Archive: Jun 2008

Women at b-school

The March 2008 edition of the HBS Bulletin had a little piece about the first women MBA students.

“A ‘Daring Exper-iment’: Harvard and Busi-ness Education for Women, 1937–1970,” tells the story of how coeducation at HBS evolved from an eleven-month certificate program in “personnel administration” at Radcliffe College (1937–1945), to the Management Training Program (1946–1955), to the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration (1956–1963) — the last step before complete integration took place with the admission of eight women into the MBA Class of 1965.

But what’s even more interesting is a letter to the editor that showed up in the current issue (June 2008) –

Your March article “A History of Women at HBS” omitted an important category — women in the early sixties who were not admitted to the firstyear at HBS. Instead, their only option was to attend a separate and unequal first-year class at the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration, a nondegree program. The women were then allowed to apply for the second year at HBS, and fewer than ten were accepted. In the second-year program, they were given no housing or section designation, and a professor could deny entrance to his course.

When job interviews started on campus, women’s names were scratched from the interview list. Recruiters refused to interview them because it was a “waste of time.” I know, because this happened to me. I was part of this forgotten class.

Joan Oxman Rothberg

(HRPBA 1962, MBA ’63)

Summit, NJ

Wow – scratched off the interview list! Incredible how far we’ve come. And that’s an excellent thing.

Jetsons-style grocery shopping

Each time you’re about to throw away an empty container — for ketchup, cereal, pickles, milk, macaroni, paper towels, dog food or whatever — you just pass its bar code under the scanner. With amazing speed and accuracy, the Ikan beeps, consults its online database of one million products, and displays the full name and description.

In a clear, friendly font, the screen might say: “Nabisco Reduced Fat Ritz Crackers 14.5 Oz.,” for example. Now you can toss the box, content that its replacement has been added to your shopping list.

After a few days of this, you can review the list online at — and if everything looks good, click once to have everything delivered to your house at a time you specify.

Maybe it’s not exactly a Food-a-Rac-a-Cycle. But at least it’s the Netflix of groceries.
State of the Art – Grocery Shopping Made Easy –

The next revision of this will be a smaller, lighter scanner. When that happens AND when (if?) they integrate with Fresh Direct or Whole Foods, I am SO there.


Enjoying the rain

originally uploaded by andy in nyc.

As adults, we don’t enjoy being in the rain. We may say we enjoy the rain, but it is as a distant observer – we ourselves need to be warm, dry and inside to enjoy the cool, wet outside.

I really can’t think of a single time in my adult life that I’ve been stuck in downpour and enjoyed it.

Well, all that changed last night. I had to head out to run some errands. It had rained all afternoon and so I convinced myself that it couldn’t possibly rain anymore (er, what?!) and head out blithely without an umbrella. Finished grocery shopping at Whole Foods and headed out to discover the torrential rain coming down.

After standing under the awning and whining with other shoppers about how we forgot our umbrellas, I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I voluntarily got drenched… and had fun doing it.

So, I ensured my bag with phone and iPod was firmly closed and I stepped out from under the awning and crossed the street. I was soaked by the time I got to the other end. But I didn’t melt.

And by the time I got to the next block, I was having a great time. As I happily walked along, people standing in storefronts would smile and laugh. I just smiled back and enjoyed a leisurely walk home. It was brilliant. I was completely soaked through, but it was an awesome feeling! A warm shower and hot tea were perfect to round out my evening.

Growing up has many advantages, but when did I become so uptight that I couldn’t truly experience the rain anymore? I would encourage everyone to let go a little and play in the rain – at least once a decade! 🙂

Graphing Social Patterns – East

In the past couple of years, Social Networks have changed online behavior. If you want to dig deeper into Social Networks, Social graphs, games, apps and all the other buzz words doing the rounds these days, the Graphing Social Patters conference in Washington DC is the one to go to.

If I was more mobile, I’d schlep out there from June 9th through the 11th.

Besides the speaker list and all the panels, another thing that makes this conference much more interesting is Mr. Facebook himself, my buddy and the Program Chair, Dave McClure 🙂

Dave wanted me to let you know that –

If you are a starving geek, you can get a 30% off discount by using the following reg code: gspe08fgd

And if you’ve built an app & want to enter the AppNite demo contest, you can get a 50% off discount by entering your app here.

Good luck, Dave – I am sure it will be awesome.