Student feedback is important. It’s important to me that my students achieve their course objectives at the end of each course I teach. Therefore, at the end of each of my course, I will ask for feedback to find out what they learned.
What do I do with the feedback? Based on the suggestions, I modify the contents, adjust the students’ workload and update the case studies.
After all, it is really not what I teach, but what the students learn that count. My job is to ensure I did not waste their time.
I did not edit the feedbacks nor simply quote a line or two from their feedback. Except if the student ask that I take out confidential information. You are seeing all the bad comments together with the good.
I’d rather be candid.
Technology and World Change Classes
Technology and World Change – August 2006
Technology and World Change – January 2007
Technology and World Change – August 2007
Technology and World Change – January 2008
Technology and World Change – May 2008
Technology and World Change – August 2008
Technology and World Change – January 2010
Technical Entrepreneurship Classes
As i looked back throughout the 13 weeks, i would say that my objectives have been achieved. But saying so, i feel an empty feeling inside me. One objective that i set for myself was to learn how can technology change the world around me. Learning how the management of technology works is one thing for me, i certainly felt that i was grounded in this aspect. During the course of the topic, as i was given a task to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, i apply live the theories in class to my business plans and conceptualizing. Experiential learning is something books and theories cannot give, because of the unique project that my team was given, i was able to better appreciate the theories taught in class. Therefore i felt that i met my first objective. My second objective i set was to learn from a veteran entrepreneur during the course. Certainly, i have absorbed much from the experiences of my teacher and the challenges and hardship she faced as an entrepreneur. This i realised, i had much to do, i have a long road ahead. I would say for the setbacks i faced during the course in planning and conceptualizing, i was inspired to never give up by my professor. The thought that someone has done it before spurs me on to stick to my ideas and bite the bullet and move forward. As the class draws to an end, i feel an empty feeling as i feel that i have much much more to learn. TWC has been definitely been the highlight of my term this year and i really do hope i have more steep learning curves to tackle and challenge me. I march on.
LIM CHIA EE JESSICA
Jessica graduated in Dec 2008 and chose a career as a sea-salt entrepreneur
I am better now at spotting trends. The project that I got the opportunity to work on with my group mates helped me even furthur to learn how to spot trends, on top of what was taught in class. Working on the second project also enabled me to learn a great deal on technology especially with regards to the wireless technology and connectivity. However, I learnt also, that technical knowledge can easily be acquired if you have the heart to do so. Technical aspects encompass only part of a business and there are a lot more avenues with respect to getting a business up and running. I think I have achieved more than what I wanted since the first lesson. I learnt a lot on how the real business world works from what was taught and said in class – especially given the opportunity to work on one, I learnt a lot from working with my team mates as well. Being inspired to think and dream big, being daring and just moving forward despite situations that came up, and how to deal with prospective investors. The second project is definitely a great learning experience for me. I believe that what I learn from this experience will serve me very well in the future.
Through the weeks spent attending class, doing journals, assignments and preparing for presentations, I think I have definitely achieved my objective of learning how technology affects our lives in a multitude of ways. I feel that our professor has been extremely effective in providing first-hand experience on the numerous advantages and possible disadvantages of implementing technology in the world. She provided a plethora of real-life examples as well as how the theories we learnt in the textbook are applied in everyday life. In addition, I felt that the presentations done by the various groups as well as comments given by my classmates have exposed me to many new viewpoints and subjects which I had not known prior to this class. The presentations were certainly a joy to watch as you could see that every group was well-prepared with entertaining videos and relevant content. Likewise, the guest speakers were a welcome addition to the usual format of the class. Hence, I feel that I was also able to achieve my second aim of learning as much I could from the Prof, reading materials, and of course, my classmates. Journaling was certainly a good addition to the course as it encourages the student to think back on the lesson and what important points were brought up. The open-laptop quizzes were also a welcome change, in my opinion, because they discouraged last minute cramming and instead emphasized on applying what we had learnt in class and from the text. In conclusion, I would like to thank the Prof for providing me with such a fruitful and enjoyable term in this class. It has been an eye-opening experience and an enriching learning platform which will undoubtedly benefit me in my future endeavours.
BEK WEI DA EDMUND
I remembered very clearly that my main objective for the class was to discover how technology has shaped and affected the world today. During my reflection, I remembered very clearly that after the 2nd week or so, my perception towards the class actually changed. To be honest, I felt that the nature of the lesson as compared to the other core modules was unnecessary and additional. However, I discovered that my opinion towards the class was later influenced by the content of what were discussed in the later classes. What captivated my interest was in the life experience that was shared beneath the theories. I felt that the enquiring of knowledge and in knowing what goes on in the business world was something that cannot be learnt in school. Of course, the exposure to learning and listening to the operation of business made learning (especially on the topic of intellectual property rights and raising capitals) a lot more interesting. With that, I realized that my take away from the class has constituted more than what I have expected at the beginning. In fact, I was glad that the class did not focus much on my initial expectations on the correlations between technology and world change. Furthermore, the overall discussions in class has since given me a clearer picture of what should be expected if we were to pursue a career in managing our own business. Definitely, I believed that what I have achieved over the last 13 weeks has more than exceeded my initial objectives.
JACOB NG MING EN
Didn’t manage to keep up a constant readings of the Fortunes magazine. But other than that, More or less had a pretty enjoyable experience other than that. Had the fortune of getting pretty good team mates. Mostly managed to prepare for class beforehand, and to make notes for tests so learnt quite a lot from this class. Realized that there are actually quite a number of people in class that have already setup business or have plans to do so. Benefited a lot from their experience and learnt how technology has helped their business prosper. Hope that the quest speaker which I invited, Mr Ignious Yong, managed to teach something relevant to the class. And helped everyone benefit as well. Overall enjoyed this class because of the open discussion and group co-operation.
LIM JIAN HENG
In this short period of 14 weeks, I did manage to achieve my objectives. From someone who know very little about technology and world change, I began to understand how something as important as technology came about and the changes it had caused on this world. I never knew that things like S curve existed in technology and in the end I found out that some chapters are very much linked to business as well, especially those on fundings and innovations. Also initially I said that I would like to find out more about you, professor and I did manage to do that. I am someone who have a strong passion in entrepreneurship and I like to read biographies of leaders and entrepreneurs. Therefore I find it fortunate to be able to learn directly from a successful and capable entrepreneur like you. Thank you so much for your teachings in the last few months. It was not only enriching, but very inspirational as well.
CHAN WEI WEN CHARLES RAMBO
Well to be honest, at the start of the course I did not have much expectations out of the course. My objectives that I have set at the start of the course was to simply to learn something that could help me improve my ‘innovativity’, afterall my interest was in the marketing field. However, after 13 weeks of attending TWC classes, I realised that I have actually gotten more than what I have bargained for. Besides the theory learnt from the textbooks, I felt that I have learnt alot more from my other classmates as well as the professor. Seeing the other presentations held in class, for example the Google case, has indeed broaden up my horizons. Something else that I felt was really beneficial to the class was the life experiences shared by the professor as well as the other guest speakers that were invited. Textbooks may be important but in my opinion, one can stand to gain more from listening to others’ real life experiences. At the end of the day, the way the course was conducted has proven to be far more interesting and beneficial that I would have expected. Although I may be applying the techniques and lessons learnt from the course today, there will definitely come a day when what I have learnt from this course will prove to be beneficial.
MARK TAN JIE-YI
In my first journal, I mentioned that I would like to know the pitfalls when it comes to innovating. I believed I have succeeded in achieving this one objective. I have learnt two major lessons. The first is to be able to weather failure. The only constant that one can face when it comes to innovation and turning an idea into something tangible and marketable is the possible failure to do so. The people that I’ve come across during my research for TWC and in the presentations given by other groups have all tasted the bitterness of failure; they have faced stumbling blocks that have sometimes driven them to question if they should soldier on. However, the key is to believing in one’s idea, refining it through the fires of failure so that it can succeed in the end. Passion and loyalty to an ideal, regardless of what field it may fall into, even in a social or political ideology that is not technological in nature is the one thing that one must not fail in, despite the lack of success that is happening around him or her.
CHAN DEGUANG ROBIN
In my first journal, I stated that I would like to: 1.) Learn how to work as a functional team with the rest of my group mates 2.) How to conduct systematic and in-depth research 3.) How to speak confidently and get my ideas across to my audience Over the course of this module, I am sure that I have achieved all of these points at least to a certain extent. Of course, the degree of achievement would vary for each particular point, and I feel that they are already ranked in order of achievement. Over this whole course, I have really learnt to work as a team with my group mates. We have bonded well, and are able to play to each other’s strengths. Perhaps this is due to having to perform more than one presentation together, plus constantly sitting next to one another during class. We really understand one another, and if called upon to do yet another project, I doubt it would be any problem. Our skills complement one another, and everyone has something useful to contribute to the team. For my second point, I will not elaborate much on it. Doing research is part and parcel of a student’s life, and no doubt will be needed in every course. I am constantly improving my research skills, and this applies to TWC as well. My third point regards learning to communicate with others. Through the numerous presentations I have learnt to speak more confidently and also put my ideas across to my audience, however I feel I have not spoken up enough in class, and wish to improve in that area in future. I must push myself to think quicker and seize opportunities to speak. Lastly, there is something very important I learnt which I had never intended to originally. I learnt the value of technology and the importance of not being left behind. I also learnt more details about being an entrepreneur, such as the difficulties they face, and the rewards that they reap. I used to be slightly apathetic towards keeping up with technology ever since I left secondary school, probably due to lack of interest and increased workload at school. However, I have now developed a renewed interest in trying to keep up to speed with the latest technologies, as I can see the business opportunities that they offer. For this, I’d like to thank you Prof; for making your lessons interesting, for having guest speakers, and most of all for all the encouragement and care given to us. I really enjoyed this course under you. Thank you!
LI SHIHAO TIMOTHY
My objectives of doing this module were to learn the various traits and attitude of becoming a successful innovator, to identify why some innovators are successful whilst others are not, and to understand the moral implications of coming up with new innovations. Nearing the end of the module, I’d say that I’ve not just met my planned objectives to a large extent; I have also gotten more out of the module, most important of which is the development of a fighting spirit to want to excel in whatever I do. My original objectives were easily met by reading up before classes and paying attention in class. The course was well planned out such that it is easy to follow and learn. What I feel makes this module relevant and value-adding is the non-academic benefits the class provides. Our lessons are well structured in the sense that a lot of in class discussion is encouraged. Good fortune put me in a class where there’re a lot of passionate people around, and their sense of wanting to succeed, evident in the kind of quantity of questions and comments made in class, has sparked off a passion in me to want to do well in whatever I do too. The professor’s wealth of experiences and her persevering attitude also incite a desire for success in me. My expectations of what I can achieve out of life have improved over the course of this module. As I expect more, I’ll have to work harder to achieve what I expect. This module, to me, hence serves as a motivation course to prompt me towards a successful path.
BHATT DEV S/O DIGANTRAI
I believe that I have definitely achieved most of my goals as stated in my first journal. Before coming for this class, I didn’t understand the true value of the class, and only after a full term do I truly appreciate what this class has imparted upon me, more so because I am an Information Systems student, and working with technology is going to be my bread and butter in the future. Truly, what has fascinated me are the group presentations of various groups. It’s motivational to see how other individuals in the group can present their innovative ideas to the class, and it also sends a chill down my spine at times, because these are the people I’m going to have to compete with in the future! Initially, I didn’t but a copy of the textbook, as I’ve mentioned before, I didn’t realize the true value of this module. But towards the end, I’ve purchased the book and a few others on innovation, and I think Professor would be pleased to know that on top of that, I have conceptualized an innovation pertaining to musical technology that I would like to do further research into =) From this class, I have learnt to keep an open mind, and that well thought, no idea is a bad idea. Besides that, working with people from different schools (SOB in my case) has been quite a breath of fresh air, and we collectively learnt quite a bit from each other. Last but not least, I think I’ve learn the most from listening to Professor. She has had quite a life! 5 children, and somehow she manages to be an entrepreneur. Towards the end of the module, she shared quite a bit with us about her personal life. Truly an inspiring person. I think her 5 kids are extremely lucky to have a mom like this, an excellent role model for them to look up to when they are growing up! All in all, this has been a good module for me, and I would most definitely continue my research into more technological innovations in the course of my stay here in SMU.
Relating to my first weekly journal, which i have submitted twice but not graded as yet, i think i have acheived the objectives which i had planned. During the first week of class, i had 2 objectives which i set 1) To learn the critical success factors which some people are able to come up with to make their business a success and 2) To learn more about the corporate world through Prof Pamela. With regards to the first objective, i am not claiming that i have mastered the art of business strategies but at least able to comprehend how brilliant some of these business people are in creating a winning formula. This brilliance are at times underhand methods which might not go too well with me personally. Through Prof Pamela, i learnt valuable lessons in life through the related experiences. It is so true that one has be passionate in the things they pursue. In addition,humilty is something which i have observed from her. A successful business person can’t really afford to be complacent or rather he must be always be on the drive or risk losing its competitive advantage. The corporate world may seem like a goldmine but i liken it to a landmine. Hence, i have learnt that while one is always on the go, he must always be able to take a step back to strategise his plans. i must say i may not end up as a technical entrepreneur having complete this course, but what i have achieved are lessons in life which cannot be bought but imparted from one who has been there, done that. Thank you and All the Best!
LEE ZHONG SHUN
…Reflecting on these past weeks, I think I had certainly gained much more than that. Beside the knowledge gained during the lesson, such as protecting intellectual property and how to source for funds, the part that i felt I have gained most was from the various guest speakers, and of course the sharing by Prof. There is nothing better than hearing from people that have done it, as compared to reading from the books. The words/accomplishments of these people certainly make me think and reflect on myself, and brought me to the reality in life and business world. All these have exceeded my expectations of this course, for initially i expected nothing more than just gaining knowledge and knowledge from the books; but instead I had some insights into what kind of life i want and what i should do to achieve it, and this is very important to me. Thank you for making this course enjoyable and enriching to me. Thank you.
LIM CHUN YONG
I remember stating in Week 1 that i want to learn from the Prof and my peers. And indeed, i feel very much enlightened after 14 weeks. From the Prof, i learnt a lot on entrepreneurship. It takes more than just a good idea to become and entrepreneur. I realised that among all things, you need to have grit, lots of it. The willingness to sacrifice is essential to start a business. Furthermore, I learnt to be humble and nice to people. I believe this is one of the most important lessons I have learnt is SMU. I see true humility in Prof Pamela, someone who is so success in life. I believe being humble and nice is an important part of being a complete person. I also learnt much from my peers. I have absolutely no doubt as to what is the most enriching thing I learnt from them. 14 weeks ago, I never thought much about how the telecommunication sector would evolve. However, after today’s class, I am sure that my peers’ business plan would turn out well. I see determination in that group. I see their ambition and acknowledge their desire to succeed. In fact, I am highly flattered when the group approached me to join their ranks. I would definitely consider this option. I firmly believe that this is a good chance to challenge myself. Also, it will allow me to grow, as a person, and a potential entrepreneur perhaps. It started out like any other SMU module. But I took away more, much more.
CHAN JUN HAN GABRIEL
I felt that i have achieved what i set out to do in my first journal, and if i can recall, it is to absorb as much knowledge as i can from this module. First and foremost, i feel that the knowlegde gained from this module has laid the foundation for me to better understand how technology affects the world, from the dotcom bubble to the findings of inventions and innovations. Be it through technology cycles and the sources by which innovation arises from, all these helped me to realise that technology is inherent in the development and advancement of the human race. Next, through talks held by guest speakers and from the presentation of individual projects done by the students and from Prof Pamela, it somewhat provided me with a better picture of the applicability of technology into the real world of business. However, i feel that the knowledge that i possess currently might pale in comparison to what is needed in one or two years time. Technology changes at a very rapid rate and in order to catch up with it, the constant yearning to learn more is inevitable. I’m glad that this course made me realise how shun i was from the world of technology and how critical it will be to embrace technology if i wish to survive and compete in this day and age, and maybe many more centuries to come even.
LIM HUI DE
In my first journal, I mentioned that I wanted to learn more about how technology can affect our lives and how I, as a greenhorn in technological stuff,wanted to improve on my knowledge about technology. I feel I have achieved my objective to a large extent. Starting from the first lesson, I was already on my way. From my group’s first presentation of the IPOD to kick start the series to the last lesson today, I have indeed learnt a lot. Through the group meetings and online research to on-the-ground experiences like the interview with SAVI Technology Director, it has been a valuable experience for me. Though the whole process was not easy. it was fruitful. Also, the guest speakers also provided valuable lessons for us to learn from. I personally thought that the week 12 speaker was not arrogant. In fact, I thought she was passionate about her work and I seriously could feel her sincerity and realness. As a result of all these, I realized that I could indeed play a part in world change. Therefore, to end off, I would say that my objectives at the start of the course were indeed fulfilled and i got even more from the course too. TWC is a truly interesting module and I hope that with the technological knowledge I have gained from this course, I can add value to my employers in the future.
BEH KIAN KIAT
The name of this course has “deceived” me as I remember setting my objective in the first lesson to learn more about how technology can affect the business world. Not only have I achieved this objective by exploring more avenues of business opportunities in the technology sector and increasing my knowledge of innovation in the business world, I have also picked up lifelong skills in this course. From learning about how “simple” an innovation can be, to the importance of marketing an innovation and followed by ample opportunities highlighted that can possibly help me in realising a business idea, this course has really widened my perspective of the business world. It has also been a fruitful experience of learning more about myself as the weekly journals provided me the chance to analyse and think deeper into various issues and this include my own level of risk that I am willing to take and realizing that eventually the biggest challenge that can stop me from achieving what I want is in fact myself. From your sharing sessions about your own entrepreneurial experience, I have also learned more about the real world out there and the challenges that I may expect to face in the future. Overall, it has really been an inspiring and mind-stimulating course. I have definitely taken away more than what I have expected. Thanks Prof!
BRANDON KOH SHAOMING
Well, I believe i hit most of my objectives about learning with regards to technology in business and the possible technological businesses to go into. The most important thing I felt was to get a feeling of how others were thinking along the lines of technopreneurship together with how a successful technopreneur like our prof. Pamela thought. To me that was all so important in deciding with regards to business whether the technological line is indeed also a suitable line fo me. Having expeerience in technological enterprises, i realise that successful technopreneurs are often a group of people which are a rare breed. This is because they are able to move fast, think ahead of the competition always (In short good dreamers and visionaries), yet knowing at the right times how to relax so that the speed of a technology venture does not break them. But nonetheless,it is true that I have found the most important success is always good success. Meaning success in every area of life, primarily in these 4 in the following order of importance – Spiritual, relationships and emotional, physical and financial, with emphasis always greater on the first 2. Technology ventures have often times tempted us with the opportunity to become rich and very quickly at times I must say, but the big question is at what price was success achieved. This has lead me to also think twice about first whether I want to be in a technological line, and next how to start a technology business, for there are many ways to start a technology business. The toughest and the one I would demanding the greatest price is starting from scratch, and the easier one being through acquisitions of both talent and existing platforms to work on. Although the just take a risk attitude is very much of my character, I realise there must always be wisdom in making a decision before I go into something, because I think it would be sad to gain the whole world in terms of money, and lose your soul and everything else that has eternal importance. A hard choice that I often contemplate daily. Cause there is another way to become successful also I believe, and that is if daily I just profit in all those 4 areas. Though success might not be as big compared to those who makes billions through a high tech venture in terms of financial, but nonetheless success will be assured and at least all areas of my life will be successful and meaningful which to me is the best success. Nonetheless in all this I can only say I don’t know the future, but I know Who holds it, and in that I place my trust, cause all you need is one touch of the right timing and eight movement, no rushing needed, and what took many 10 years to achieve I believe would take less than 5year. It’s been proven time and again, and in this and with the lessons I move forward into the future, a little wiser, a little more determined and also a little more patient which is the most important takeaways from this class to me.
