Thursday, May 17, 2012

How to Win at Battleship

Battleship 1

I used to play Battleship with my son, but he doesn't want to play with me any more. He's often wondered how I can consistently win the game. He assumes (and he's right) that, since I'm a game theorist, I've probably figured out some sort of mind-reading trick to be able to intuit where his ships are located. Apart from mind reading, I also rely on an optimal search strategy. Anyway, here's an amusing piece in Slate about a Microsoft employee who has taken this idea to its logical extreme.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Happy Summer

Something to remember the class by. This photo courtesy of Alper.

Have a happy summer and a great career gamers. Please stay in touch and feel free to visit the game theory website and blog for a refresh of key learnings from the class. Also, if you find a need for more game theory in your organization, please reach out. In the past, I've done custom sessions at several companies looking for more outward thinking. Many of these requests came from Game Theory alumni.

Keep using your outward thinking and empathy to build mental models and figure out what course of action to take. Previous game theory alums have said that the tools in the class were essential to career management and successfully leading teams.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Judo in Action: The Pebble Watch

Ran across this piece speculating about the lack of VC support for the Pebble, which is basically a limited version of an iPhone packed into a wristwatch. 

Now this seems like a classic judo. The gizmo itself is underpowered compared to the iPhone, the form factor obviously limits its appeal somewhat. And thus we come to the key question--how should Apple respond? 

Is the Pebble really committed to staying small? How large is the potential consumer base for such a device? Since you need an iPhone to run the thing, is it really a threat to Apple? Of course, Apple can kill it by producing their own Pebble, or they can let the thing go. 

My own guess is that this requires no response from Apple since the iPhone is essential for the thing to work. Apple has, in the past, tolerated thrid party offerings that change the form factor of iPod, such as the many speakers, clock radios, etc. produced for it. These have not hurt iPod at all. I expect that they'll reason analogously in this case. 

Your thoughts?