most, if not all, of them came into Portland while Pritchard was a part of the organization.

Update June 27

After taking a good amount of time to finally make a webpage and blog, there I go neglecting it for a month. Now that I’ve finally settled into my internship and new location (sunny California), there’s a few ideas that I want to implement to avoid being a one and done blog.

1. Having been away from school for a month+ now, there’s some interesting perspective I’ve gained looking back over my first year MBA experience. I’ve had the privilege to do a lot of neat things and I want to share some of the highlights and notable moments from the year.

2. Being accused of “reading the internet” daily by friends, I want to try to put a weekly summary of my favorite links/posts/stories, mostly surrounding technology and sports.

3. Outdoors . I figure a blog would be a good way to share some of my neat outdoor experiences, and practice some of my (super) amateur photography with friends (i.e. the majority of the people, after begging, to even read this blog…).

We’ll see how many of these ideas stay alive after a month…

TechCrunch Disrupt…disrupted my life (in a good way)

From a recommendation from a classmate (Thanks Ernest), last minute I was graciously allowed to volunteer for the TechCrunch Disrupt conference held in NYC. Aside from a variety of interesting speakers and panelists, famous people walking around, Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz getting angry, Major Bloomberg talking startups in NYC, and a showcase of a bunch of cool startups, I had got to hang out with a large volunteer base from a lot of other schools and companies (MIT Sloan had 10+ volunteers, great representation).

If I were to sum up the future of where technology is going, as I personally gleaned from the conference, it would be three words (and it probably won’t surprise anyone):

  1. Mobile (everything is going mobile)
  2. Social (apparently we’re not social enough already)
  3. Local (location, small businesses, communities, etc…)

As an aside, as we heard news about Apple surpassing Microsoft in market cap, just by observation, it was amazing to see the number of iPads being used at the conference. Many of my personal friends can’t even buy one because of the shortages, and yet this conference was full of them. As a rough rough estimate, I’d say about 10% of the attendees had them, and the number would jump to 30% for those that were a part of startups. And of the laptops being used, I’d gander a majority share were Macs (I can’t say the same about my MBA class). Again this is just by my personal observation. I guess for this crowd, it’s not too surprising, but still…is this an indication of an even bigger trend to come?

Hello!

I’ve been talking about making a website and a blog for quite some time now. Last year, I took the first step of finally purchasing douglashwang.com, but for a full year I did nothing with it. I figure this post is a start.

I outlined vaguely some of the things that I’ll mention in this blog here and  a small bio about who I am is here. Be it family, friends, or future friends, I hope the things I write here could be of use, interesting, throught-provoking…or even life changing! Some of the posts will be of neat topics, while others will be mundane things that happen in my personal life. I welcome all your comments, corrections, and improvements (any suggestions to make this blog look better, please let me know). Enjoy  =)

An Engineer MBA Exploring Sports, Technology, and Life