CHEW CHIAN LIN
At the beginning of the term, Technology and World Change was not one of the modules that II look forward to because my interests have never lied in the areas of technology. My knowledge of technology was also limited to the basic uses of the technological tools that I possess(e.g. computer). I often read about the latest technology such as the Blackberry on Time magazine but never bothered to find out more because I just wasn’t interested. Therefore, my objectives for the term was to in a way “force” myself to immerse in getting to know more about technology and “what lies beneath”. I must admit that should lessons have been conducted the usual way (professor lectures 3 hours through), there would have been no way to get me to learn. The highly interactive discussions, weekly journals and projects helped me to not only learn through the textbook but by the extent of research on the Internet. The textbook was very reader friendly and I was in fact motivated to do prior readings before class. By using the Internet to research for the class discussions and projects, I was able to remember the class content better. Eventually, I often find myself bringing home a new piece of knowledge learnt after each class. Many people felt that the work load for this class is comparatively heavier than those offered by the other professors, but almost all I asked claimed that their TWC class is dry and monotonous. This really showed me the contrast between how much more interesting our classes have been. Coming from my mouth, to say that learning about technology and world change every tuesday is something I look forward to is equivalent to nothing short of a miracle. =) This is, however, my true feelings as I feel that I have not only gained a wealth of knowledge in an area which I used to stay ten miles from, I actually developed a certain level of respect for people who are passionate in the technology sector. As such, I think that I have more than achieved my original objective set for the term. I’ve learnt much more in terms of prof’s true life experiences and gained a deeper insight into the working world that is awaiting me. Thanks prof! =)
CHAN TI WEI DEBRA
Let’s review what my objectives were: 1) know of emerging technological advancements which may take the world by storm in the future and 2) participating actively in class. I began the class with a heavy heart: it was a university requirement and I felt I was going to be no match to other business students whom I thought were more industrious and far-sighted. My fears were proven in the first few lessons, especially the male students almost always the ones fiercely vying to answer the questions posed by Prof which I had absolutely no answers about. It may sound silly, but at that time it really intimidated me! The turning point occurred when our group presented for our first presentation on the bra (how memorable!) and we thought we really had done the best amongst the rest. However, the results were not in our favour and we were not the top 2 groups. We cheered each other up and held our head up high to perform better for the next presentation. I also told myself that there’s no point to feel frightened of this any longer: I’ve got to take action. So I did. From week 6 onwards, I paid more attention during class, answered Prof’s questions and raised a few of mine. Though I never got to receive a lollypop, my interest in class didn’t wane. Up till now, I thank you for making me come out of my shell and become a more confident person when speaking up in class. And as you said, we ‘youngsters’ have the know-how of utilising technology at our fingertips and I guess that’s true. We were brought up with the likes of the computers and mobile phones. Hence, both of my objectives have been accomplished for this class. But ask me if I was inspired to start a business anytime soon, the answer will still be a resound NO. 😀 Haha… I would like to end with a story. A poor fisherman living with his family in a humble village caught a golden fish one day and instantly became famous and rich. He left his village to start up a business with the money he received from selling the fish and with his far-sightedness and entrepreneurial skills; his business grew into a multi-national corporation and he soon became one of world’s richest men. He had it all, luxury houses, posh cars and lavish meals. When it was time for him to retire, instead of living in his mansion, he left the estate and his wealth to go back to the village. “You must think I’m mad”, he said. “I’m only a man who’s finally realized, after traveling the world and experiencing many things that the one thing I cherish the most in life was actually right here (in the village) all along”. So to answer the question posed in class “What Do I Want from Life”, I guess it’s a journey of experience that all of us HAVE to go through in order to discern what we really want and don’t want. Ultimately, the thing we want may just be right under our noses – only we don’t know it yet. Thank you for your facilitations (as you term it) in class, Prof, really appreciate it and may I wish you all the best in your endeavours! See you! 😀
LEONG HUI MIN ELIZABETH
One of my objectives for this course was to use the lessons I have learnt during Technology and World Change and apply it to my other modules. When I first realized that we were required to write a weekly learning journal, my first reaction was to whine and complain a little. Comparing to the rest of my friends in other TWC classes, ours seemed to be one of the most taxing. However, after going through the lessons and sustaining through it, I am glad that we have a weekly learning journal. It allowed me to internalize the concepts learnt during lessons and develop greater insights and opinions to it. I would probably take this journaling process with me for other modules in SMU and also for other activities such as community service trip and internships. Perhaps it is for not a weekly affair like TWC, but I would definitely assess my learning outcomes from each course at the end of each module. It would help me to learn from my mistakes and build on further to excel better in other aspects. I wanted to hear your success stories since it was quite a privilege to have a professor who had gone through the process and was a victor of it. You did share your stories and firsthand experiences which made the lessons very interesting and insightful. I have definitely learnt more about technology and innovation through these 13 weeks. Apart from learning the technical knowledge of it, I was often challenged to live with passion and have the drive. It is definitely true that nothing is impossible if we set our hearts after it. I would not think that I would want to be a technical entrepreneur in the near future unless circumstances change drastically. I would probably go into the lines of being an auditor to have a broader perspective of the different business entities for a couple of years before venturing into something else. That would be my career goal for the next few years and I will be driven to work towards it and not be just swept by the usual drones of school. Thanks for being such an understanding, encouraging and interesting professor! I think this was the only module that incorporated the aspect of challenging each one of us to achieve instead of just focusing on the academia.
Time passed very quickly and today was the last class for this entire course. Seriously, I enjoyed taking this module very much because it was conducted under a very flexible schedule. Even technology was put into use during quiz, as a student I greatly appreciate this because we do not need to memorize the chapters. In fact, we can spend the time to read and understand the concepts much better. At the beginning of this course, I set my main objective to achieve an in-depth understanding of how technology affects people. During this course, we have been certainly touched on this aspect. For instant, Bill Gates who dropped out of school and eventually become one of the riches man in this world. His success can be attributed to his knowledge and passion to pursue technology. I wanted to highlight that this course exceeds my expectation and I have learned more than what I expected. The lessons are always conducted in highly interactive manner and students are encouraged to discuss and present their ideas. There are a lot of knowledge sharing in this course between instructors and students. I remember the chapters on Intellectual Property and Funding Innovation are particularly useful. In fact, these two aspects are the main challenges faced by many entrepreneurs. Even we did not cover everything in local context, I believe that we know which agencies to look out for to protect our ideas and source for funds to commercialize our creations. The most memorable experience would be last week class, whereby our group invited Ms Viki to speak to the class. Her business deals with the technology and technology does impact her. Not only that, technology also benefited her family members as well. In today’s class, group 6 has done a great presentation on their plan to work on the future technology currently under trial in the US. Before hand I thought that they are just doing a normal presentation. But in fact, it was something that they wanted to pursue. As discussed, even the team members do not have technology background, it doesn’t matter because with they still able to move on with passion. This is the advantage of ever changing fact of technology. I was touched by their courage to pursue their dream and I believe that if they have not attend our class, they will just like any students passively awaiting to graduate. I wish team 6 all the best in realizing their dream and last but not least, thank you prof.
BAMADHAJ JARANIAH NASIR
YES!! I certainly did and more. The ‘more’ came in terms of the theories that explain the evolution of technologies and their application (which I never knew existed till this course). My wanting to learn about the impact technology has created upon human beings have been satisfied, even though I know for a fact that my learning continues even after the end of this course. There will never be an end to technological developments. It’s fascinating how technological advancements create the possibility for even further developments. These developments may not always be a need but rather to simply satisfy the never-ending wants of human beings. What seemed unnecessary in the past is probably necessitated now because of technology. I always find it fascinating how people in developed countries rely so much on technology whereas those who aren’t exposed to it are doing just fine (even though they may not always be functioning efficiently). I have to admit that the only additional extra-curricular ‘research’ I’ve done throughout this course only came in the form of watching lots of Discovery Channel and National Geographics. But I find that these 2 channels give wonderful insight to technological developments around the world and their various impacts created on the respective communities and also globally. VERY interesting. I am also definitely more aware of technological advances around me now, thanks to the various in-class sharing sessions/presentations. This course (or class, rather), which I initially thought was going to be dry, was definitely the direct opposite and exceeded my expectations.
LEE ZHAO’EN JOSHUA
Yes I felt that I achieved my objectives to a certain extent. I wanted to learn more about how technology affects the world and its subsequent change cause by it. The textbook was comprehensive but the presentations and discussions in class gave a greater meaning to what I’ve learnt. Prof also guided us as she shared her experience. All of us were “forced” to give at least 2 presentations but these helped us understand how successful people used technology to achieve victory in what they were doing. It is hard work, perseverence and determination that makes things work in these modern times. Strategic planning also helps. I was glad to have taken this class as it broadens my scope of how to be successful in these modern times. I’ve also worked well with my group and we have became close friends. That was one of my objectives and I’m glad to have achieved it.
CHAN KAREN JOANNE
I think to some extend I have acheive my objectives. I’ve had the opportunity to hear many views on different technologies, how they developed etc. Here and there, very sporadically, I have spoken up to air my view (maybe 3 times). But I think at the end of the day, I achieved something I didn’t think would be possible in this class. Because of the constant contact with each other at every class, within my own project group, I’ve formed good friendships. And even with other groups, even outside of class, there’s that recognition that we are classmates. Contrasting with some of the classes I’m taking where the students are also from all over, the forming of these friendships is a phenomena.
LEKSHIMI DEVI RAJASEGARAN
Before semester started, I was not very sure about what this course would be like. I had many different interpretations of TWC from my seniors but I was very curious to know what it was all about. That was the beginning of semester. Coming to the end of it, I look back upon all these weeks of lessons and realized that I have learnt so much about innovation and technology. For start, I am now able to distinguish between the different types of innovation (radical, incremental, architectural and modular) This provided me with the very basic knowledge of innovation. With each week’s lesson, I learnt more and more about technology and innovation. The theories of innovation were especially interesting to learn. These were topics where I started learning about the insights of technology and how it works. The class activities and mini-presentations we had were especially useful since these hands-on activities allowed us to do research on the spot to help emphasize the theories we have learnt. During the first week, I would say that one of my objectives would be to learn more about technology. Although ridiculous it may sound, I always felt that technology and innovation was not ‘my cup of tea’, in the sense that I did not really know much about it. The word ‘technology’ was used interchangeably with any other words, and I could not really define exactly what it was. This course allowed me to understand it’s definition and what it is really all about. I would say that during the start of the course, I was also hoping to know more about the success stories of innovators and technopreneurs. This was achieved during the course where we learnt about technical entrepreneurs and I even had the opportunity to research and present on Bill Gates as a technical entrepreneur. Class lessons were extremely interesting with Prof Pamela giving reasons behind her success. These were lessons which we can’t study from a textbook or revise elsewhere. Instead these were advice and experiential lessons which we were fortunate enough to listen to. I was also very interested in knowing the activities involved with innovation and how individuals and organisations manage innovation, particularly where financial aspects were concerned. I got to learn more about this when we did the chapter on Funding Innovation. It was interesting to know where most innovators sourced for funds. Funding is an extreme essential in any innovation, hence to know it’s importance is vital. I learnt that most innovators turn to friends and family first to fund their initial stages of innovation. It has also been a long-time desire to learn more about venture capitalists and business angels. These were terms frequently used by technopreneurs and innovators learning about how they work and how they fund innovations were of great interest. In all, there has been so much information I have learnt from this course and able to bring with me in future endeavours. I am glad that this course has allowed me to learn the insights to technology. In the final lesson where there were some presentations about innovations and technology plans, it impressed me as to how much my fellow mates and myself have learnt about technology. Their ideas left me in awe and also an interest to pursue my knowledge in technology and innovation as well.
I remembered that my first impression of “Technology & World Change” was that it is going to be quite a dry module which I will have difficulty relating to. Moreover, the word “Technology” does puts me off just a little as I am not a very IT savvy kind of person. But my perception has totally changed since. Due to the rush of school, I did not realized till the very last lesson that I have actually taken away quite a few learning points from our classes. The flashbacks all came at a rush… to think I know what innovation is about, the types, the process, the different theories and the funding process (although I am still quite unsure about terms like IPO and stuff)! I cannot help but feel a sense of satisfaction after all the work and effort that has been put in! Reflecting about my objectives set, I did not achieve all my objectives that I have initially set out to do and I am a bit ashamed to admit so. This is so as I had not made it a point to participate in class discussions like what I have mentioned in my 1st Weekly Journal. And it is quite unforgivable as I knew about this objective at the back of my mind all the time! The thing to say now is that… “I really need to start making a very conscious effort to speak up as communications does help to make one’s world go round.” This is once again really easier said than done. I guess I just lack some confidence in myself. So I will work on it and buck up. However, all is not lost. I found that my presentation skills did improve a little although I know that I still have lots to work on to achieve professional standard for the business world. To conclude, I am really glad that Prof. has been very willing to share her experiences as a Technopreneur and I hope that people will benefit from your classes as much as I had!
LI JINXUE PRISCILLA
In the beginning when I first started out this course, I wanted to be able to harness the lessons learnt in the classroom and use them to achieve success in the business world. I have yet to be able to make any money out of it but I feel that I have been able to apply some the lessons taught in class to the real world. A case to point would be that individual assignment that I have done. I am hardly a computer savvy person, and I definitely lack the business acumen to make it as an entrepreneur. Thus when I found out what the topic was, I was highly apprehensive as – like most of the things set out for us in this class, it seems like an extremely difficult task. However, as I set out to do it, I found out that it was not too difficult as I thought it would be. I believe the reason why writing it was actually manageable was the stuff I have learnt from Professor Lim. I’m not referring to the textbook syllabus; rather it is the life skills I have learnt from all her stories. One need not be disadvantaged if one does not possess prior technical knowledge. As mentioned in one of her stories, she decided to read up on programming as she wanted to make her job more efficient. Even though she didn’t know much before, she taught herself enough to totally automate her job thus making her obsolete. In the end she got promoted for her job well done. Hence, I knew that even though a task seems difficult, if one has the perseverance, one can succeed despite how disadvantaged one is, or perceives themselves to be. I do not know how well I did for it, but I’m proud that I could write an extremely viable business proposal. Even though it is too short a period to reach my long term objectives, I believe this course has been much more interesting than any modules I have taken. Being able to actually apply the things I have learnt is very satisfying. It validates that the effort I had put in was worth it. Also, I believe that this is the beginning of a long learning journey and I would be constantly remembering the things I have learnt in this class – both the hard and soft skills, and try to apply them. Ask me the same question in 10 years time. I hope I would be able to give a resounding ‘yes’.
LIM HWEE SIN TRACY
In the first lesson/journal, I was asked what I want to learn from this TWC class. At that point of time, I was very ignorant and blur as to what “Technology” and “World Change” is about, hence I wrote something about wanting to know what science and technology can bring about in our lives, as well as how to make good use of science and technology. However, as the term goes by, I realised that was a very narrow view. TWC lessons did not just focus on IT stuff or scientific stuff, it enabled me to understand the world better – in terms of how entrepreneurs come about, what problems they faced, how they solved them, how we can even become an entrepreneur in future etc; as well as understanding the actual difference between science and technology (because they are so oftem used together, many assumed that they are the same); and know more about innovations, in terms of how innovations came about, the theories behind them, what do most companies do, and also the very cool ideas that my classmates have came up with, for their individual presentations and today’s group presentation. Hence, I feel that I have underestimated my objectives right from the start, thus I have overachieved those objectives set up in the first lesson/journal, and learnt much, much more. I haven always thought that studying business in university, I will not touch on science topics anymore, as they are probably not relevant to business anyway. However, after all these lessons, I see that science and technology plays a major role in our everyday lives, hence greater relevance to business, especially for entrepreneurs. All the talks and discussions about funding, as well as Prof’s very own generous sharing of her experiences and thoughts, gave me insight to not just science and technology, but also the business framework as a whole. Overall, I have learnt much, much more than what I have expected!
I believe that I have achieved at least some of my objectives, if not all of them. Firstly, I wanted to understand how the world is changing with the implementation of technology and innovation. From the textbook and presentations, I am able to draw analogies of the real world to theories and models that had once upon a time look like 2-D things to me. I am able to realise how technology, in certain perspectives, impect humanity in history and the fickleness of technology change and acceptance of that change can result in the development of human race in differing paths. From all the discussions and forums within the class, I understood that I am already a part of the technological change within the world. The fact that I use and accept technology, be it in the form of consumer, industrial or educational technologies, means that I am contributing from the point of consumer demand-pull innovation motivational model. I am contributing to the change process by playing the receptive audience to the change, telling those innovators that I am willingly to accept good innovations and use them in my daily life. Thus, by being a part of their prospective market, I am telling the producers and innovators that they should innovate cause I am willingly to pay for a good innovation. Moreover, I have also learned that for me to further contribute, I can work towards a role of being a funder of technological innovation, since that portion of innovations is often the bottleneck for many good innovations through which they must pass to reach the consumer market. Being someone who hopes to become a part of the financial industry, I know that I am able to play a part in aiding innovators by being the one to provide the funds they need. This way, I can aid technology change and direct the way technology change towards something that I want in the future. Another of my objective is that I hope to participate in a lively forum within the class, with a thoughtful exchange of opinions and insights. In a certain way, I would say that I have achieved that, for most of the opinions and discussions in class is thoughtful and insightful. However, I find that at certain points, there are certain individuals that speak or argue their points for the sake of speaking and winning the arguments. This proves destructive instead of constructive for the class, as someone might harp and gripe over a certain point, impeding the progression of the discussion towards something that might prove to be more productive for all participating in it. Otherwise, the discussions are often lively and enjoyable, providing knowledge and entertainment to the intelligent mind.
ARLIANAWATI BINTE ABDUL RAHMAN
When I first came into class, I wanted to learn concepts and skills essential to picking out vital information on technology and world change. During the first class, I realised that I did not know of many technologies, except for the ones that are common around us. Having sat through the lessons, hearing group presentations and participating in class discussions, I was introduced to technologies that were once alien to me. Coupled with the theories that I have learnt, particularly the Kondratiev cycle and the theories of innovation, I found that I could roughly gauge the technologies that would occur in times to come(e.g the GPS parking system as discussed after Edmund’s presentation). However, I feel that such ability is not sufficient to develop the skill that I wanted to acquire, that skill has to be developed through extensive readings, observations and experience outside of the class. Therefore, what the class enabled me to do is to learn and discuss concepts on innovation to be applied to the real world, after which applications of the theories would help develop the skill to extract vital information on technology and world change. So this is really not the end of TWC.
LIM CHEE YONG
In the first journal, I said that I would like to learn more about technology and how innovation can affect society and of course myself. I also mentioned that I would like to hear from the Prof some lessons that she had while heading companies and her experiences in innovation. Well I think i achieved my goals and in fact got more than what I wrote. While I did learn more about innovation, I feel that a more important take home point was the experience shared by the entrepreneurs that were featured in the class and of course from the ‘small stories’ by you! From there, I managed to grasp a few key factors on how entrepreneurs succeed. 2 main points that are stuck in my mind is the need for some capital from within the family and more importantly, the willingness to get one’s neck on the chopping board. I must be honest and say that while I am indeed encouraged by these success stories, when I see people around me in SMU hardly caring about anything else other than their grades, I can’t help but feel ‘funny’. While they are able to talk about business plans and present quite convincing ideas, many seem to see them as just another project. There seems to me a gap between my current situation and taking the dip to entrepreneurship. Having said that, I would like to reassure you that I won’t give up without a fight! I think I am still quite young so a still have some years to explore possibilities. Hopefully I will be able to work with you in future or at least be able to tell you that my white hairs came from building my own business instead of from stress from a boss. 🙂 Thank you for your valuable lessons Prof, I sincerely appreciate it. Best Regards to you and your family.
