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iPhone Improves Driving Experience

Got the iPhone last week, had to do it.  Nice, shiny device….good.  Stunningly clean interface….good.  Embedded iPod….good.  Enterprise Exchange with ‘push’ support…..good.  And that is before I enter my vehicle.

Earlier this week, I was already impressed with WordPress blogging capability from the iPhone.  Today, I wanted to put the iPhone through a couple of test cases with the multimedia system in my car, particularly the bluetooth phone system and the auxiliary iPod connection.  These are two things I did not think of regarding compatibility before getting the device so I was moderately concerned since my wife is already using my 80Gb iPod Classic.  Anyway, I digress.

First test:  Bluetooth pairing to be able to use the iPhone with the internal Bose system in the car.  Worked flawlessly.  In fact, better than the Blackberry Curve.  With the Curve, only entries us to the letter ‘N’ would sync with the car’s directory service (was never able to fix this).  With the iPhone, full directoy capability.

Second test:  iPod auxiliary connection.  Upon connecting, I was met with a message on the iPhone that said “This device is not compatible with this system.”  uh oh Houston.  Then a nice friendly message popped up and said “Would you like to switch to airplane mode?”.  Why yes I would and then instant music and full access to playlists, etc.  And it charges as well!  So, the iPod works with the only downside being I have to choose between phone service or playing the iPod.  Perhaps Apple will be able to lick this with a later version.

To close, one more point I would like to make since I’m on the topic of driving.  You can type on the iPhone with one hand.  I’ve heard many reports that compared to the Blackberry you can’t do it.  With this, I disagree.  In fact, I typed this entire blog post while driving!  (just kidding)  But I did type a quick Twitter message just to see if I could do it.  And no, I won’t do it again because it is not safe, I know this.  It’s okay though if you are at a traffic light (a long traffic light).

Take care…

Should I get my MBA?

Interestingly, I received the same question this week from four different people.  Thought I would write a post on the topic.

Truth be told, there is not a standard answer that applies to everyone.  If there is anything that is clear now, it is that all people are on different paths and often end up at the same destination through different methods.  (no, not trying to be philosophical…did you hear that tree?)  So it really depends.  The reason is people go to get their graduate degree, MBA or otherwise are for a variety of reasons and there are a lot of opinions on an MBA out there as well.

1.  Often people get their MBA to change industries.   This was the most common reason amongst my Sloan colleagues.  In fact, it was pretty ironical.  It seemed like 25% were shifting from consulting to banking, another 25% from banking to consulting, another 25% engineering to consulting or banking and the final 25% some other goal.

2.  Second reason, while not discussed as often as it probably should, many individual back to get their MBA for the education.  You do acquire a great set of learnings, many of which prove valuable for me every day.  I find myself applying principles (maybe not formulas or models all the time) but principles to many fundamental elements on how I approach things.  In many cases, in my field, I utilize it in technology strategy, process management, looking at disruptive technologies, market analysis or understanding different competitive threat scenarios/responses.

3.  Networking.  This I do believe depends a lot on the program that you enter.  I believe the education your receive (for the most part) is the very similar at all schools, in fact they use the same text books in most cases.  But the network(s) you build and develop in an MBA program is something you can leverage throughout your career.  This is, in my opinion, a critical lens to look through when deciding to get your MBA and which program to apply.

But I don’t view an MBA prescriptively.  If you do, I think you could be making a mistake.  It is different for everyone and there are a lot of MBA’s out in the marketplace now so the “punching the ticket” approach I see more often not providing the return on investment.

So, if you are asking whether to get an MBA, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions.  What are you trying to accomplish?  Where are you trying to get to in the short-term and the long-term?  You better know this going in because they pretty much ask you this question your first week.  And a two year MBA program flies by and many of your decisions about how to utilize your time are predicated on you knowing where you are heading.

And once you know that, what steps will help you to get where you are aiming to go with your career and how will the MBA experience help you in achieving your objectives.  To deep dive into one area, in the internet, media and technology industries, there are two fundamental schools of thought.  The first is that an MBA can fundamentally help you navigate an increasingly complex marketplace with market disruptions and consumers needs changing in a variety ways.  How to navigate it is a developed skill and an MBA is a sound foundation.  The second is the ‘street smarts’ method which is to head straight into the start-up environment and there is not any better place to learn than “doing it” either through a successful venture or even failing.  I’ve seen both work successfully.

Hope this helps…

iPhone to support corporates?

Macworld reported yesterday that soon the iPhone will support corporate email. That will be enough to get me to buy. The only thing holding me back from purchase since the initial release of the iPhone was its connectivity and compatibility with corporate Exchange. (yes, i realize this affects most, if not all, of us) I simply refuse to carry two devices so until this is solved, the Blackberry is what I will stick to.

But if what the analyst reports in this article is true and Apple is cooking up compatibility with Microsoft Exchange, it is a done deal for me. We haven’t seen a device the likes of the iPhone, and I find myself wanting one each time I see a colleague using it, almost to the point where I am considering moving to the Touch even though I just point an 80Gb iPod Classic only a few short months ago. (great as an Apple shareholder, bad for me who would rather put $399 elsewhere like the Time Capsule!)

Anyway, we’ve heard these reports before so time will tell. But Apple, if you are listening, here is one more customer that will move over if this is true, and of course, if it works as promised meaning email support with calendar and contacts syncing. It will also be a true feat if you can do so since Entourage has problems doing it and not even on a portable device.

SIDE NOTE:  Apple has entered the top 10 mobile companies with over 4M units shipped (2.3M in last quarter alone!).  To accomplish that this quickly is absolutely insane.