LIM EU REN
I have learned many new things form this course and achieved many objectives that I have listed. The fact is that even before I learned about the technical knowledge I have learned many new things that weren’t practiced in other class before. Firstly, I learned how to work in a very fact and efficient manner as we need to work in small groups and also base on the time limit that is given to us we need to come up with the presentation fast enough. At first I have to admit that as a group we took a rather long time to come out with the presentation, but as time goes by we became increasing efficient. And that is when I unknowingly mastered the technique. Next the presentations also taught me a lot of public speaking. I learned from other people’s presentation skills and also identified what are the good points that I should learn from and what are the bad ones that I should avoid. Apart from that I also shed my coyness when it comes to presentation as a result as sometimes achieving a sense of humour in the process. In this class I also became more humble as I look at you Prof someone with such huge capabilities standing in front of me teaching me, it really humbled me a lot. I also realise there are so many things that I don’t know about from the class discussions and in the process I learned from other people’s ideas and also become more receptive to other people opinions. I also learn how to share my ideas with other people, this in turn is beneficial to me as well whenever I get rebutted that is when I knew my thinking was wrong. I have also achieved my objective by learning how to be more creative and think out of the box. Although I cannot say from this course that I have learned to be more creative, but indeed I have picked up many useful tips along the way. And these are things that cannot be learned through textbooks or any other forms of materials. Like what Prof u have mentioned, I believe that we must always learn to do what other people do not want to do, in this way we can really stand out from the crowd. To be able to try new things and to constantly learn to adapt, will then push one to greater heights hence will not put a limit to ones creativity and capability. In Prof’s example a marketer can always learn to do programming and it is all a matter of the mindset of the person. As long as one is determined enough I truly believe that nothing can be daunting for the person. I also understand that the world is constantly on a change and that Singapore may have performed well in the past yet neither is there evidence that it is going to do well in the future. And I think it is about time for Singaporeans to be jostled out of their comfort zone for it is time to bring out their creativity to make Singaporean gain back its competitive edge it once had. And this responsibility is no longer in the hands of the government but in the hands of its people. With widespread of education in the region, the valuation of a degree has since diminished hence it is one creativity that will make a difference to one’s life. And this course that has made me understands how one needs to be different to stand out from the crowd and truly understand the meaning to world change. I have also learned about how does innovation came about and also how to make full use of the innovation. Most importantly I have also learned new things about innovations and also how to make use of the various funding that are available to me and how can I exploit them. I have also learned many IT stuff that I am oblivious to in the past. On top of that I have also understood how painstaking it is to come up with a truly good innovation and the process of commercialising it. Hence I understood that one needs to preserve to be a truly successful innovator. I also learned about how devious the road is for an entrepreneur in a cat and dog world. In conclusion, I think that the class can better improved if those that speak up less in class get a chance to speak up and give their valuable insights to the class. This is because most of them that often speak up, they do it for the sake of class participation, and those that are timid in nature to do so will never get a chance to. There can also be a discussion thread for those that do not want to speak up in class then there is a forum in vista for them to post their ideas and also to give comments so as to gain participation, currently there are many Profs that are doing so. I also feel that the class can be made more interesting by going to some CEO seminar talks often held by the school and a topic of the journal can be on that matter as well. All in all I think that a class with all my peers presenting is definitely better than a class with a professor giving boring lectures.
CHAN PEI WEN HILDA
Having gone through 13 weeks of classes, I don’t think I have achieved the objectives I set up in the first week. I thought I would learn more about the effects of technology on the development of a society and look at the problems posed by technology in the world today. However, through out the weeks, I learnt the technical aspects of developing a product, from an invention, to funding, to bringing the product out into the market. This is significantly different from what I expected to learn. Personally, I feel the content of the course was more suitable for individuals who are interested in eventually becoming entrepreneurs or technopreneurs. The knowledge learnt would greatly assist such individuals from the beginning to the end of the entrepreneur/technopreneur journey. Having said that, the last 13 weeks have still provided new insight and knowledge. Although I have not learnt the things that I sought out to learn, I have walked away with a vast array of interesting facts. It was enlightening to learn about the development of technology and the application of technological theories in various companies and businesses. All these were brought to life by the projects based on real life examples. The fact that our instructor comes from within the industry also added value to the class with her observations and experience that one would never learn from textbooks alone.
LIM HUI YING
Personally, I feel that I did achieve my first objective of learning more thing of technology. I did learn a lot on technology concepts like the different type of innovation, the technology S curve, the source of innovation, process of innovation etc. These are concepts that I never come across before I took up this course. Although I can’t said that I had master all the technology concepts but I am very sure that the next time when people talks about technology I can understand better than before taking this course. In addition, I feel that this week presentation was a very insightful, is only through the presentation I knew how what is IP address and how wireless can actually be connected to a phone. Before this week lesson, I totally unaware that there is actually a modem installed in our seminar room, how our laptops are connected to the wireless and what the different between hot spot and access point. These are stuff that I never came across before the group presentation. Hence, I indeed have achieved my first objective of learning more about technology. As for my second objective to improve my presentation and writing skills, perhaps I still need more practice. I am a very number person, hence I find presentation and writing report a very challenging task compare to many of my other peers. For the past two TWC presentations, I really put in a lot of effort to keep practicing and practicing my speech over and over again for a few hours the day before. But whenever I stand in front of the class, I will start to fumbler and forget what I want to say. As a result, I can’t get my point across to the audience. Hence, I think I still need to brush up on my English language first before I can improve my presentation as well as writing skills. However, I feel that the weekly journal did help a lot, as it provides me an opportunity to practice my writing skills every week. This is the only course that requires me to write weekly journal but I really very appreciate it as the only way for me to improve my writing skills is to write more. There is no short cut in mastering presentation and writing skills, hence to improve, I really need to spend some time during the holiday to practice. As for my last objective of being able to think on the spot, I feel that I only achieved it partially. This is because, I think I did contribute to the group discussion in term of the research materials and my view of the topic assigned. However, I feel that there is room for improvement, as sometime my view of the topic is quite off from the others hence I feel that there is a need to improve on my analytical skills. I did learn a lot of other stuffs beside technology. I still remember what u told us before the lesson ended. You said that to excel we need to do things that other people don’t want to do, never afraid to face challenges and always try to put in more effort than our peers. I feel that is very true if we really want to be successful. Hence, I would try to view challengers in a different way in the future. Lastly, thank you for your patient guidance for the past 13 weeks, we really appreciate it. =)
CHAN HWEE XIAN
I think I have only achieved my objectives set in the first journal to a certain extent. I wish I could have participate more for the discussions held in class and make my views heard. One example would be when the professor has asked about our views on the difference between working and studying at the last lesson. I felt that there is a great difference as I had worked for 3 years before finally deciding on coming back to study. I think that when you are working, you have to be really flexible, learn to be humble and accept the fact that you have to learn from your mistakes and even learn from experienced personnel of lower positions. However when you are studying, you know that there are friends and even professors who are there to help you in your work and that you will always be given a chance to improve yourself and is allowed to make stupid mistakes. However, on the whole, I think I have really learnt a lot from the lessons and I want to put what I learnt to greater use. In the beginning I thought that there is nothing much to study about technology and did not see much importance in learning about how it influence the world as I felt that I will not be doing any job of much relevance with technology. Thereafter, I realised that there is actually a lot of things to learn from the life lessons discussed during the classes. Examples of life lessons learnt would be the technical entrepreneur (Charles Goodyear) that we presented on, the life story of our very own professor and also the inspiring talk by the guest speaker at the last lesson who made me see the importance of planning ahead and even help me to finally choose the majors which I felt were right for me. I think I did become a more sensible person through this course and I think that my ultimate objective to learn something to take along with me for my future is definitely achieved in this sense.
LEE ZHAO MING KELVIN
Looking back at my first journal, I was aiming to learn something out of this course. At the beginning, i believe that this course is just going to be telling me about innovation theories. However, I got alot more than i expected. It all started from the wireless presentation and the ball started rolling. From here, my group got an insight of how it is like to build a business. The requirements and contacts. Its like project management except that we are applying our raw skills that we learnt in school to the real life business. We are able to apply the theories and the funding options that are available out in Singapore. Other things include the incorporation of companies. Another thing is I got to noe of Zhuang and Fish who give me a expanded view of the business world. I guess this is a very fruitful course. I Guess Technology and world change my perception of how technology change the world and what are the root causes and process that leads to a success or failure. I will say I achieved 1000% of ROI as compared then when i started the course.
LENG LEE SENG MELVIN
I would think that i have achieved most of my objectives as set out during the first journal. I have learnt not only about he theories of innovation, but also how it is possible for each and everyone of us to innovate. Innovation might not necessarily result in huge successes such as that of ‘Google’ or ‘Youtube’, on the contrary, it could be as simple as an improvement in our everyday life which could benefit us and probably people around us. Besides innovation, i have also learnt much about entrepreneurship through the projects, presentations and also from our lecturer’s personal experiences. Through our second project, i had the opportunity to interact with a fellow student entrepreneur, who gave me alot of insight about entrepreneurship which i felt was very valuable. Neverthless, there is limit to what we can learn in the classroom, and i believe that personal experience is the best form of learning. The road to innovation and entrepreneurship can be simple, but yet long and ardous. It is through life lessons, that we would continue to learn and experience more about technology, innovation and world change.
LIM FANG TING MICHELLE
Before I started this class, I had quite a few aims I wanted to achieve. Well I achieved some and failed in others. One thing that I did not manage to do was to speak up more in class. I did speak up once in a blue moon but what I aimed to do was to speak up at least once in class. This was one aspect that I failed to achieve. At first, I thought weekly journals were a waste of time and cumbersome. However, I realized that documenting what I have learnt every week made me reflect on what we have done. Very soon, the weekly journals became a learning experience on its own as I was able to put my thoughts into words. Another objective I came up with was to gain practical knowledge from this course. In this aspect I did fulfill it; the relevant experiences that the professor related to us were very real and close to our hearts. These experiences cannot be found in textbooks or the newspapers yet happen to everyone who tries to be an entrepreneur. In the modules that I have attended so far in SMU, this is one of the rare classes that actually teach us real life knowledge, most are just theories from the textbook. Lastly, I came to this class not knowing a single soul, yet leaving with a couple of close forged friendships, and this I am thankful for.
LIM HUILING REBECCA
Recalling what I wrote in my weekly journal in week 1, I mentioned that I wanted to learn how technology was like in third world countries I also wanted to learn useful lessons from people or even from corporations so that I can apply them when i step into the working world. Throughout these 13 weeks of TWC class, I have really learnt a lot. Not just theories like the much talked about Technology S-curve but also lessons from fellow classmates who are aspiring entrepreneurs and I am especially inspired by Prof Lim (truly I am). My objectives have been met in class through lectures, presentations and through the guest speakers as well. Although as Bill Gates state that we can never know everything about technology because it is so ever-changing, I believe that in order to fully grasp technology and world change, I have to be kept up to date with the latest technologies and world news. This class is a stepping stone in helping me understand financial and technology stages in the world today. It has helped me to appear smart too! (Being able to ramble theories when my friends and I discuss world and economic issues is really satisfying haha!) I will always remember what she said to us at the end of today’s class. “It does not matter what your starting pay is. As long as you have the passion you will make it one day.” And this really meant a lot to me as I am currently working. My job may have nothing to do with technology and world change but the things that Prof Lim taught, her stories she shared, really inspired me to work hard and not to give up. If there’s one thing I learnt from the class that I think is most valuable, it would be that. I succumb to the fact that technology is not something I can fully grasp and thus to be able to survive in the working world in future, I would just have to be passionate throughout and I am sure I will see the results of my hard work. This class has really defined my philosophy in life which is “As long as you work hard and believe in yourself, people will see it and believe in you too and then you can carry on and make something out of yourself.” So in conclusion, I have met all my objectives that i set out in week 1—and more. Thank you Prof Lim and I wish you all the best. You have indeed been a blessing to me and I’m sure you have too to the rest of the class. Thanks (:
KOH JIAYUAN RYAN
Looking back on this module, I think that I have gained significant insight into the part technology has to play in the world today and the tremendous impacts it has on the society it affects. When I first started this module, the attitude set out was that of one resigned to his fate, since this module was pre-assigned by the university. Though this should not have been the case, this was both a reality and a fact. The objective I set for myself was to score a decent grade in this module, and hopefully in the process, gain some insights and valuable knowledge about technology. As the weeks of this module went on, much of what was taught was related to the theory of innovation; its sources, how it came about, what its definition was, etc. Though I didn’t really have background or interest in the area of technology, I felt that the lessons carried out were interesting and insightful, especially the personal experiences that the Prof dished out to cite real life examples. Having gone through all the entire syllabus and concluded the module today (with the exception of the exam of course), I feel that I am more knowledgeable in what is required of a person in order for him to be a successful technological entrepreneur, both of himself and of his environment. 2 important learning points I picked up during the module was firstly, on an individual level, what is required of them. The 2 presentations that my group presented on dealt with highly successful entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Researching on the them and finding out how they came to be successful, it is indeed no easy task. The second important point would be the level of impact technology has on the world. Looking at the world today, technology is what drives it forward. It is the evolution and development and development of it that shapes the world we live in today. In a nutshell, it dictates the way we live. To conclude, I feel that this module in SMU has been overall, a beneficial one, as the theories and ideas taught to me will help me in my future, be it in work or personal life.
LEK ZHI LIN VALERIE
Frankly speaking, I don’t really remember what my objectives were in my first journal. And I can’t even seem to be able to reconfirm what that was. Apparently, I had submitted my first journal, but somehow, the journal entry was not reflected in Vista. What I do remember, however, was that I wanted to be able to learn and appreciate the essence of technology and innovation. I wanted the opportunity to see all these issues – that were always termed “bland” and “boring” in my dictionary. I wanted a chance to rediscover technology and challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and immerse myself in more “obscure” work. After 12 weeks of class discussions, presentations and writing journals, I feel that my knowledge of technological issues has deepened. I feel that I’ve learnt a lot from my classmates and project group mates. They have taught me in more ways than one such as learning how to take an objective view on different themes and issues, team dynamics, etc. I do admit that I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t really get to appreciate what technology was as I had initially wanted to. I wanted to see technology in a different light and not just label it as yet another technical term. In addition, I wanted to be more vocal in class and participate regularly. I guess the reason why I failed to do so was that I was a little afraid of speaking up, when everyone else was already moving on to talk about the future innovations that could possibly occur and I was still stuck on questions such as who the founders of Apple and Ipod were. I feel a tinge of regret that I have not contributed as much as I would have wanted to to the class by reading more articles on such issues and sharing my opinions of them with my classmates. Some of my other objectives include learning from my classmates, which I felt I did. However, I feel I could have learnt more if I had participated more consistently in class. I also wanted to learn more about communication skills i.e. communicating mroe effectively in a group. I feel that I was given a significant opportunity to do so, and there were times when I rose to the occasion to ask our two foreign students for their most valued opinions in view of our discussions. I not only had the chance to interact with foreign students and practise my communication skills, but also the added benefit of learning about their way of life and their culture and tradition. Thus, I feel that in a way, I have achieved more than what my objectives were in the first place with regards to this matter. Not only have I learnt concepts taught in the classroom, but I ‘ve also picked up some life skills outside the classroom from my project group mates and received some insights and an upclose preview of life outside my home country. Also, as my group members all had very differing and I would say, to a certain extent, radical personalities, it was rather interesting for us to work on a project together. Just like how the innovator has to find the most efficient way to commercialise his product, we had to think of the most effective way to put our differences aside and work on our project. Knowledge does, indeed, transcends all boundaries. It is in these aspects that I feel that though I might not have achieved all my objectives e.g. being more vocal in class, I feel that I have indeed learnt a substantial amount in and out of class from my peers. And I am thankful for that.
Looking back, I must say that I have, to a certain extent, achieved my objectives. i.e. gaining a broader view of the nuances of technology and how it affects the way we live. In addition, I’ve gained so much more throughout the course of this module. This module gave me the impetus to harness new technology and try to do something new. Opportunities such as this i.e. learning about the theories of innovation etc don’t come often, especially in my course of study.Also, I felt this module is a good platform for all of us to dream and do something different. Most, if not, all changes in our world today involve technology at one step or another and thus, after learning more about these the theories and issues, it wasn’t difficult to reach the decisions that I’ve made.
LEE YONG HUAT
I still remember during my first class, I was very impressed by the profile of my professor; her life journey in her earlier years and the awards she has won for herself signifies a successful individual, not forgetting the fact that she is also a mother of five. She is the first I met who apparently managed to do so and hence I find it very admirable. My objective is to be as successful as her, hoping to be someone like her in the future. But it is always easier said then done. For every successful person, how many others have failed and give up their dreams. Many believe that it is always so hard to be a successful entrepreneur. However, what Professor spoke of today made me feel that it is not true and she believes that everyone will become successful one day, it is just a matter of time where some of us may be lucky and have the right opportunity but some need to work extra hard to achieve it. I also remember that she said that she will always work harder than others. For example, if one needs an hour to do his or her work, she will spend ten hours more to ensure that the work is done perfectly. This is a spirit that I admired and I hope this is something that I can learn from her. After going through thirteen weeks of the course, I have learnt and pick up different skills such as determination, leadership, responsibilities, team management and having the mentality of willing to take risk, be persevering and never giving up on your goals. I believe that these skills that I have acquired will eventually help me to achieve my goals and be a successful entrepreneur. In the near future, I hope that I could explore all my ideas, ideas that are as crazy as possible, which I will never know when that crazy idea of mine will make it big in the market. We should never restrict our thoughts and should always look at things from all angles, for this is the first step to success. There are no boundaries towards being innovative. I can actually just take a few items which were already present in the market and combine them to engage everyone interests. When everyone starts using it, I will become a successful innovator. Although I am not able to be one now, I know one day I will definitely be one.
LIEW CHEN FUI
Objective I set at the beginning of the lesson: Know how to overcome limited resource (Money and technique skill). Know more what difficulty a starting up company would face. Know more about of innovation. Thought out all this lessons, I have learnt a lot. I get to know more about source of funds available to start up business. Before this I only know taking funds from family, friends, loan from bank and government grant are the only option available. Now I learnt that there is something like venture capitalist and business angel. And I learnt that if I not capable or able to launch my idea, I can choose to license, sell the idea or joint venture with the right partner. Knowing more about the innovation. I get to learn that idea need not be new and still can introduce successfully in the market. It is not always truth that First mover approach will not confirm the success of the business, because of high R & D cost, time consuming to research. While the follower (company) often has chance to overtake the first mover company. The only thing I did not achieve is that understand more about starting up a business. In the lessons my prof did share her own experience with us. However I feel that the best thing for me is really hand. Overall, I gain a lot in the course. I start to think of opportunity around me. I start to take note down every idea that came to my mind and I hope to have opportunity to implement it.
BOON HUI FEI
I glad and proud to say that I had achieved my objectives that I hope to gain from TWC. I am now capable to illustrate and explain the various aspects of technology, invention and innovation to anyone who wish to know more about them. I can effectively and efficiently describe the steps involved in undertaking innovation and the factors that can cause innovations to fail. I have a clearer idea of the types of innovation and able to analyze the impact of innovation on human behavior, business activity and society. I had experienced the difficulties to invent and innovate through doing the individual assignment and truly appreciate the innovators’ efforts and creativity. In the past, I hardly appreciate the importance of innovation for business and the nation economy. It is not easy to think out of the box, innovators need to have certain positive traits to be successful. Thus I value the rationale behind the various rights associated with Intellectual Property more. Throughout the course, the class discussions and presentations indeed allowed me to gain knowledge outside the textbook which I feel that it is very practical and beneficial for me. After this few months of presenting, writing journals and discussions, my presentation and writing skills certainly improved. I believe that “practice makes prefect” is the main reason that I made improvements in writing and communicating. The part I enjoyed most in the lessons was able to hear Professor Pamela real life experiences of being a technological entrepreneur. It is very inspiring and enlightening to gain valuable information and advice from her. Especially for a married woman, it is never easy to balance family and career. I motivated to be someone like her in future. Of course, I am sometime quite upset because due to the high weightage on class participation, some people in the class do not give other people chance to speak up to share their views. Some of the people might have valuable inputs to contribute but because of the competitive environment it discouraged people who need more time to articulate their views to speak up. I feel that everyone should have equal opportunity to share knowledge. All in all, I am glad to undertake TWC, as it had enlightened me on many aspects of innovation and changed my perceptive of being an innovator. I appreciate having guests speakers during class as it motivate me to seek greater success. I gained more insights of the impact of technology to the society at large. I hope to apply the knowledge I gained from TWC to my work in future. I have the capability to put my innovation and with the combination of the technology to a good use.
AU HUI ZHEN
Throughout the 13 weeks, I felt that I had achieved the objectives that I had set in the first lesson. Firstly, I had understood the rationale and facts of what it takes to be a technical entrepreneur. However, I also realized been decisive and adventurous at times will lead you to an unexpected result. Consider that you had the ideas and the resources to start up your company. However, there are might be some external factors that are beyond our control. Given that there is, a possibility that the movement of the technology are so fast that sometimes other people are acting even faster than you can imagine. Therefore, if there happen to be a chance and opportunity, then I will have to be decisive and take up the challenge. Thought it might involve many uncertain risks, however, I think it is worthwhile to try. Given that now we are at the premium phrase of our life, this is the best period for us to withstand and take up any risky tasks. Although the process of been a technical entrepreneur would not a smooth sailing path, and there are high possibilities that we might even failed for quite many times before we could even succeed. However, as long as we could persevere, learn from our mistakes while waiting patiently for the next venture ideas, who know we might be able to succeed. Just like developing an innovation, that required engineers patient testing in order to develop a product that are what the market will demand. This is a long and tedious journey. However, it could also be a fruitful and adventurous journey, as I believe that every failure that you encountered during the process to be a technical entrepreneur, it gives you the edge of understanding the market and technology better. Moreover, you also get to understand the strength and weakness of ourselves. This kind of knowledge is not obtainable through any books and study but a person’s experience. However, that does not imply that we do not need to study and understand the market and technology. In whole, knowledge like a stepping-stone that allow us to understanding markets and technology and searching of new ideas, while experience is the results of testing our ideas with our knowledge in the markets and technology. Therefore, both are essentially important.
MAUNG SI THU HTEIK AUNG
To be truthful, the lessons that I learnt and the thing that I get to do and face are totally different. So I feel that the objectives I set up in the first lesson will not be a true reflection as all. But I am sure what I have gotten over past a few months is sure much better than my objectives! Truthfully (not sucking-up), I enjoy coming to TWC lessons. Besides learning about entrepenuership and technology, I feel that I also learn life skills! I find the latter very percious and can’t be gotten from any book. I feel a loss by not being able to attend all of TWC lessons. In term of my objectives, I feel more at ease to share my thoughts now. Moreover, I am able to string my thoughts and express them better. I think this improvement is mostly due to TWC class. Only this class, the environment is opened for constructive discussion and the groups presenting also take the questions seriously and not in condesending manner. I feel that this spurs me to speak. In term of presentation, I don’t feel like I am being graded. I felt like I am sharing my knowledge with the class. Maybe, I am able to take this attitude because everyone in class is doing presentation to teach the class something new. Maybe, that is the attitude that I should have in presentations! What I get beyond my objectives and things that make me grow as a person. Well, this will be about entreprenuership and the snippets of prof’s personal life stories. I feel that what I can do, achieve or able to achieve is all upto me. Passion and commitment are most important things in life. If I want to be entrepreneur, it is upto me to try hard to meet the challenges. I should not despair easy and give up. The another reality of life that will stick with me after this class is, “What have I got to give to you?” I feel that this is very true. There are many people out there in world. How am I differ from them and how am I better than them! These two questions are I feel self-checking questions to see if I am doing enough to impact the people around and lead my life in purpose. The another reality is who am I to be given a special treatment! I feel that hard work is very essence in success. I must prove my worth and my abilities to people, then will I be recognised! I feel that I am bale to strategise and map out my life better after learning these in class. Moreover, I feel more motivated to work hard than before. I come to realise and experience that human spirit is the most important factor in life. However, I have one regret. That is I was not able reach out to my group mates. I feel that they misunderstood my intentions. I should have handled with more care. So I am still not good at PR. They thought I was aggressive and not working with them. Matter of fact, I want to help them do what they want. So I have to still work on this aspect to relate better with people. Overall, I feel that I learnt a lot from this class. After this class, I know the important of planning, holding onto dreams, not to give up and work hard. And the rest will comes naturally.
CHAI YI XUAN
TWC was definitely an eye opener as it has widen my knowledge in terms of technological terms, issues and current technology affairs. I remembered being somehow inadequate when it comes to technology related conversations in the past, but now i somehow have been able to blend in such conversations and give my own two cents worth. I would not say that i feeltotally comfortable talking about technology issues as i do understand that attaining a level where i can hold intellectual technology related conversations at ease will require alot more reading and exploring on my own. I believe i am definitely more interested in technology related issues right now as i finally see its usefulness and how i can actually tap on it. Technology does not appear as intimidating as before; in fact, i think the course has really curbed such techno-phobic tendencies within me. In addition, i thought the individual assignment on inventing/innovating a new product has also allowed me to uncover my technoprenurial side; which spurred me to believe that going entreprenurial is a potential career path i can actually explore. All in all, i would say that i did achieve my own personal objectives set up in the first journal but there is room for improvement. For instance, being more vocal enough to share my experience and opinions with my fellow classmates. I guess that would be one aspect i will have to work on as i still find it hard to speak up; especially in an environment where many of my classmates are actually more well informed in this area than i am.
LEE JOYCE ABIGAIL CHUA
During my first journal, I made a list of goals in which I hope to achieve by the end of the term. Although ideal as these goals may be, I believe that I was able to somehow achieve them, one way or the other. Technology and World Change has indeed changed the way I view the world today. Before, I took technology for granted and viewed it as something which comes naturally in life. I never thought beyond the surface, all the effort, determination, sweat and blood these entrepreneurs had put into their projects. I merely saw the fame and glory that it brought to them after years or even decades of hard work. Today, I made a realization that innovation is not possible without perseverance. I mentioned before during my first journal that: “In this course, I hope to learn more about our ever-changing society, and what role I must play in order to foster greater advancement for mankind.” Through the help of my group mates and professor, we chose an alternative way to take the course. By taking on this special project, I was able to learn a lot of things, and expand my knowledge and horizon on things I before never even considered. Even though we lack the technical background and expertise in this venture, we were able to work together and share our knowledge with one another. This was an eye opening experience for me, and I was able to grow and develop as a person. I believe that I was able to achieve the objectives I set up for myself during the first lesson. I was able to learn more about innovation and have developed a greater appreciation for it. Today, I believe that I have gone through a transformation as a person through this course. I became more inspired about being an entrepreneur, exploring the technology we have today, and hope to make a difference in the world tomorrow.
BRIGETTE CECILE NGO GARCIA
Admittedly, I had entered the Technology and World Change module with much skepticism of what I will be able to learn. Being part of a modern society that is continuously exposed to rapid technological advancements, I felt that the class would just be a mere reiteration of what I already knew. After a thorough retrospective examination of all my experiences during the term however, I am impressed at how much the course has helped me attain all the objectives I had initially set out for myself. Though the statement may sound so trite, the Technology and World Change course has indeed ‘made a difference’ in me. The first day of the term presented me with quite a challenge. My unexpected mental block out at the beginning of term led me to question my ability to cope with all the demands this course may bring. Fortunately, I had very supportive teammates who had inspired me to rebound from my setback. Together, we set objectives to be a high performing group with members who make deliberate efforts to learn much from the course material, seek to discover their own latent potentials as well as each other’s and strive to attain the highest quality of oral and written work. Throughout the semester, I constantly strove to achieve the aforementioned objectives to the best of my abilities. For instance, I conscientiously read all the chapter readings and relevant material posted beforehand on SMUVISTA in order to keep pace with the lessons and make better use of the class discussions. Moreover, I aimed to actively to volunteer answers to the ‘lollipop question’ sessions, comment on my classmates presentations as well as contribute to class discussions. As a result these efforts to learn much from the course material and from my peers, I now understand the complex impact of technology on the economy, our culture and the environment, and I am able to form well-substantiated stances on the probable role of technology in the future. While the group presentation and the individual assignment were the most challenging components of the module, I feel that my deliberate efforts to excel in them accounts most greatly for the growth in me. The research, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills they have equipped me with now allows me better handle the demands of articulating my ideas in both in written form and orally in front of large crowds. Most importantly, I am impressed at all I had been able to learn about myself and my team members during the term. I am particularly happy to discover that I, as well as a few of my group mates, have the qualities of a potential technical entrepreneur such as adaptability, resourcefulness, risk-tolerance and a drive for achievement. While I learned that we presently do not have the other technical entrepreneurial qualities such as technological background and superior networking capabilities, we can take proper action to hone these talents to the fullest. In closing, while the Technology and World Change module was oftentimes stressful, it was extremely enjoyable and rewarding. Indisputably, many of us will look back at it in gratitude in the future when we become successful technical entrepreneurs.
Yes, I think I have achieved the objectives that I set in the beginning. Recall my first weekly journal, my objectives are firstly appreciating how technology development and innovation change the world and trying to think innovatively to create something that may become a revolutionary invention. I think during the process of doing my individual assignment, I have done plenty of research as well as thinking in order to come up with something really impressive. And I really enjoy it. And after invention, I set my next goal which is learning more about the innovation process to know more about the commercialization of the invention and hopefully having a chance to practice. During the class, I think I enjoy every minute of it. The whole concept to me is totally new, that’s why I have learned so much about innovation strategy, technology entrepreneur, funding innovation and so on. Although I may not have the chance to do them myself, I feel I really have fun in learning. I believe this course will be one of most important lesson I have been taught in my life.
LIEW CHIEW FANG
“I hope to gain some knowledge on how the technology could help in the business world. First of all, I would like to find out to what extend will a person lose out if he/she is not very good with the technology. Also, I would like to know learn more about the ways to keep up with the technology. I plan to read up more about technology on the news and magazines articles (maybe I could borrow some technological magazines from my brother). I also hope I could learn from my class mates and team mates on this topic.” The above two paragraphs was what I wrote in my first journal. I strongly believe that I did achieve what I wanted during the first lesson. In addition, I think I have gained more than what I expected from this module. First of all, I learnt about the criteria to become an entrepreneur. One of the more useful things that I have learnt from this module is from group presentations, especially those presentations with guest speaker, where the guest speaker shared their real life experiences. On top of that, I am glad that Prof was willing to share her life experience with us in the class. Personally, Prof’s experience sharing session was the part where I liked it the most during lesson. Even though I did not have any questions for her, I still enjoyed listening to her life experiences. I think it did influence me in one way or another. Lastly, I learnt a lot from my fellow classmates. Many of them has shown great interests in becoming an entrepreneur, which made me realize that it will not going to be easy in becoming an entrepreneur because there are so many people out there that are working hard to become a successful entrepreneur. However, I have also seen many successful entrepreneurs from this module, which made me realize that nothing is impossible. In conclusion, if one wants to become successful, one needs to have the “never say die” attitude. On the whole, I truly believe that this module taught by Prof. Pamela Lim is truly a rewarding one. Most of the things I learnt from this module were not from the textbook, they were real working world experiences. I might not be able to score well in this module, however I have gained something more than getting an A grade.
As it is coming to the end of the semester, I look back what I have done and compare them with what I expected to achieve at the beginning of the semester. I feel that up to now I have a better understanding of various aspects of innovation. I read the textbook, reading materials and so on, I worked with my group mates to carry our projects out, I wrote weekly journal to have a better idea of what I have learnt, I listen to other classmates’ presentations to understand the theory better. However I feel that I should have engaged in the classes more in terms of speak up during classes. I guess my participation marks are quite low because I did not talk a lot during the classes. Sometimes others just spoke up before me, and the point they said were the ones I was just thinking about. I feel that I should read more stuff so that I can have some unique ideas or opinions. I learnt a lot from this course (classmates, professor, textbook, etc). I feel I will benefit from what I learnt in the course in the future even if I am not a technoentrepreneur.
MARIE-HELENE DE COCK
I think I have achieved my first objective: asking more questions. I think that I have definitely asked questions when the topic interested me or when I needed further explanation on whatever was discussed. I hope that my interaction with the Singaporean students in this class was of a good level, it is difficult to asses oneself on this, but I really hope that I did well. I have also gained a greater knowledge of the existing technologies out there because before this class I was not really interested in finding out the newest of technologies and there possibilities. I was really happy to work on the individual assignment because it gave the opportunity to be creative and to use what we learned in class with a good dose of common sense. Today I was also very impressed by what the group presenting achieved. I was amazed by their eloquence and the knowledge that they were able to master on the subject. They were able to stand through the fire of questions with grace. I think that will be my next objective: to be able to give a presentation the way they did. It was also very interesting to hear from your personal experiences. You have an ease of telling your experiences without sounding condescending, because you really want us to learn from them. By this I say thank you, thank you for taking time to teach students this valuable class.
CHAN MENG FAI
Upon completing my final session of TWC, I have gained a lot of insight in the fields of product innovation and entrepreneurship. More importantly, it was by a coincidence that the speaker the last group had introduced to talk to us was from a field that I had passion about: telecommunications! He was able to deliver a concept which was able to guide would-be entrepreneurs into the first steps of entrepreneurship, which I felt was useful. Throughout the weeks, I was glad that Pamela has shared with everyone her ups and downs and the sacrifices that had to be made, because this was crucial in weighing my own situation in deciding how much of an entrepreneur or employee I wanted to be, and if an entrepreneur, how much of a risk taker I would be. It helped that she was very kind to share parts of her personal life, just as it would affect all of ours, to understand what was necessary to succeed. I was able to take most of the theory lessons away as knowledge in the ‘would-be’ process; that is knowledge I would require in the course of being an entrepreneur. What was shared throughout the classes was what I deemed to be more important as it prepared me of a list of things to come should I choose the first step. The TWC sessions have enabled me to achieve my objectives of learning the knowledge I sought for. Given the time I have here in SMU, as well as the business incubators SMU have generated, I hope to gain experience from there with the knowledge gained, before stepping into the real world.
BOGTSTRA JAN FRANCIS
When I first attended class and thought about what I wanted to achieve, my answer was very skewed. My impression of the course was one that thought us theory and how to apply it. Hence my objectives were to be able to understand and apply this theory in the business world and thereby become a smarter, more understanding businessman. One who could easily carry on a conversation about technology with buyers, colleagues and superiors alike. On reflection I can say that I HAVE learnt a lot. I have begun to understand the fast pace of technological change and its impact on business; to remain competitive one has to always be on the ball and ready to change with times. My thirst for knowledge really helped me learn about business right from the conception of an idea to its commercialisation. I learnt about many factors that could come into play right along this cycle and the journals always helped me home in my skills. So I can safely say that my primary objectives were met. However the course was a pleasant surprise as it thought me even more. It may seem hard to believe, but the course helped me understand myself better as a businessman as it was hands-on and very interactive. I realised things I wanted to achieve and do in life and how I could tie in what I learnt in class as well. I learnt that knowledge is not everything, especially in a world where it gets outdated fast. It is what you do, how you do it and how hard working and focused you are that is important. In addition, AWARENESS is very important and being aware of what I learnt in class and out of it was very important in shaping my thoughts. Overall I learnt a lot and have achieved maximum benefit out of the course.
CHAN WEI REN DAVID
In my first journal my objectives were to learn more about the process of innovation, and to learn to apply such knowledge practically and look at things in a much broader perspective. I believe i know much more now about the innovation process, through case studies, theories and the many presentations we had. With regards to looking at things from a broader, more creative perspective, it is hard to change ingrained attitudes, but i believe this course has helped me progress in this aspect, and while i may not be ready to become an entrepreneur myself, i am able to analyse and appreciate the various attempts at innovation by friends or in news reports.
LEE HUI LIN EILEEN
I dare say that my journey through TWC was a fruitful one. I am not sure what exactly my objectives were but if I am not mistaken the main 3 objectives are to widen my scope of general knowledge, especially in the technology aspect, to learn to apply concepts to practical uses and to work efficient as a group. The question is whether I have met them in this course. I strongly agree that this course widened my scope of general knowledge. First of all, we were broken into groups to engage in discussion of a certain topic. Then, we shared out views and findings with the class. These discussions made us read up on relevant issues and inevitably, I absorbed information and kept it safely as knowledge. In addition, the sharing of findings and opinions exposed me more relevant information, information I never knew. I felt that it was easier to broaden my horizon this way as it was more effective because it was interactive. I found it fun to exchange views and best of all, everything was done in a light hearted manner. I suppose it was partly because I am quite an animated person in nature and books really bore me at times. Thus, information from such interaction is definitely more effective for me. The next objective met was to apply concepts to practical uses. Well, we did not really get to do a project that required us to build anything or innovate anything tangible. However, I would still consider that I was able to apply concepts into practicability. How so? Simple, it was through my individual assignment. Although my assignment was not the best, I felt that I have applied concepts well enough. The assignment required me to come up with my own innovation to help an industry or business. Prior to that assignment, in one of my journals, I did mention that I did not think I was cut out to be an innovator. During the course of completing my assignment, I started to give it a second thought. I saw being able to apply concepts thought in class, like pilot testing and designing, to my proposed innovation which was to use RFID to create a highway warning system for vehicles. Besides the theoretical concepts, I had to apply technological concepts, like the concept of RFID in my case, for the assignment. I enjoyed doing the assignment and completing it gave me a sense of satisfaction as I actually came up with an innovation (however lousy it may be)! Hence, I felt that even though we did not get to really go hands on to make an innovation, I did apply concepts to a large extent. My last objective is to work efficiently as a group. Although the course was not meant to nurture us to be efficient group workers, the syllabus set out to us inevitably helped do so. We were pre-assigned groups to do projects and do in-class discussions. For in-class discussions, there was limited time to do our research but yet we had to. This meant that we just had to be efficient to keep up. Lack of time was not an excuse because everyone was given the same amount of time. To me, this was a very good exercise. In the real world, time really waits for no man. What more do we say in the world of technology? The pace of technological development is so rapid that there is really hardly to for technological innovators to breathe. In my context, it means before I could finish my games in PS2, PS3 is already out in the market. Hence, working efficiently is really important and I am thankful that I was given a chance to improve in this aspect, especially since I am known for being very laid-back, or rather too laid-back. I think that more than my objectives were met in the course. I felt that the course made me learn to speak up more and share views. I came from schools which did not emphasize on class participation and it was really hard to engage in class discussions. However, the brutal fact is that I have to speak up. To be very frank, the initial impetus was to gain my 25% in class participation but then I learnt that sharing ideas was a good way to learn. I felt that class would also be more enjoyable. As such, although speaking up was not my objective to be met, I did learn more about it. Not all was rosy. I met a few of hic-cups with the school’s system in handing up my journals as well as my test in SMUVista. It was quite a scary experience as I was wondering if my journals would get graded accordingly. However, I learnt something about technology through this experience, maybe the hard way. Technology, while it can help us, can also hinder us. We tend to take technology for granted. We always think that everything done by technology will be done right but boy, are we so wrong. I did not save my journals initially because I thought the submission of my journals will be absolute. After the glitch by SMUVista, I started to save my journals just in case. I think that this kind of technological error can be avoided if we are required to save our journals in word document files so as to have a backup. Also, I felt that Vista was meant to serve as portal for such purpose and the CIT should have been diligent in the upkeep of it. In addition, maybe a more reliable website set up by our technology savvy Professor can be used for our submission of journals? =) I thoroughly enjoyed TWC class but I would like to point out that maybe an online discussion forum can be set up for the class to continue to share their views even out of class. I felt that time is always a constraint and all views are valuable. Thus, a forum would be good. Also, maybe class participation could be partially based on the participation in the forum because some people are really shy. I am not eradicating in class participation as I agree that we need to learn to publicly share views and hence I suggest a partial attribution to the participation of the online forum. In all, thanks for the class. It was different and a good breakaway from the rest of the courses I was attending.
CHAN WEI WEN
I feel I have achieved 80% of the objectives I aimed to achieve. The objectives that I have set in my first journal are mainly – to know how technology could change or affect the world, how technology has evolved in the past and present years and also to acquire and improve my soft skills such as project management, oral & presentation skills, people management skills, writing skills and time management. After the 13 weeks of lessons, I feel I have a better grasp of how technology could affect people, businesses and many other aspects in the society. Technology has been acting as an enabler to proliferate businesses, living condition of people and most importantly, it changes every individual’s way of doing things. On the other hand, the numerous presentations and written assignments that you have designed for us, kind of geared up my abilities in handling projects, presentations, time and people. Thank you, professor. In addition, I feel that I have a better understanding of myself too, knowing that I could actually speak up and participate actively in the class. In the past, I hardly spoke a word in any classes. I feel that you have provided us a very conducive and friendly environment for everyone to share and convey our thoughts. Also, I have gained invaluable knowledge of setting up businesses, the evils in business and many more. Once again, thank you for making this a memorable and fruitful module for me.
LEE ZHI YING
At the end of my Technology and World Change course, I feel that I have somewhat gained more knowledge about some of the available technology, and some basic theories behind it. To think that I began as a technophobic who hate not the slightest interest in technoloy, it has been a great achievement to think that I have come thus far. I think I have somewhat achieved my objectives set up in the first lesson, and have even picked up other lessons along the way. For my TWC class I had mainly hoped to acquire knowledge about the technological developments around the world learn about some of the financial tools and developments for business startups and development that will be useful for me, as well as skills that will be useful for my business and career in the future. In my individual presentation in class, I feel that I have had a wonderful experience trying to present my business idea to a potential crowd. Though the crowd is a relatively friendlier one and accomodating one, I dare say it was a fine and invaluable experience that has undoubted brought me closer to my eventual goals of a business education in smu.
LI MING’EN CLEMENT
Of course. To set you objectives based on the course objectives can no have them fufilled can only leave the student to find blame on the teacher if the objectives are not the basis of our lessons. However, not only were the prequisites taught well, I have learn more about the real world, more about how to take an innovation to fruition through the real life experiences of Pamela Lim. This is invaluable, and surely, worth more than the book knowledge that I have picked up. This was unexpected, and yet, I would certainly be motivated to take classes under techers with classroom knowledge as well as knowledge forged under experience.
LEE YI YING DALENA
I will first outline my objectives set up in my first journal: to learn something from every person in class, pay attention and respect to what is being said in class, gather more knowledge about technology and its role in businesses and our way of life, coming to class prepared, contributing effectively to class, and taking home interesting ideas for further thought and consideration. Generally, I will have to say that I have learnt a lot from this course – a lot of not just interesting things, but also potentially very useful lessons. TWC has turned out to be far from a normal, traditional course. It could have been very dry and theory-based, but the way the lessons have been conducted has steered it away from potentially boring us all to death. I liked how we were encouraged to be hands on, having to come up with our own innovation, choosing our industries and fields of study, exposing us to experienced professionals from various industries to speak to us about their businesses and technology’s role in them. Of course, it also helps to have a professor who actually knows what she is talking about, having had real experience instead of someone who is just preaching down to us without having any practical and solid weight behind her words. Having said that, yes, I have managed to come to every class prepared with the necessary materials; I think that I have contributed effectively to class discussions, though not often, because I am honestly of the “quality over quantity” opinion when it comes to participating in class; I have picked up a sizeable knowledge about innovations, technology and its importance in our lives as well as all the textbook theories and so on; I have brought certain ideas home to think upon; and I have tried my best to pay attention and respect in class – though admittedly not to everything said by every single person, only to those whom I thought deserved it. However, of course there are the nittygritty things that I have failed to fulfill. I don’t think I have contributed as much as I could, potentially, and until now I have yet to even remember every single person’s name and face in TWC class, needless to say learn something from every one of them. There have been times when I have fallen hopelessly asleep during presentations that drag on forever and ever, too, and of course there was the time when one group invited a guest speaker who I refused to listen to seriously because the way she talked down to us and the attitude she had. In retrospect, I suppose some of this was quite immature and almost amusing, but I do realise that if I had taken things more seriously and put in just a little more effort in from the start, the outcome may be very different. Who knows, that one last inch of effort or attention could have led to something more major, and I could have missed out on something that could have led to a great inspiration or impact in my life. Nevertheless, looking at the big picture, I think that I have achieved most of my objectives without doing too dismal a job. In every situation, there will always be room for improvement – while I do have some regrets about not living up to all the goals I have set at the start of the term, I am thankful that I have not let myself down on a whole, and that I have had the opportunity to fulfill these objectives. At least I can walk away from this course saying that I have learnt a lot, instead of labelling TWC “a waste of time” and a “wayang module” like so many of my other friends have been doing.
LEK CHEE YONG
I have achieved my objective of learning from my “very qualified” lecturer as well as my classmates. Before taking this module, innovation and entrepreneuship seem like different topics altogether. Common sense, survival instinct and fighting spirit forms a big part of most of the case studies illustrated in the textbook. Having the brains alone is often not enough (which expains why a lot of smart people are working for the so call “not so well educated” bosses), we still need to work on our networking and “Guan Xi” as well. One more take away – success boils down to self efficacy and the man who wins is the man that thinks he can (And is hungry enough!
PAUL FURE TORKEHAGEN
The simple objectives set fourth in my first journal were based on trying to learn and interact as much as possible by being receptive towards the material taught. I would definitely say that the goals have been achieved, even though I struggled to meet the deadlines for the journals and stay attentive in class (due to the lack of sleep). This semester has tested my abilities of time, social and work management. It’s obvious that the struggle will be even larger in the coming term when work will start to demand more from me. Having said this, I feel that TWC class guided me more towards what I want to focus on; it tickled the creative buds of my brain to adapt technology to my current business to see if I can effectively exploit it. Surprisingly TWC was a bit of an eye-opener in comparison to the other classes I’ve had at SMU. My initial view on what innovation and invention suggests was startlingly different from the actual definitions. I feel now that I have gotten a greater understanding of the innovative process and hopefully can cater better to it in the future. However, by no means was the term a great success, I did face the dreaded team conflicts were some individuals started to slack of towards the latter half of the term. As a suggested improvement to the course: Rather then having peer evaluation at the beginning of the term, have one half way which will then update the team members on their status in the group – then one towards the end to see if there are any improvements. Besides this I feel that the term has gone well, wish however that I performed better on my quizzes and hope that my final exam will reflect better on my understanding of the course. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
SIEW JIA KAI
To many of us, it seems that “our” dictionary is filled with countless vocabularies that we have picked up along the way. However, contrary to beliefs, this is often not the case. Many times, I will find myself tongue-tied or fumbling when asked to explain a particular word which I thought I knew. Then it would occur to me that I actually do not. Similarly this was the case with innovation and invention. I thought I knew better but apparently not. So, I am really glad that I had it sorted out finally, which led me thinking: This is exactly what I hope to achieve for each TWC class – to learn something and bring it out of class for keeps. That was my first journal. How time flies and I’m writing my last journal for the term. Before, I was enrolled into the module, I heard of countless tales about the course. It was rumoured to be “boring”, “useless”, “brainless”, “another one of the university cores that the school made us sit through”, “waste time”, “heavy workload but difficult to score”, “no value-add to our degree”, “pre-assigned module so cannot choose to do with friends”, and the list goes on. Hence, I’m sure you would have understood how I felt when I first stepped into class in the beginning of the year. I was very apprehensive. However, after attended the first lesson, I felt a lot much assured that the course was not as bad as it was made to me. I took “something” out of class which says everything – the course was not useless! So after the 13 weeks of classes now, I am surprised and very glad that I enjoyed it a lot contrary to my original beliefs. I like the way the class was very interactive: how each week we would do a group break-out for the first half of the class, research on something, share the information and then discuss the different issues together. I also enjoyed the motivational and inspirational talks that were held. Even though I may not totally agree with the speakers on all issues, they gave me a very different perspective of how people see and act which will definitely be very good reference for my own use when I plan my career and life. Also, I felt that for someone so rigid like me, it was good to be immersed in the “entrepreneurship” spirt where no one should be holding back anything. If there is something you want to do, do it. If you have a sound business plan, do it. Do not hold back because of risk adversity.
ANG WEI LIANG
Having gone through thirteen weeks of Technology and World Change, I have gained deeper insight to this module. I have come to appreciate the power of technological changes, and its impact on the differect spectrums of businesses and society. Being better equipped with such knowledge, I feel that it will be helpful for my future as an entrepreneur. The prof’s constant encouragement over the course of these thirteen weeks have inspired me to believe that I can leverage on this knowledge and with her as my role model, I will be able to attain my ultimate goal which is to start my own business.In my very first journal,prof left me a comment which motivated me through the rest of the course and which enabled me to attain useful knowledge which I can use to apply in the future.Besides achieving my objective,i was exposed to a lot more than just textbook informations.I have about how some of the businesses operates and also prof’s very own experiences in her road to success. Furthermore,useful skills like communication and public relations were also improved.These did not only make the class more enriching, but also interesting and challenging.Technology and World change has definitly benefited me in many ways and equipped me with the knowledge which will be needed in my very own road to success.
KOH LIN YIN MELANIE
Honestly, when I wrote that first journal, I did not know what to expect from the module or from myself. I remember saying that I would speak up more in class, learn from my peers or something along those lines. While I only learnt to speak up a little more towards the end of the term, I did gain a wealth of knowledge from both my peers and the prof. I heard from both seniors and other freshmen, so much about TWC being an inexorably dry and boring subject that, just like most other first year modules, taught us nothing particularly substantial. However (fear not!), I have amassed a pool of life lessons more than anything else from this course. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and encouraging, and at the same time, a little disturbing. The “Just Do It” slogan will be forever imprinted in my mind, especially when I feel lost or swamped by impending challenges. The idea that “money chases ideas” gives me and those I’ve told, hope. To keep innovating will continue to drive me when an idea is stolen or major setbacks occur. And many, many more. I’ve always found it more intriguing to listen and absorb. So, while I barely spoke up the first half of the term, I thoroughly enjoyed my time listening to the views of others and life stories conveyed by the prof. It has motivated all of us to be entrepreneurs and realize all those concepts we have but thought too unrealistic. On the other hand, there is the dampening fact that innovations can be easily copied and while small companies suffer, large corporations manage to get away with it scot-free. Today’s lesson was particularly disconcerting and left me rather disillusioned. The profit making, money-grubbing world became stark and shockingly real when he relayed to us the various stories of TCM, the microwave and organic food. My team-mate and I turned to each other and asked the same cliché question, “Have we been living a lie?” after which we promptly laughed at one another, as if we were being entirely dramatic, which I suppose we were at the time. But the truth is, perhaps half of it has been a lie. I must not fail to mention that I’ve met some of the funniest, most dynamic people from class. People I did not expect to meet and learn from. My team in particular, have been extremely fun to work with and not to mention, efficient and dynamic. My objectives have evolved along the way: from a purely academic viewpoint to a more worldly exposure. I believe that I have met those objectives, though not in the most perfect of ways because there’s always room for improvement. But I have gotten there in my own way, passively and quietly. I may not show it, but I have genuinely learnt so much more than I imagined and will gladly take away with me all the lessons garnered.
TAN JUN SENG
Initially, I thought that TWC was basically only about learning how new technology can cause major changes in the world that we now live in. However, during this course, I also learned of how an invention or a new idea can be implemented into reality through several processes. I find that although the theory part of the course is an important part to be learned by any budding entrepreneur, the practical aspect of how to introduce a particularly new idea to the world. I also learned that everyone has endless ideas around them and is waiting for them to be tapped upon. Therefore, I feel that after going through this course, I have learned to always think of alternative ideas for an age old problem
GEOW SWEE NEO MELISSA GERALDINE
At the commencement of this course, I had initially thought that the course would mainly be about technology itself. However, now, at the conclusion of the course, I have realised that it has really been more about innovation than anything else. I had set out on this journey wanting to gain more knowledge about what strategies may be employed to market a product successfully. I feel that this goal has been achieved with the help of the textbook, the guest speakers that were engaged throughout the duration of the course, and the informative case study presentations that were delivered by the different groups. Through the guest speakers and case study presentations, what was mentioned in the textbook was brought to real-life. Usually, students just read the textbook and they never get to actually apply the concepts to real-life situations. However, the stories of technical entrepreneurs and their personal experiences really gave extra insight and I could see how their characteristics were parallel to those mentioned in the textbook. In addition, the course has undoubtedly increased my knowledge of business processes by leaps and bounds. Before, I knew nothing about business processes, but now, I have a much better understanding of what it takes to set up a business although of course, the best way of learning is to actually put it to practise i.e. set up a business. Given that, the next best way to gain a real-world perspective is to speak to someone who has been there and done that. Fortunately for us, we not only have a lecturer who has experienced all that, but we also had all the guest speakers who generously gave their time to answer all the queries posed to them. In essence, the course would not have been as beneficial if not for the many in-class presentations which I felt helped all of us to learn better. The teaching style facilitated self-learning and enabled us to carry out our own research. I feel that this played a huge part in our learning journey and without it, we probably would have learnt much less, or forgotten most of the things that were taught.
ANG MING RONG KAREN
Yes, definitely I have learned much more than what I have set in the first journal. Prior to TWC, I simply knew technology as what it is, but after attending 13 weeks of the TWC course, I learned more in-depth such as the evolution of the technology and the types, theories, sources, process of innovations and understand some of the business’s critical success factors and also the reason behind some business failures. This happens to be what I had set in my first journal. But what makes the lesson more value-added is the weekly in class-practice, which shows how these theories are implemented to real life situation, interesting cases and lesson learnt from those cases etc. In addition, through your vast experience and knowledge, those valuable advice and business tips which cannot be learned from the text had motivated me to want be an entrepreneur in the future, to set up my own company given the chance and right opportunity. Overall, I really enjoyed the whole learning journey.
TENG DAO XIONG
After the whole course, I find myself having a better understanding of technologies than I did before. I used to be very “backward” in terms of technological stuffs. Now, I feel that I am a step closer to the technological world. My main objective i set up in the first lesson was to help me understand the connection between technologies and how they change the world, especially the business world. And yes, I did have better understanding, especially throughout the last few lessons on technopreneurs which provided me with very practical knowledge. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I found the case studies on different technopreneurs very interesting, especially when the technopreneur themselves came into our class as guest speaker. Also, it was then that I realise so many of my peers are already so far ahead in the entrepreneurial world. This has definitely given me great inspiration and motivation to become a successful entrepreneur before I graduate from SMU. I was also greatly inspired by the new start up, www.1bid2go.com. A lot of my relatives are in this car dealing industry, and thus, I have always wanted to set up a car dealing business, selling automobiles in a non-conventional way. I’ve thought of a few ideas, but this idea of selling cars through what seemed like a “lottery” is like nothing I have came up with. Very interesting and innovative indeed. This has once again showed me how technology is changing the way people do business. In all, I am really appreciative for TWC and your guidance.
KOH KAI TING
One of the objectives I had for this course was to develop an understanding of technology and innovation, the ways of their distribution and their impacts on society. I believe that I have learnt much about the various types of technologies through the assigned readings, group presentations and in-class research activities. I liked that independence was given to the students, and they were trusted to finish the assigned readings even though these was sometimes not covered in class. This is because the time was better spent covering issues which were not presented in the textbook. The in-class research activities, such as Cai Lun’s invention of paper, allowed me to use knowledge which I had read from the book and applied it to real examples. As technology is constantly changing, I hope that my learning will not stop at the end of this class but continue. This keen sense of learning is what I believe will differentiate myself and help me expand my knowledge. In today’s class, I realized that I should not only focus on gaining mainstream knowledge but be open to alternative views as well. The point of view given by the speaker was interesting, refreshing and thought provoking. In the past, I would not have considered seeking alternative views. This is because no one had advocated their importance to me before. I also believe that I have not only learnt much from the speakers, but also from my classmates. Throughout the course, many of them posed insightful questions which I otherwise would not have thought of. Their questions gave me a broader perspective of issues and helped me expand my thinking process One of my specific interests was to look at how companies implement programs that allowed innovation to thrive and contribute actively to their successes. The presentations on The Idea Factory and Tyler gave me some insight to the workings of a company which thrives on creativity, innovation and flexibility. I believe that listening to the speakers let us tap into their experiences, struggles and successes. Even though the path I choose will probably not be the same as that of a technopreneur, experiences of Prof, combined with the various speakers sharing their struggles and how they overcame them, served as a learning point on how to tackle future obstacles when I come to face them. My second objective was to learn how to be innovative. The course allowed me to analyze my personality. One of the journals required us think about the qualities which makes a technical entrepreneur successful and whether we already possessed them. This allowed me to reflect on my personality and decide which areas I lacked and should improve on. Throughout the course, I have been striving to speak up more and become more confident in my ideas. However, sometimes, my nerves still got the better of me. This is one area which I will have to continue improving. As my freshmen year comes to an end, I am now able to make many connections that TWC has with other courses. Technology and innovation is related to business, government, society, creating thinking and leadership. Together, these courses have given me a wider perspective of the world and allowed me to relate similar issues with each other. Most of my objectives have been met and I learnt many other things which I initially did not consider when coming up with my objectives during the first class. These unexpected and intangible rewards have been the highlight of the course.
LIM LIANG CONG WINSTON
I think that I would like to thank Prof for teaching us, as I feel that I have learnt far more than I have expected to. All this while, I had kept an open mind for things and like mentioned in class by Mr Francis, that is the key to alternative thinking. So I believe that I have made my own requirements of keeping an open mind in class. I must also admit that for TWC class, I have not being going to class prepared (not reading up before hand), as I felt that what is learnt first hand in class by what Prof teaches and by our research is something that the book cannot provide. So if I was to read up before going to class, I would actually have an opinion formed of what was going to be taught. This would actually conflict with my interest of going to lesson with an open mind as the most effective way to achieve that would be by going to class and listen rather than going to class prepared and knowing the concepts. It is important to notice that I find that this method of learning works for me and might not work for others. This is so because I can grasp concepts fast but I also forget them fast unless I make a lot of effort to remember them. Throughout the course, I have indeed seen how technology is spearheading the world and our future. When I first stepped in class, I was determined to be an entrepreneur. But now, I am determined to become a technopreneur. I now have what I need to start one. By doing our case study, my group has found Leonard as our guest speaker. And I currently have plans to join Leonard as part of his firm. This is because, I love gaming but not to an extent of an addict. It has always being my dream to be able to play the games that I have designed, because I would be able to control how the graphics and mechanics of the game. Moreover, imagine playing a game whereby the story is written by you, it’s even better than like reading a book that you have written. However, the only constrain is time. I am going to USA for my summer vacation under a Work and Travel programme and probably only can start to work part time with Leonard after I return. He has hinted to give an internship for me in his firm. Currently, I have borrowed a book titled “Technopreneurship” by Daniel Mankani. It is a book written for aspiring technopreneurs. Up to now, I have read half of the book, and found that it pertains to what we learn in class for the later half of the semester, and is indeed a helpful book for people who are aspiring to start businesses. I would like Prof to recommend the book to your all your students, current and future ones. Lastly, addressing the issue of really starting a firm, I would mostly start one in my last year of SMU studies. Meanwhile, I would be able to work with Leonard and learn more on gaming and business from him. I think that it always helps to have a mentor to guide me along. Finally, I would like to thank Prof again for the enriching lessons and I would definitely be looking forward to seeing Prof again for the new module that she would be teaching next semester.
SITI NURHIDAYAH BINTE MOHAMED DZULKIFLEE
I think that I have achieved most of my objectives set in the first journal. My awareness of technology has already been increased and I have realized its importance in the world today. I have learnt on the different types and forms of innovation such as the incremental, modular and radical innovations and I have also observed the trend of the bubbles of technology and how it has changes the world. Although technology is very important nowadays, we must also realize that there are other alternatives to make our life simpler besides technology. For example traditional Chinese medicine can be used to cure cancer or arthritis rather than using painstaking chemotherapy or bio technology that has been promoted by the government. Although technology is important, we must not forget the fact that it also has a few ill-effect such as cancer due to radiation of cell phones, global warming due to industrialized factories and many others. Not forgetting also social problems associated with technology and internet such as people addicted to gaming and chatting. This will minimize their interaction with the real life people and hinders their interpersonal skills. Thus we must also ensure that technology bring a benefit to us with less risk possible. Other than that, in my first week of journal I have also mentioned to learn more on the different innovators or technical entrepreneurs. The research for my presentation of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay has given me in-depth details on his life and eBay itself. Also, after hearing the presentations of several innovators by my classmates, I have learnt that with perseverance, determination and hardwork anyone can become an innovator and it inspires me to be one also. Overall, I am satisfied with the class discussions we had in class and the book has covered holistic details on the basics of innovations. It is quite in details and step by step in telling us the definition and background information of innovation. The chapter started off with a good introduction of innovation, and then it explained the different types of innovation and then introduced us to the more technical stuffs such as the theories and sources and process of innovation. It also covered other matters concerning technology such as the intellectual property rights and how to fund innovation so that we will know what to do after making the innovation. The entire book, the class discussions, presentations and research for break out sessions have given me extensive knowledge on technology and the world change.
TEO HUI BELINDA
I believe that I have achieved the goal set in the beginning to learn about innovation in the age of Information Technology. Through this course and through the professor, I have seen so many life examples of technopreneurship, as well as innovation at its best. The experiences shared in class, theories taught in class hav indeed taught me a great deal about technology. However, I feel that I still have not applied these concepts and integrated them with that of accounting skills as I have set out to do from the start. Perhaps later down the years when I go on to the working world, I will be able to recall theories learnt in TWC class, such as the importance of commercialization in any invention, as well as the value of patents etc. Furthermore, I believe that what I have learnt from the first lesson, a case study of Apple iPod, something far and distant from our country, has tied up nicely with what I have learnt in these few weeks, case studies of SMU students and their technopreneuring businesses. The practicality and the real-life examples, as well as the professor’s sharing of her own experiences have definitely allowed me to gain beyond what I have set out to achieve in my first lesson.
TAN LU YEN DAWN
i think that i have definitely achieved my objectives set up in the first journal through every week’s lesson. for the past few weeks i have been learning something new every lesson which i enjoyed very much. i have learnt about things which i totally had no idea of, for example Intellectual property, patents and funding. i had very warped impressions of funding like i thought we could only obtain funding from our parents or bank loans. in the later weeks, during the presentations where the groups invited their Technical Entrepreneurs as guest speakers, i really learnt so much. the presentations took me on a journey down their lives and showed me how they achieved success. i saw how hard they worked for their business and the sacrifices they made. i learnt that interest and passion drove them to start their business. however, some of them mentioned that besides passion, they started the business for money. i guess this is just how practical people are. and i learnt one thing from you prof! “if you’re not happy about something, dont complain, change it!” somehow, that statement left a great impression in me and it changed the way i looked at problems or even things which i’m not satisfied with. i realized that gradually, i’ve been complaining less and doing more. i’m sure that in time to come, i’ll be much less of a complainer and more of a problem-solver.
CHOY SHUOLING TRINA
I have definitely achieved my objectives set up in the first journal. Firstly, I’ve learnt about how innovations have changed the world. With the Option B Business Plan, I’ve also learnt the difference between an innovation and an invention. Basically, an innovation is one that has market penetration. My next objective was how I’d like to be an innovator. I’m glad to say that with all the guest speakers’ talks, I’ve learnt from the experts on how to be a good innovator, of course with a professor who’s an expert in this helped a lot too. Lastly, I hoped to make friends in this course. I’m glad to say that with all the break out sessions with my groupmates, we’re more than just a group, we’ve become a team. To sum it up, I think I’ve learnt much more than my objectives set up in the first week. Among others, I’ve learnt to work under pressure, since we’re only given 30minutes to complete the in class research. I’ve learnt that ‘researching’ is not all about Google and Wikipedia, and projects aren’t just about extracting information from the internet. It is also about how we interpret the information as well. Also, through the weekly journals, I’ve learnt how to sort out my thoughts and how to jot them down on a weekly basis. This gives me the chance to read them after completion, and also to reflect back on what I’ve done in class. Overall, it’s been a very enriching and exciting 13weeks and I am glad I enjoyed myself in TWC class.
TOH YULING LYNN
I have learnt much more than I had expected to. I’m not saying it only because my lecturer is my reader. At first when we learnt that we had to do break-outs every session we were incredibly disappointed(or in our terms, SIAN!!) but truthfully, now that we’ve come to the end of it, the topics we had were really fun, not things we already knew. So researching alone was fun, and then there would be discussion after presentation, and we really learnt a lot from all those presentations. In the first journal, I wrote that I would like to 1) Know how technological innovation comes about, and how socio-economic factors affect the development of certain technologies. 2) Gain insight on the future of technology, and technological innovators (or technopreneurs). 3) Find out ways in which technology can be employed in my future career path, perhaps by studying the strategic management of technology from a corporation’s perspective. I definitely achieved the first and second goal through this class. We learnt theories, the development of technologies, and got to meet or learn about many successful technical entrepreneurs. I would like to add that our lecturer’s unique way to teaching was very well received. We learnt the same boring textbook knowledge in more interactive and interesting ways from other TWC classes! For the 3rd goal, we met many technical entrepreneurs, from all sorts of companies. They have been, to say the very least, inspiring. Not only did I learn about my very cool IS schoolmates, I learnt about difficulties, in funding, in retaining intellectual property and others, and tips for startups etc. I’ve gained knowledge on how it is possible to be a technical entrepreneur. But even if I do not become one, the knowledge I’ve gained from this class can very possibly benefit me in my work in future! I do not know how, but when time comes I’ll tell you. I’m sure there will be! In summary, I felt that this class highlighted the importance of technology in our present lives and for our future! Dear Prof, Thanks for the wonderful 13 weeks of class, I am sure all of benefited a great deal. You strike me as a very interesting person, with an abundance of ideas, a wonderful mom and wife, not to mention career woman. It is cool you know where your priorities are, and not let you dreams carry you away from what is important. I am sure you are an inspiration to many. May you have a very blessed and fun-filled year ahead! Love, Lynn Ps: your website presents a very fresh idea, and is very thought provoking. Eg why would she set up something like that? What number would other people guess?
NG JING HE JONATHAN
TWC as a module, though boring and redundant it seems at first, has turned out to be one of the few courses that I treasure the most. I’ve not only grown more knowledgeable in the content that professor wanted to bestow onto us but I believe what I appreciate most from this course is that it has inspired me to be more hardworking in life and to have more direction. After listening to numerous presentations in class, the charismatic and inspirational speakers and not forgetting our beloved professor, I realize that if I ever want to excel and be successful in life, I’ve got to start planning my future this very instance. I’ve learnt the importance of being innovative and learnt how to look at life and businesses from the macro point of view. Furthermore, I realize that sometimes alternate thinking is better than that of mainstream thinking but I definitely have to practice discretion on the matter. One way in which this course has given me direction is that of my studies. Truth be told, from the beginning of this term, I was already given a place in NUS (a double degree, namely business and engineering). I was contemplating whether should I transfer to NUS next semester or stay back in SMU. While I really treasure my TWC class, I must say that it’s particularly this module that made me decide what I want. I would like to have both technical knowledge and domain knowledge. When I was doing my option B assignment and was doing my research on wireless charging, I was blown away at the physics and science of how it was done. I was a double mathematics student in JC and I realize how much I miss doing my mathematics and physics. All in all, thank you prof for everything.
My journey through the whole TWC module was really very enriching. Seeing how technology has been used, and how we go about incorporating them improve our lives. I set out to discover the relationship between technology and life, but received more than that. I was even given a good glimpse of entrepreneurship. One of the better parts of this module is the sessions where we could hear real life stories and experiences provided by all the guest speakers. They brought along a different perspective from what we could learn from the textbooks. What they had gone through, the do and don’ts, as well as inspiration for me. For me to be as successful as how they are, to dare to step into the uncharted waters and out of our comfort zone. Another interesting skill which I learnt in the course is the ability to produce a presentation in 30 minutes. I am a person who takes presentation into the details, on how it should flow, the things to be delivered and its delivery. I was really struggling with this aspect of the class, and my group never seems to do better, compared to the others. Well, there is a slight improvement I must say, but this is really a challenge for me. This course has shown me from the birth of technology, to how we make use of them to better our lives, to how we incorporate them, and also the adverse effects of our over reliance of technology. It encompasses such a wide perspective compared to the other modules, and I have definitely reap more than I had expected at the beginning.
KHOO YIN YONG
Generally, I think that I have achieved my objectives set out in the first week of class. I had learnt more about applying technology to the business world, and also gained valuable insights and knowledge about the actual business world out there. In addition, I was also exposed to plenty of real-life experiences, from both the instructor and the guest speakers. However, I feel that the limited time frame of 13 weeks actually, to a certain extent, limited my learning, and that I felt I could have learnt more from the module if there were more time, since I believed that there is basically no end to learning the stuffs in the business world. In addition to the objectives set out in the first week, I had actually learnt more than I had expected. One notable one was the experience of working in a group that comprises of year two students. In my other modules, I usually work with fellow year ones, as there were no year twos in my class. In TWC, my group members Serene and You An are year two students, and I could feel the difference of working in such a group. It was definitely a fulfilling experience, and it gave me a rough idea of the quality and style of work that is expected from a SMU year two student. Also, the TWC module also served as a refresher course for me. Being equipped with a Business Information Technology Diploma, I had attended a technopreneurship course in my polytechnic days as well. Thus, some of the concepts learnt in the TWC class actually overlap. However, it was important to note that I had taken the technopreneurship course four years ago, and some of these concepts were actually obsolete. Thus, the TWC modules not only introduced new concepts, but I also updated my knowledge regarding entrepreneurship. One key learning point that I wished to highlight was the experience and accounts of the guest speakers. It was definitely a great learning experience to listen to the various guest speakers’ experience, and what made it more special was the fact that almost half of them are existing students in SMU. This actually made me changed my opinion about student entrepreneurs, as I had thought that one cannot get the best of both worlds. But right in front of my eyes, were students who were able to get a great GPA, as well as bringing their company to great heights. Another valuable takeaway from the course was that I understand myself deeper. The course made me realized the type of person that I truly am, and what type of path that I want in future. I guess I probably will not be a sole entrepreneur, but I guess I can never rule out the possibility of starting a partnership. The difference between this module and other modules is that there is so much relevance to the actual business world, as compared to just textbooks and notes. Thus, to a certain extent, I feel that it actually provides a preview of what is to be expected of for my internship. Last but not least, this module re-emphasizes the need for constant updating of knowledge. As mentioned earlier, TWC provided updates to the knowledge that I had learnt in polytechnic, and it just serve as an important reminder to me that learning does not stop. Simple as it may sound, I feel that it is actually a fault that many students commit. I have seen countless examples, including myself, of students ‘returning’ what they had learnt to their instructors, or that they are simple stuck with obsolete knowledge that they had learnt in the past. Thus, to truly benefit from this course, I feel it is inevitable to keep learning. To conclude, it has been a refreshing and fulfilling experience to go through this TWC module. Despite not achieving my objectives completely, I feel that the best possible was done in what was a limited time constraint, and it depends on me to try to achieve the rest. Also, benefiting from unplanned objectives definitely enhanced my learning process, and I am glad to say that TWC definitely made me a more capable person.
SAY QIU RONG SABRINA
In my first journal, I had several expectations of the course, which was to 1) be able to boost my knowledge in technological issues, 2) to be able to see the relevance of what we learn in class to real life and 3) to learn more about the good and bad of technology. I also had several objectives set up for myself, namely 1) reading the textbook before class, 2) participate actively during lessons, 3) reading the newspaper daily and 4) doing my own research. Through the 13 weeks of the course, my 3 expectations have been met and very well at that. I definitely learnt a lot and am much more knowledgeable and “tech-savvy” as compared to 13 weeks ago. I never had a keen interest in technology, but was very intrigued by the many issues taught in class, especially the part on technical entrepreneurs (it was more appealing to me probably because I am a business student!). The course opened my eyes to a lot that was happening around and I was even more encouraged when I see the relevance of what we have learnt to real life. I remember this particular lesson we had where we were discussing about Moore’s law. At that time, the group presenting mentioned that HP is going to come up with a chip that can rival that of Intel’s and Prof was getting us to think further why, in the case, was Intel’s share prices not falling. Immediately, the next day, I read in the newspapers that Intel released a new chip and Moore’s law still holds even up till today. I was pleasantly surprised to read about an issue that was the topic of discussion in class the previous day and secretly proud of myself that I actually understood what the article was talking about. Not only do I find what I have learnt in class relevant, but useful as well. I enjoyed learning about the positive impact of technology, recognizing our over-reliance on technology and from our lesson today, the ill effects of technology. I thought today’s guest speaker who spoke on alternative thinking was really interesting. So far in class we have been talking more about the benefits of technology and this is someone who has really shown that perhaps technology is not all that good after all, with our increased exposure to radiation and all that. It was really an eye-opener and the talk appealed to me because I am quite a cynic when it comes to technology (medical-related) as well. As exaggerated and as corny as it may sound, I truly felt a certain sense of enlightenment after his talk today. Too often have we been taught to accept the mainstream thought as “facts” and “truths”, but many a time, alternative thinking has encouraged different practices that yield astonishing results, outside the expectations of advocates of mainstream thinking. As for the own objectives I have set for myself, I think I am faring not too badly, but there’s definitely a lot more room for improvement, like reading the newspapers more frequently(!) for instance. I do my best to participate in class and I hope that it did show through. I find the environment in the class very positive and very encouraging when it comes to class participation, which is perhaps the reason why I am more comfortable with asking questions in this class. It has been an exciting 13-week journey and I am really glad to have made fast and firms friends with my group mates. What I have taken away from the course is so much more than just what is in the textbook, but I have learnt a lot from the other classmates as well and from the experiences and lessons by the various guest speakers.
LOW TZEH SHYIAN RUSSELL
Reflecting back on this 13-week journey, I find myself exceeding the objectives set in the first journal. I had stated 2 objectives in my first journal: to understand more about technology’s role and impact, and to learn how to bring my innovations into the market. I believe that I have learned a lot of very important theories, lessons and concepts about technology, so that I can now hold an intelligent conversation with anyone with regards to the evolution and impact of technology. I am also able to apply these theories to evaluate present market trends and cycles in technology. All these have made me a more well-rounded student, and increased my confidence in this topic. More important, I have learned the basics on how to bring my innovation into the market place to exploit it commercially. I have had several innovative ideas, including the Carpark Availability Reporting Server (CARS), and I now know the steps I can take to acquire funding and bring these innovations to the market. I have honestly reaped a wealth of knowledge and experience from yourself, and other guest speakers who have been kind and generous enough to share their lessons learnt – from issues about protection of intellectual property, to issues like the advantages enjoyed by the first-mover and first-to-scale, and funding issues. To me, this course has provided me more than just academic theory, but real-life practical information that is extremely useful. I believe that I have stayed true to my commitment written in the first journal, to “go all out” for this course. It is this commitment to go all out, that has allowed me to gain so much from this course.
CHENG WAN LI
One of my objectives in the first lesson was to learn how an entreprenuer or a businessman can use technology to our advantage. Without doubt, I think i have achieved this objective especially during the last few lessons, where i learnt of the decision makeing process that technoprenuers undergo with regard to patenting their products. I also realise that age and being young shouldn’t stop us from fulfilling our entrepreneuric dreams. I also mentioned that one of my aims is to learn more than what is within the tectbook and i feel that the inclass presenatations have sufficiently achieved this aim. Through the inclass presentaiton, i really felt that i have learnt alot. I particularly liked the presentation that we did our research on egyptians and compared it with life now. It made learning alot more fun. Although having to come up with a presentation may be tiring(coz that meant forgoing our break sometimes), but i feel that its totally worth it. Time seem to pass very fast with the need to do research and come up with the slides and not only that, we get to share what we have learnt and discuss it. One of the greatest learning point i can take home is the invitation of a speaker and the interview with him (the technopreneur Dr Valavan.) That was my first experience inviting someone to speak and i learnt the proceedures of how to go about doing it. Although learning process of how to invite someone is not realted to TWC directly, but i believe this experience has been an invaluable learning point for me. It was not only exciting, but i felt this sense of accompishment when we succeed in inviting him here. Another thing i enjoyed during this TWC class is my group. Everyone in my group has strengths and weaknesses, but iron sharpens iron. We managed to use our strengths to build up each other throughout the entire 13 weeks. Like HuaZheng was filled we knowledge, we turned to him for knowledge help. Sabrina was good with typing key words and internet research and dawn never failed to help out with powerpoint slides. Kinseng was no exception with his role as an encourager and i saw myself being the girl who complied inclass presenations every week. So each of us contributed in our own ways to make the group really fun. So together, they helped me achieve my objective of group togetherness. However, one regret i have is not participating sufficiently in class. I was trying to break out of that, but unfortunately, i just couldn’t find the courgae sometimes to speak up. Felt disappointed when i failed the mid term class particiaption and made up my mind to talk more. But, i just found it so hard. Guess i have next year to try and overcome this fear and i really need to make a conscious effort or my life in SMU would be quite miserable.
SAM YONG ZHI
As I read through my very first journal, I found out that I set a very simple target for myself in order to learn the most out of this module, which is to participate actively and experience the lesson rather than sit back passively in the lesson. Looking back, time really flies. Now it is already the last lesson for TWC. Amongst all the modules that I have taken, TWC is the one that taught me the most practical stuffs. It is one module that I will participate actively in willingly (most of the time the other modules SMU students participate for the sake of participating) as it is really something that interest me. Before this module, I am actually quite uncertain about my future. There is always a mental struggle between finding a high paying job and starting my own business. After taking your class and learning from you, I am more set to start my own business than to find a job next time after I graduate. I always think that I am very fortunate to be assigned under your class and that I have this chance to know you and to interact with you who is a successful technopreneur. Most importantly you are someone I really look up to and I aim to be as successful if not more successful than you in the future =) I am hoping for a day in the future when I achieved something and I have the chance to treat you to tea to thank you for making an impact in my life. Thanks Prof~
MO QINLI LIONEL
In my first journal, I remember clearly that I had only 1 objective, to challenge myself to speak up in class and to participate more actively in my group. I feel that I have achieved the above said objective, when I reflect upon this term as compared to the last term. As I am one who does not like to say things just for the sake of saying them (i.e. without substance), I prefer to think things through myself before making my point, and this happens across the board in either my project meetings or in class. So even though I may not have spoken up as much as others in class, I feel that I have challenged myself to speak up when I feel that I have a salient point. That being said, I remember in Prof’s course outline, she had mentioned that she will be looking out for students who dare to speak up, whether they are intelligent or seemingly stupid questions or remarks, as long as they are well thought through. I still need to improve in the sense that when I do have doubts about myself, I need the confidence to ask these “seemingly stupid questions” in class. Prof Pamela has gone a long way in helping me achieve my objectives. She has cajoled students to speak up, and also complimented them when they give a correct answer, but has never lost her patience with anyone who asks a “seemingly stupid” question. It is these characteristics and traits that give students like me a confidence boost and so will dare to speak up in class. P.S.: Thanks Prof, I feel that your style of teaching is very refreshing and hope that I will meet many more profs who have the same style of teaching as yours. I also feel that you take the student’s feedback seriously and also act upon it, as such this makes students such as us feel that we are valued and that the learning process that you have incorporated in class is a two way process.
Wow. 13 Weeks have passed so fast. It’s amazing to think that the first time we came to class and first heard about our weekly journal was almost three months ago! In my first journal, I wanted to learn about how to make an invention become an innovation. I wanted to know what the process entailed, because as I said, it didn’t just “happen”. I have learnt just how much an innovator has to take into consideration when bringing a product to the market. Funnily enough, the experiences that you, Prof, have shared have taught me as much, if not more, than the actual theory behind innovation. Which is reflective I feel, of real life. Learning things in a classroom will only get you started, the rest is all down to trial and error, and picking yourself up time and again until you succeed. Out of the 5 traits of a good innovator we were asked to list in the previous journal, the 3 main lessons I received from class were 1) Perseverance – to be tough, 2) Networking – its who you know, and 3) Street Smarts – know your enemy, know yourself. Not that I didn’t know this before, but the examples in class really served to highlight and reinforce each one in a very distinct manner. Definitely I will take these lessons with me, and apply them, even in school, while always remembering that there are more important things, like people, and family. All in all, the reinforcement of traits has convinced me that I have learned what I came to learn, now remains for me to put it into action!
As the course comes to an end I feel that I have really benefited a great deal from most of the sharing in class. What I started out to accomplish in this course was to increase my knowledge of the potential of technology and its applications, and also to enhance my business acumen in technological trends. With such ambitious goals, I dare not say that I have already achieved all that I set out to but to a certain extent I am now more appreciative of new innovations and realize the important role technology plays in the future of business. Like I have mentioned in my first journal, I am not exactly a very ‘tech savvy’ person. Initially I would say my attitude towards the sweeping trend of technological advancement is one filled with more suspicion and helplessness. Though this course did not make me a guru overnight but the sense of vulnerability towards technological innovations is no longer so pronounced. In a way, I feel that now I am more aware of how I can be part of this trend and that the potential in it is great. What I have benefited most from are the sharing sessions by the technical entrepreneurs. From the stories of these successful innovators I learnt that a technical entrepreneur is not born but made by hard work. In order to come out with an outstanding idea a lot of research has to be done in the background which few people eventually will see. It is therefore precious and insightful to be able to hear from these technical entrepreneurs share how they struggled to make it big. What is more inspiring to me is also their passion, be it for what they do or just for making money. No matter what, successful entrepreneurs must be strongly self-driven and this is what sets them apart from ordinary people who just want to get by with what they are already familiar with. This is also what challenges me as I know while I have a lot more to learn, I need to find the passion in the dream I which I would pursue. Another thing which I found especially helpful was the individual assignment. Though it was an optional assignment I learnt a lot from doing it. It was like a hands on experience for me in terms of innovation as I had to do all the research and idea generation on my own and that actually gave me a sense of achievement after it was completed. The notion of coming up with an innovative idea and implementing it is good practice for us. Moreover, after learning so much from the text book it is a good test to know if things actually work that way. Personally, I feel that although it was very taxing, the process of innovating is actually very fulfilling. Thus, this practice spurred my interest in being an innovator. Finally, the last few lessons which taught us about funding were also very useful for me. It made me see that the amount of assistance in making a business is actually aplenty. Honestly, I think prof’s experience as a technical entrepreneur gave what she says a realistic support. Now I believe good ideas can actually be made real as long as we are willing to put in the hard work and have the courage to try. Hence I am actually very inspired to give it a try on my own ideas. After all, the journey of a technical entrepreneur seems like very exciting now. 🙂
LIEW SHI JIA
To a certain extent, yes. I have learnt how some technologies have come about, be they incremental, modular, architectural, or radical, depending on whether the changes are in the components or the entire system of that technology. I have also seen personally, examples of technical entrepreneurs, and a little bit of what it takes to be one. Anybody can be a technical entrepreneur, even those who are not technologically savvy. One just needs to be daring and meek at the same time, hardworking, and definitely persistent. Funding abounds but there is no free lunch in the world, especially the business world. There is usually an ulterior motive or something hidden behind every “good catch”. Everything is not always what it seems. What everybody else seems to endorse may not be the best for everyone. I have taken steps to speak up in class, and have learnt to be more receptive to all ideas but not swallowing anything hook, line, and sinker. To analyse anything, no matter how good it seems.
TAN KIAN HONG KEVIN
After going back to read my first journal, I think it is very obvious that I was expecting more of a socially skewed study of technology and its impact on the world for this course. What I would learn over the following 13 weeks would be more of a business approach and perception to technology. During the last lesson, I was reminded of how technology is a double edged sword as it has allowed us to multi task and work even more at the expense of family, time and friends. My questions on technology widening social and economical gaps between societies and innovation largely birthed out of a hunger for wealth was not answered during this course. Rather, they were answered in my BGS module. Thankfully those questions were not addressed during TWC or I would have had learnt the same thing twice. That would have been a waste of my parent’s money and my Friday morning sleep. As such, I would say I did not achieve what I originally set out to learn about technology during this course. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the large amount of useful business lessons relating to technology which I learnt from the professor. I can confidently say that the knowledge the professor imparted to me and to every other student would more than make up for what each of us was expecting to take away from TWC. I am certain there are at least a few of us who have been inspired to become entrepreneurs and such inspiration provides us not with a satisfaction of what we originally wanted to achieve during the beginning of the course. Rather, such inspiration has created new objectives which push us to want to achieve so much more. The journals may end here for me but learning about starting a real tech business has just begun.
ANG JIAN WEI
Non scholæ, sed vitae discimus -We learn not for school, but for life. It is with this attitude that I approach (it is on all my emails ‘signature’=) the objectives I have set out in the first journal. I recalled journaling that theoretical knowledge only makes for academic readings but not application. Fortunately, this course has empowered me with both. No doubt I have learned various textbook approaches regarding technical entrepreneurship but this module has in one way or another enriched my perspective on doing business as well. The practical awareness of how innovations can have an impact on business is seen through the various case studies the groups have undertaken. But more importantly, I am impressed by the distinguished guest speakers whom the class has brought in. Many of whom are no doubt fellow students, but their experience in dealing with business situations and having their own firms provides us with a wealth of experience. Besides relating their own personal experience, the networking opportunities afforded through such seminars could become tremendously important in our own endeavor to become successful businessman. Some people might prefer a more quantifiable yardstick for objectives. However, I feel that even as the takeaways I have learned might seem comparatively intangible and small, it is such tacit knowledge which we must always seek to enrich on if we want to pursuit an entrepreneur career. No doubt, I have fared relatively alright in journals and exams. This semester, I have gradually started to participate more in class, a goal which I feel I have made progress on for all modules including TWC. Indeed, I could even say this will only be positive for my GPA; which I must confess I am maintaining and scoring it the old school JC way last sem. However, at the end of the day, we must realize that there is more to school and life than academic inclination. What stuck me was the comment my friend make during ‘Nexus 07 conf’ in which he was lamenting about the lack of entrepreneurship spirit and also the lack of passion among SMU students (he is in SMU btw). Most of us are slave to GPA, and few of us would deny that we want to major in Finance, by far offering the most lucrative prospects. While I have to confess that most of us need a decent GPA to maintain scholarship, the most fulfilling knowledge will be derived from social networking, having a concept of entrepreneurship that can be readily applied, and knowledge of how to tap on the various sources of funding and so on and so forth. These are knowledge which in itself are meaningless for academic excellence, but are valuable for our educational journey both as a person and an aspiring businessman. I remembered mentioning about my fascination with innovation. Innovation was naively viewed as a superb dream in which everyone is suddenly buying into at the start of the course. I was also afraid that my introvert self would be self-defeating with regards to innovation. Well, the course have taught me that innovation is as much a dream come true as it is a process. The insight is only the end of the beginning and there are various painstaking steps involved before the one can claim success The market is littered with corpses of unsuccessful innovation which only proves the difficulties and commitment involved in innovation. In this sense, I have at least grasped at the tip of what innovation really is about ( I guess that there is still a lot about innovation which cannot be covered in a short space of a sem). It is also beneficial that we are given the option of completing an individual assignment on an innovating product. In my personal opinion, it is a practical application of what we have learn, a task which I set out to do at the start of the sem and gladly fulfilled. Non scholæ, sed vitae discimus -We learn not for school, but for life. Indeed, the course has in one way or another benefited me not just with respect to studies but in terms of knowledge relating to setting up a business.. Even as TWC is not a course in which the focus is on for example, setting up a start-up…the various concepts, presentations and seminars in the course are stepping stones in which we can seek to further enhance such knowledge on our own. I am largely satisfied that I have met the objectives of truly learning set in the first journal, but learning is an ongoing process and there is thus, obviously room for improvement. To conclude, I am really glad to be in this class.
In my first journal, I set out to study today’s world technology revolutions, and analyze what are the crucial elements that make an idea succeed or fail. In the first few weeks, I was introduced to many such crucial elements. I learnt the history and patterns of technological change. One example is the Kondratieff cycle. I also learnt how to differentiate different types of innovations, such as dominant, incremental, architectural, etc. After being able to identify the types, I learnt to identify their origin, such as users, spill overs, corporate undertaking, etc. Hence, the first few weeks taught me to identify the various types and sources of innovations. Being able to recognize an innovation is an important fundamental to capitalize it better. The next crucial element that can break or make an innovation is IP protection. I learnt the various means of protections for an invention. More importantly, I gained an in-depth insight of the rational behind a Patent. I recognized the two-sided facade of patenting, and how it can be a double-edged sword. I learnt the framework and interplay of patent between the State, Inventor, and Public, and how they benefit each other mutually. Another crucial element that I learnt is the innovation strategies. Such as Business Strategies (which takes a macro view on long term business plan) and Technology strategy (which selects, acquire, develop and then exploit). Other interesting strategies that I’ve learnt are First Mover or Follower Strategy. All these are crucial elements that can make an idea succeed or fail. The last element, which is also the most intriguing element I’ve learnt is Funding. An great idea, but without funds, can be further developed for capitalization. However, a great idea should have no problem in raising funds. (at least that what we’ve learnt in class and in our case study) I’ve learnt various funds available that assist start-ups and business ideas. Now, I’m able to identify the differences between these various funds, such as Spring Seed and EDB seed. Each class lesson was an edification on an element, which eventually piece up to an whole framework of technology innovation. Now, I’m able to appreciate the process of an entrepreneurial innovation, from its birth to development, to patenting, and then to incubation (pilot), and finally to commercializing. Thank you Prof, for this valuable insights you’ve given the class.
TAN JIAN WEI DAVE
I achieved most of my objectives less the part to analyze and predict the trend in the society. Through the course, I also met new friends and learn not to be so naïve as the world is not as it seems to be. I tried hard to participate in class but there were a lot more who were more active than me. During the course, I had a few ideas on starting a business. But after going through all the possible drawbacks, I took the most feasible one and use it for my individual assignment. Before the start of 1st week, I was skeptical about having to take the course. My perception of a technical-entrepreneur was that of an unreachable career for me. It was so difficult to be an entrepreneur, not to mention a technical one. I need to possess all the relevant IT knowledge and skills. But through the lessons and breakout sessions, I learnt much about setting a business and the avenues for seeds funds.
The objectives I set for my first week journal was: 1. to have an “innovator mindset”, to reexamine what we take as given. 2. Sharing with the class how we can foster innovation. After 13 weeks, even though I may not have achieve all the things I set out to be, I’m glad that I have achieve most of it. Achieving the goal of the innovator mindset is more than just reexamine what we take as given. Through the words of wisdoms of the many guests’ speakers, the “innovator mindset” is also having the confidence of telling people your great idea and Nike slogan “Just Do It”. I’m born to be rather rebellious, in which I hate to follow mainstream stuff and trends. I feel intense when people say “its impossible” or “following the crowd”. No offense, but I felt like arguing with Mr. Francis when he said it was ‘impossible’ to persuade the mainstream people to accept alternative thinking. I also felt uncomfortable when the week 12 researcher from Republic Poly said they must follow the government vision, rather than aiming for the government to follow them. People say I’m Idealistic, but this is how I’m born to be. And I think this make me real. But what really struck me was after Hong Zhuang said that we should share whatever great ideas we have to as many people as possible. I used to be rather reluctant to share my ideas with other people for ‘fear’ that they will steal it. But like what Hong Zhuang said, if your idea is good and people make it a reality, everyone wins as it makes the world a better place. And if you can come out with one good idea, you can definitely come out with the second. And after his talk, I’ve been sharing whatever ideas I have, and it feels great. Gathering all the feedbacks and at the same time listen to their ideas – a cross-pollination of ideas. Being someone who sometimes “think” too much, I start to take action really fast now. Because no matter how many different scenarios you played in your mind, the outcome in the end will always be different. So why procrastinate when you can learn the most things once you start doing it? So yes, I’m proud to say that I’ve achieve my first objective. My second objective wasn’t really met as I didn’t share any thoughts on innovation. But I think what is heartening is that all the guests speakers had help me in this part. Having them to open their hearts and share with us their journey has indeed inspire us to learn from them. I and Winston would often stay back and discuss what we have learned from the particular guests speaker and how can we apply what we just learned to what we really want to be in the future. And yes, this course has definitely open my mind and strengthen my spirit. I’m very grateful for that. Thank You Prof!
GAY ZHI CONG
I feel that i have been able to fulfill my objectives. At the start, i decided that i wanted to learn about how technology affects business through the course and how we can make better business decisions or innovate with respect to technology. After these 13 weeks of learning about patents, how innovation arises, technopreneurs, how to source for investors, i feel that i can now identify how technology plays a part in the business world. I can now understand the many factors that determine whether a technology can become successful. In this age, technology affects businesses at all levels and it develops rapidly. Whatever is new today may become obsolete in a few days or weeks. Therefore, it is imperative to be on the look out for new ways to maximize the growth of businesses through exploring the means of new technologies.
In the first journal I stated that I would like to learn how ideas develop over time, either with the help of technology or changes in current tastes and trends. Over the course I have began to think that ideas can be developed with the help of both technology and changes in current tastes and trends. Technology helps to transform an idea into innovation. At times there is indeed the need for advanced and sophisticated technology in order to produce a certain type of product or innovation. There also has to be relevant technology available in order to support the upcoming innovation or the latest in services. For example, most banks used advanced software and anti-hacking programs in order to protect their accounts. These software must be able to be supported by the computer systems in order for them to work. This is just a simplistic example to illustrate how technology can support the development of a particular idea to become a reality. Changes in current tastes and trends must be in favour of the idea/ innovation. Most successful ideas/ innovations often begin right at the start of a current trend or change in technological wave, hence enabling them to spread fast among the general public. I also mentioned that I’m interested to know whether technology influences world change or vice versa. In my opinion, I feel that most of the time, new developments in technology influences changes in the world. Some of these changes can be drastic ones. The mobile phone for example, has changed our lifestyles, the way we conduct our businesses and the way we communicate and interact with others. It has even given rise to new forms of social etiquette such as excusing yourself from the dinner table to answer your call and no mobile phone zones in some of the exclusive country clubs. However changes in the world may at times influence the direction of technological development. For example, amidst reports that the oil supply is running out, more calls to research on alternative fuel sources were heard. Hence the appearance of the noble but still relatively unpopular hydrogen-cell cars. Changing temperatures and weather conditions as a result of global warming has led to companies moving away from including the use of Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) during the manufacturing or operating their goods. Hence although I feel that for the most part, technology influences changes in the world, I do not deny the fact that sometimes, the reverse occurs as well.
FONG KIN SENG
The main objectives in the first journals are as a such: 1) To gain a larger perspective of the important trends that are changing the world around me. In order to identify and grasp trends that are important to my success. 2) To benefit from Prof Pamela Lim’s experience as a successful innovator and to do both by listening and questioning. I feel that both objectives have been fulfilled sufficiently. For the first point, I have managed to gain a much wider view of the real world. I feel that there is a fundamental difference in the environment in school and the working world. The environment in school is ‘controlled’ whereby a lot of factors which affects one’s success are controlled and limited. In the real world, I feel that a lot of factors of not within the control of oneself. Hence, there is a need to recognize the important trends. The first objective has been fulfilled because the module TWC has certainly widened my perspective of the world. Being an entrepreneur was not as simply as I thought it would be. I think the greatest take away I can get from the TWC course was that being an entrepreneur, one would face the largest difficulty in facing copyright issues and funding issues. In any start-up, one must weigh the importance of the cost of obtaining legal protection against the cost of profit and revenue. In order to protect one’s innovation there might be a need to sacrifice one’s funding. Hence, there is a need for one to exercise discrimination in differentiating which is more important. This is most cases is not that clear-cut. From, TWC I learnt that there is a large potential for new ideas. Whoever that has a new idea can succeed provided that he or she is able to commercialize and protect it effectively. For example, we need to provide solutions to current problems, like setting up clinics to solve the problem of cyber-addiction in the youth in China. I also learnt that software and IT is the current driving force of today’s economy. By thinking up ideas that go between different aspects of IT there is a larger chance of success. For example, for Tyler Projects, what they did was to combine the user interfaces of PC, Play station and Hand-phones into a single multi-player console. By providing a good solution for the problems of today, there is a good chance of success. On the aspect of funding, I realized that in order to raise funds, there are many avenues of approach. The only limitation to finding funding would likely be the risk one would be likely to take. For example, the funds that one would get from business angels and venture capitals would differ vastly in risk and in returns. For business angels there would likely be lesser terms and less pressure to get good returns while venture capitalist would provide a large loan with the terms of a four- fold or more return. In retrospect there are more avenues of approach than I thought possible. However, one must be savvy enough to weigh the cost and effect of each decision that one takes in getting funds for an enterprise. On trends, I feel that IT would soon slow down in its development and potential. The most lucrative trend in the new future would be bio-technology and health care. These 2 trends would be substantially profitable in the near future. Like Mr Francis Leong has mentioned, medical care would likely be different in the near future. There might be a large potential in alternative healing and preventive care. Also bio-technology would be crucial in future growth. Mapping the human genome and genetic engineering are but 2 major instances that prove bio-technology is the field which we should be innovating in the present day. There is a need to get a grasp of technical knowledge as well as biological know-how in order to be successful in the future. I think that I was lucky to have Professor Pamela Lim as my professor in my TWC class. True to the reason why I chose SMU as the University that I want to spend my tertiary education in, TWC provided me with valuable insights beyond the classroom. Instead of boring lectures that my fellow students are exposed to, I was required to do extensive research every lesson in a bid to learn more. There is no greater education than the experience to interact with the ‘real’ corporate world. The final project on inviting real-life technical entrepreneur to class was in fact an eye opening experience. As students, we get to interact with these successful people on a personnel level. We also get to test our concepts with real-life expectations through questioning. By, questioning we learnt the most as our fears and doubts are being solved. Also we get to question Professor Pamela Lim who is a successful technical entrepreneur herself. She let us realized that not all laws are perfect and we have to have good judgment in order to succeed. For example, patents might not be really useful to start-ups. Also we learnt about possible pitfalls in setting up a business of our own. In short, we basically get experience that we do not get any where else and all our potential doubts about entrepreneurship are solved. In conclusion, the objectives that were set out at the start of the class were achieved. TWC on the whole has encouraged me to be bold. It has taught me that with determination all our dreams and ambition could be achieved. TWC has given me the edge that I need in starting a business and most of all it has taught me the value of new ideas that are so crucial in innovation.
It has been a long journey, albiet a fruitful one. Sacrificing friday morning sleep for 13 weeks…was it worth it? EVERY BIT OF IT 🙂 I entered the first class of TWC, half-hearted, extremely doubtful of my capabilities as an entrepreneur. I wondered how I could ever cope with the incredibly fast changing nature of technology. The first lecture put my thoughts in a new light – I realized that the TWC module could help slow down the pace of the technological scenario and offer me a deeper insight into the world that on the outside looks so fancy, yet is so simple at its core. Thus was my objective set up in my first reflection on technology and world change. “Most businessmen make simple things look difficult.” It’s been only a matter of time before I found out why. I feel I have achieved much much more that what I set out to achieve through this course. From the terminologies to the case studies, to an in-depth understanding of business processes and technical entrepreneurs, I have learnt a lot. All I await now is the spark of a brilliant idea…putting it out in the real world is what I am all prepared for. Commercialization, funding and being aware of the misleading, ‘profit-thirsty’ people out there – TWC has been my guide. I have learnt, not only from the able experiences shared in the lecture, but also from my classmates, in particular my groupmates. They say college is where you find your group of people who share your working style and values – TWC has helped me find mine. Projects have never been more fun! Someday, I will be out there in the world, an entrepreneur, a successful one. And I’ll owe the initiation of my success and my motivation to 14 weeks of seeing technology change the world. TWC, it’s been a pleasure 🙂
It’s been a very eventful semester for me, with very interesting Friday mornings. Every Friday (post week 1) would find me running for the bus at 7.30. (It takes me a minimum of 45 minutes to get to university). Every Friday would also find me sitting in GSR 3.22, arguing with Gordon , Sam, Kechang, Yusuf and Trina about how to go about our in- class assignment. All six of us have different viewpoints, and come from six very different cultures and lifestyles. So putting us together has kind of been like a chemistry experiment- you never know what the end product would be. With huge fights about who would present which section, to when was a good time to meet for our presentations, to whether we could shift our meetings to Kopitiam instead of the GSR so we could grab breakfast at the same time; we’ve been through a lot as a team. But it wasn’t only fighting- I think we really bonded together, got to know each other, and spent some quality time as friends as well as co-workers. I feel that I may not have achieved exactly what it is that I wanted to in the beginning, but I have achieved a lot more than what I expected. I’ve learnt how to work with different kinds of people- from Gordon (who always wants his way), to Trina (who says exactly what she feels), to Kechang (who actually listens and acts like a peacemaker) and Yusuf (who only speaks when spoken to). I’m not certain where exactly I fit into this team, but I’m hoping I had as much of an impact on them as they have had on me. Besides a lot of the theoretical stuff that I have learnt (like what differentiates an inventor from an innovator); I have also learnt a lot of practical things. How to set up your own business venture; where you can go for aid; how to make an idea truly successful- real life examples that you gave us in class, the various people that did come in to talk to us- it has all been very interesting and informative. Quoting from my first journal –“a whole new perspective in relation to the world post the technological revolution, and am looking to imbibe skills which I believe are critical in today’s competitive corporate sector”. Well I do have a very different perspective of the world, not necessarily in terms of where the world has gotten to post the technological revolution, but more in terms of reality and how it works. I have imbibed a lot in terms of today’s corporate world- how to deal with people, how not take things at their face value, how to never let anyone take advantage of you…the list is endless. Well I’ve learnt a lot about different people and what they’ve done, how they’ve struggled against all odds to reach where they did. I’ve learnt about how the easiest route out is not always the best route to follow- and how the struggle does pay off in the end. I’ve learnt about how two and two doesn’t always make four. I’ve learnt how the smallest idea can turn into the biggest success. The process is tedious, the challenges many, yet everything is achievable if you just give it a try. I guess what I’ve learnt from you is ‘Never Give Up’. I have learnt interesting ideas that I would not have in an ordinary business course, and have gotten some intellectual stimulation at the same time. All in all, I would say that getting up early in the morning on a Friday has definitely been worth it (and I’m not a morning person at all!!).
ONG KOK CHENG
There were four objectives that I have set in Week 1. In the first objective, I mentioned that I wished to learn to work in a new team and adapt to their working styles. Now, 13 weeks have passed, 9 In-class presentations and 2 team presentations were carried out, it was definitely not an easy task especially when all of us have very differing personalities. (I agree with you prof) But, I am glad that I have overcome that impasse, and most importantly, I had a very delightful experience during the learning process because I can see that everyone puts in their efforts and time into preparing the presentations. Even the soft-spoken Shanglin and Felix have taken the first step to speak in class and contribute much more than before to the presentations. I am satisfied with the results and I declared the first objective met. Secondly, I have also stated that I wished to learn from the class sharing and presentations. Out of so many classes I have attended, this was the only course that saw more than 90% of class participation. Particularly, I enjoyed the many experiences and life stories that were shared from the numerous reputable guest speakers and student entrepreneurs. It was a totally “hearing”, “learning”, “seeing” and “believing” opportunities that no other courses can provide. I have heard so many negative feedbacks about TWC course from my friends, but this class has set the standards for other professors to start thinking what TWC should be. Most importantly, the genuine class participation creates the mood and environment for learning. I give 5 out of 5 stars for this course and I declared once again the second objective met. Thirdly, I have also set a personal objective to achieve and that is I wished to improve on my presentation and interpersonal skills. The abundant of class presentations have challenged me to become a better presenter. In addition, the many presentation styles and the creative openings from many of the group presentations have inspired me to work even harder for other presentations. I can still remember clearly the embarrassing moment when my team and I performed the opening for the K-wave. Nevertheless, it the moment for our team to do something we have never done. Eventually with so many interesting and motivating guest speakers that were invited to the class, the urge to ask questions instinctively flows. During the course, new friendships were fostered as well, especially when I made another friend who has the same name as me. I can never rekindle that 13 weeks of TWC again and I hope to keep it as a good memory. I declared the third objective met. Lastly, I hope that this journal is never too long to reproduce the 13 weeks of TWC lessons and the 39 hours of fun and learning. The last objective is a real-life experience I wish to takeaway from this course. It is to learn from the technopreneur who has taken the path to setting her business. It really implores me to re-evaluate my life goals once again after hearing the sweat and toil of a successful business. I realized that skills could be picked up if you want to and the right team can be formed even when you do not have the necessary skills. But, I still believe I want to pick up the skills myself and the library might be a good starting point. Finally, I declared all the objectives met. This reflection journal will remain as a written memory and I am glad that I can close this chapter without remorse.
In the first journal, I stressed that my primary goals of taking this course was to expand my knowledge on technology and entrepreneurship, as well as their linkages to innovation. As we approach the end of this course, I believe that I have achieved my main goals or at least have amassed knowledge on them. I have realized that technology and innovation work hand in hand and if exploited efficiently each can provide sufficient business value to an industry. In addition to this, I have gained essential networking as well entrepreneurship skills which can help prove my mettle in the business world. I have learnt that attitude and knowledge of market trends go a long way when it comes to launching of a new product or its marketing process. I have also understood that science and technology are 2 sides of the same coin and both prove essential to societal life. With regard to financial concepts, I have also been exposed to several financial facets like covenants, bonds and funds which can help in the long run when setting up of a successful company becomes one of my priorities. Other than the aforementioned traits and skills, I have also paid close attention to the values imparted by the various guest speakers. I have realized that social work is also an important part of life and every individual should make an attempt to improve the economic condition of the less fortunate and oppressed. Only then can one rise above the materialistic values of life and become complete and whole. In conclusion, this journey has been quite eventful; a large amount of knowledge has been gained, I have made several new friends not to mention a very knowledgeable and enterprising teacher and hence, I shall cherish every moment of it.
I believe I have achieved my objectives at a satisfactory level thus far. I must admit that in fact, I have learnt much more that I have initially expected. Other than the just theories as per textbook, I’ve learnt much, much more, from experiences of my prof, guest-speakers as well as my classmates through class discussions (ranging from the difference between innovation and invention, to, umm, bio-terrorism). And from these experiences, as probably already expected, the reality is not rigid; problems faced in reality are not as ‘easily solved’ as those in textbooks. Overall, I have not only gained a much deeper understanding of the ‘whats’, ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ the latest technology were created and developed, but as we progressed towards the end of the course, I have also gained knowledge on how technology has progressed to impact our lives. Somehow I thought this course is a hybrid of basic business courses: marketing, strategy, on top of innovation and technology, which I believe makes it useful together in my application of what I’ve learnt to my life in the future. Although I haven’t gotten much time to catch up regularly on the news on the latest gadgets/technology myself, I was pretty much reasonably updated through class discussions and presentations on the recent developments, changes and even matters which I have never heard about, like ‘genetic engineering’. So in various aspects of the objectives I have listed in the beginning of the course, I believe I have achieved them. All in all, the end of the TWC course is but a beginning in my journey to technical entrepreneurship. I have grown to appreciate the aspects of innovation, the viability, the impacts and the progress of technology. Thank’s prof! It’s been an enjoyable time with you.
SUNIL S/O JIWATRAM DADLANI
Looking back at my first journal, I had set out to learn more from theoretical knowledge from the textbook as well as real-life situations that would provide me with more insight on the current situation in the business world. I’ve also set out to pay more attention in the topics taught and to speak-up when it doubt. With those objectives in mind, I’ve been able to achieve not only those stated in the first journal, but a couple of others as well. During my last 12 weeks, I was able to pick up a great amount of theories that I could reflect on during my lifetime. Learning these theories not only enforce the lessons learnt, they provide a sense of encouragement to those taking the innovative career path instead of the norm. As for the extra objectives, I’ve been able to network with more people in the class itself to spur on new ideas to start off. I’ve also had the opportunity to share with my group the details on my entrepreneurship ventures and to assist them when they ponder on how to create their own start-up. Sharing these small ideas between friends not only provides a more interactive session during class, it had assisted me in churning out more ideas and due to the time constraints set, allow all of us to provide our best and focus on getting results during the break-out sessions. Not only was I able to discuss with my team members every week, the final presentation was the icing on the cake. Every team that brought a speaker to class demonstrated the amount of hidden talent that Singapore has to provide. Not knowing that these people existed especially the ones based in SMU were surprising. When questions were posed to them, I was able to see the different ways and hardships that these technopreneurs faced during their journey and the passion that spurred them on to achieve more. Leonard Lin was a great example that demonstrated passion over everything else. His determination led him to where is he today overcoming every odds that was presented to him. Based on whether I’ve learnt the objectives set out in the first journal, I say yes, that and a whole lot more. Every week of class was a journey that would recharge my ideas and focus my thoughts.
To be very honest, I never really knew what to expect out of this course. As I mentioned in my earlier journal, my only hope at the beginning of the course was to appreciate technology and its evolution in the market place. This would allow me to gain a better understanding of the successes and failures of various products and services, giving me a broader perspective. This ties in neatly with my final ambition of becoming a management consultant, whose role is to advise companies. However, having gone through this course, my thinking has actually shifted. Please allow me to elaborate. The TWC classes were often conducted in a very conducive manner for learning and sharing. Peer to peer learning was exceptionally strong and I really did benefit a lot from the tons of research and information that was exchanged during lessons through presentations and class participation. From the very first few lessons, we were thrown into the deep end of the pool and made to discuss issues such as the thermo flask. We explored the ingenuity that came behind the innovation as well ethical issues about the advertising of such products. Through these meaningful sessions, I gained a good insight into the various industries and learnt the different inspirations behind the innovation of a product. My team project was another avenue where we certainly learned a lot as well. I was assigned to work on a project regarding the evolutions theories of technology. Such concepts include the technology S curve, punctuated equilibrium and dominant design. While I perfectly understand that these products had their own limitations, they were still very good guides to map the particular technical evolution of various products in the market place. My group challenged ourselves to think of examples that did not exist in the textbook. This greatly accelerated our learning as we had to discuss and debate over the applicability of such theories onto numerous products and services available currently today. This was one of the most significant portions of the course as it contributed greatly to my initial aim on the first day of the course to better understand the different industries. Based on the experiences cited above, I definitely managed to accomplish whatever goal I aimed for at the beginning of the course. However, to my pleasant surprise, my learning did not stop there. There were many more essential skills and lessons that were valuable. I shall proceed to discuss perhaps two other key points that I picked up in this course. The first other take away I had was the broadening of my mindset to consider entrepreneurship. Listening to speaker week after week, I am actually partially (not full) convinced that this is a path that is certainly worth committing too. No doubt that it takes a lot of hard work, the pay off is very lucrative. It is rewarding in two ways – monetary gains and personal satisfaction. The latter is actually more meaningful to me. My emphasis in life is to do what you truly believe in. Entrepreneurs like Hong Zhuang and Daryl who came in spoke with a kind of passion that I hope to have one day when I speak about my job. This made me cast some doubt on my current ambitions and opened my mind more to be receptive to other possibilities. Another key benefit I had is an increase in awareness and street-smartness. Watching videos such as the start up selling fire escape ladders made me realise that the business world can be a very cold one. Patents may not be as useful as we deem it to be. Singaporeans are, at times, too sheltered and think that things tend to be more simplified than it really is. The class sharing about the usefulness of patents made me realise how to protect my ideas and survive in this world which can be merciless at times. Francis, the last speaker during the last lesson, really drove this point home when he encouraged us to adopt a more inquisitive mindset towards things that we see in the market place. Is organic food really organic? I think exposure to such issues greatly increased my awareness and it is a quality that we can take anywhere else in the work force. In conclusion, I cannot help but feel that we were often short changed for time during each TWC lesson. Perhaps in the future we can have groups prepare the in class discussions before the lesson, in order to free up more time during the lesson. This gives us more opportunities to have breaks too! I also felt that it would be great to have an opportunity to learn more about writing a business proposal. The individual assignment was a good start, but we were pretty much left on our own for that assignment. The professor has much experience in this field and can definitely guide us well. However, having said that, this course has definitely fulfilled my aims and so much more. It feels very sudden that it has all ended. With that, I end my last journal on a sad note that it has all drawn to an end, with only the exam to look forward to now! 🙂
ONG YEW LEE
After attending more than 10 lessons of TWC, I get to learn more about technology and innovation. In the past, I used to think that invention is innovation, and innovation is invention. However, now I am able to clearly differentiate the 2. During the course, I have learnt about the different theories about innovation and technology. It is so much and way beyond of what I have initially thought of technology and innovation. Frankly speaking, before this course, I would always associate invention with Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb and technology with engineers. And that is all I know, and nothing beyond that. But now I know it is more than that. I am glad that during the course, a lot of speakers have been invited to our class and share with us their successful stories. I was quite surprised sometimes when the speakers whom were invited to our class are as young as us. And can you imagine they are entrepreneurs and they own businesses. Of course, I did feel bad about myself because people who are almost of the same age as me, and they are already starting out their career and I have nothing. However, I realized that each and every one of us has our own passion, path and goals to achieve and thus not been able to become an entrepreneur does not mean that you are unsuccessful. In fact, they are still many areas you can still excel in. In the beginning of this course, I have set for myself a number of goals to be achieved at the end of this course. First of all, I am really interested to know about why some of us are just so successful in life, for instance setting up and running their own businesses. I know it is never an easy task to have your own businesses. There are always endless things that you would have to consider and take note of. TWC in fact is the module that allows me to access to the world of entrepreneurs and learnt from them, what actually makes a successful entrepreneur. In most of the talks, I realized that being knowledgeable about the current technology is one of the key to success as an entrepreneur. I can tell that most of the speakers and including Prof are really well versed with the current technology. Secondly, in fact, all the speakers gave me the impression that they are very determined and patient. And I think these are another 2 keys to success not just applying to the entrepreneurs. I guess not matter what thing you do in life you have to be determined and patient. Although, most of the entrepreneur occasionally in their course of running their businesses, they continued to persist and think positively and achieve what they have today. These examples really further strengthening my perceptions of “in order to succeed, you must be determined and patient.” And most importantly, all of them do it with a passion and I believe no matter what you do in life, and if you do it with a strong passion, you are more likely to do well in it. I think I also meet a group of great team mates, and really enjoy working with them. And I am glad that I am able to share quite a bit of my experiences with them. I strongly believe that TWC has given me a clear insight of technology and innovation and I really learnt a lot from here. And most importantly, I have achieved my objectives. Cheerz..
Yes. I set out in course wanting to know how to become a successful tehnopreneur. Now, I’ve learnt the process of innovation, the big picture of getting your innovation from invention to commercialization, and the nitty gritty details like when you should enter the market with what kind of product, how and why you should apply for IP even though it cannot guarantee protection, and very importantly, how to get the money to fund for your innovation. In fact, I now feel that launching an innovation is not as daunting a task anymore, and I am not that apprehensive about it as much as before. P.S. Thanks for thinking up of a fun and engaging structure for this class, its my most enjoyable class this semester.
SHARIFAH NURFARHANA BINTE SYED MOHAMAD
To be honest, my expectation for this course was rather modest, as my intention we mainly to learn to new things and acquire knowledge from other peoples experiences. I could hardly recall my first lesson; I didn’t know what to anticipate. I tried making preparation the night before by reading the articles that the professor had posted on Vista and at the same time try to learn more about the her background and successes. I must say it was rather impressive and that definitely intimidated me as I wasn’t exactly a technology savvy person. My objective was to know more about and understand the implication and process of the evolving technology. Given that, it’s absolutely an essential component in our daily life and has a substantial effect on the evolution of the world. It could also make one becomes complacent which could result in obsolescence of the skills and proof detrimental to one’s health due to stress. In my opinion, my objectives and expectation were most definitely met. I had an enjoyable time, getting to know new classmates in the process and acquire and learn great innovations that I never new existed. On top of that I learn that it takes hard work and perseverance to be a technopreneur. Contrary to common believes, fund accesses are relatively easily to source given that you have a solid proposal on hand and the confidence in your innovation. On the other hand, having the right technology is not the only thing that matters, at the end of the day it boils down to your ability to save keep your innovation and not let it fall to the hand of other by protecting your intellectual property. In the process of this course, I have learn to appreciate the value of a great innovation and gain the knowledge of commercializing one’s idea to become a revenue generating business and at the same time contribute to the community. There is a constant need to upgrade oneself and keep up with the lasted innovation in technology to sustain employability and to remain relevance to the dynamic globalization. My greatest take back from this course is that there is always a balance in this world; therefore don’t believe everything that you hear and always seek alternative methods contrary to the mainstream believes. At the end of it all, you will never know your true ability until you have tried and taken the risk, given that youth is on our side, there is nothing to loose and everything to gain from learning from mistakes and accumulating experiences to ensure success in the future.
ONG HUAI GIM NICHOLAS
MGMT002, this is the course code for our SMU course, “Technology & World Change”. Before attending the first lesson of TWC, I thought this is a course that is just meant to create a deeper awareness for technology, its development & effect on our society. However, during the first lesson, I was quite excited to know that my instructor for TWC not only has academic knowledge, but also possesses many years of experience in the business world. Hence besides knowing more about technology, another objective that I set in the first lesson is also to learn more about entrepreneurship. This is because I have always envisioned to becoming my own boss. I believe Prof will be able to provide me with insight on doing business and being an entrepreneur. Indeed, throughout the past 13 weeks, TWC really allows me to achieve my objectives. I feel that we students can greatly benefit from the lessons as they were conducted in such a way that students will be doing most of the research and group discussion. So besides gaining knowledge from Prof, we also get to learn from one another, and the good thing is it tends to stay in our brain longer. Further, when we are allowed to present our research after the break-up session, it also kind of build up our self-confidence. Frankly speaking, I feel more confident to speak-up in class now as compared to last term. In the second half of the term, I also learn a lot when different groups tried to invite entrepreneurs every week to come down and share with us their experience. The Q&A sessions were especially beneficial as it allow us to ask our burning questions. There is a Chinese saying that goes, “Tian Xia Wu Bu San Zhi Yan Xi”; in essence, it means all meetings or events, no matter what, will come to an end. Albeit today’s our last lesson for TWC, I believe the things we learn from TWC will continue to stay with us. I will always have this burning flame in me, this spirit to learn, to innovate, and to constantly come up with new ideas. Thank you TWC! Thank you Prof for making TWC an interesting and fruitful course!
SHOO WAN NING MONICA
I think that this course has exceeded my expectations and that’s maybe because I didn’t have much expectations or learning objectives in the first place. As a compulsory course especially with the title that includes technology, I found it quite intimidating. In such course, I tend to simply go with the flow and do what is necessary. So I thought that maybe this course could help me learn more about entrepreneurship and help me be less scared of technology. I think that this course has not only helped me achieve my objective but it has also deepened my knowledge of entrepreneurship and provided me a different insight on how to view technology. I feel that I have learnt a lot from your real-life experiences, I feel that it is more valuable than the theories. The situations that you shared about how fast changing the world is and how fast technology changes proves to be a sound reminder to me that I have to be adaptable and fast to accept change. Another important learning lesson for me was the case study where we went down to speak to one of the directors of HEULAB. Though we only shared a small portion of our conversation with the class, I felt that I learnt a lot about doing business in Singapore. He painted a very realistic picture of entrepreneurship and funding support in Singapore. He was very candid with his answers and told us how reality can be very different from the rosy picture that media paints. I feel that through this meeting and the learning points in class, many of my preconceived notions about entrepreneurship and technology has been destroyed. As stated in many of my previous journals, I have never seen myself as the entrepreneurship type. I have envisioned myself as the corporate type to scale the corporate ladder in an advertising or public relations firm. Now, I am open to the idea of starting out on my own at some point in my life. Also, I have never thought of myself as someone who is technology-savvy. In fact, I think that I’m more of a technology idiot and a late adopter of many technologies. I think this course has helped me understand that technology is not the end to itself. The successful exploitation of existing technology and ideas about how new technology can be invented, that is more important. What I can say is that this course has far exceeded my expectations and met my learning objective to be more open to entrepreneurship and technology.
I never had the opportunity to hand in my first journal. However i had saved it in the hope of being able to use it some day. I guess today would be the opportunity. Just so you can know, this was my first journal entry. ” When I read the question for the first time, I thought there is no way I can answer this within a day. So I waited for Monday and asked around what my friends who had already taken TWC in the previous semester thought of it. The general consensus was that they hardly obtained much benefit out of the course due to what seemed to them as knowledge that one would categorize as common sense rather than actual technical content. Thankfully for me, I am not interested in technical content as much as I am in reinforcing what I already know. So what I hope to get out of this course is a much better understanding of innovation, enough to be able to recognize the process in action and help it along for personal and social benefit.” I am happy to declare that i have gained a much stronger understanding of innovation. Though the textbook or the lessons in class should have been my main source of knowledge this is one module where I can safely say I learnt a lot from my peers. The flow of information was a very refreshing experience and for the first time I must say that the theories were not as daunting and also that it was amazing to see that even innovation could be categorized and structured. I also realised that there was more to this course than being just about innovation. This is a gore misconception that students who have completed the course seem to be spreading around. Either they have not been paying attention or that was all they managed to take away from the course. I have insofar learnt how innovation can be a source of personal and social benefits and hence i believe I have achieved the objectives that I had set for myself and more. Given the conclusive vibe that I am getting from the journal question, I must take this opportunity to give my gratitude for making this course very interesting for me and also for the abundance of wealth that I have gained in the form of knowledge. I feel like saying encore encore!
ONG GEE FANG
In my first journal, I have stated that I hope to be even more aware of some of the latest technological innovations available in the market and also, to better appreciate technology and innovations so as to better understand how they can impact the society (e.g. impacts on individuals, businesses) and how we can manage their usage to ensure that the use of them would not been abused. In the above aspects, I do think that the past 13 weeks spent in TWC classes had indeed been very fruitful and have helped me to achieve them. By now, I feel that I do have a better appreciation of the innovations around me and the hard work put in to get them successfully launched in the market. Also, my previous misconception that it is very difficult to get funding to support an entrepreneurship/technopreneurship attempt has been corrected after the lesson on how one can go about sourcing for funds. In general, I feel that the TWC classes have been very helpful in providing me with greater insights on how aspiring technopreneurs can go about realising their dreams. On the other hand, at a personal level, I am rather disappointed with my level of class participation. It was not really a case of non-participation on my part but I do wish that I could have participated more. Like I have mentioned previously, I do not consider myself to be a total “technological idiot” but nor am I especially savvy in this area. Probably due to this, other than the in-class researches where everyone is given a chance to research and share their findings and some occasions where I was able to participate, I have found it to be rather difficult to participate in class as I do not have enough knowledge on some of the topics being discussed. However, on a more positive note, despite not being able to speak up more in class, the sharing from my fellow classmates have very much helped in “enlightening” me, aiding me to have a better understanding on some of the more “technical” topics being discussed. Furthermore, those discussions have also served as a starting point for me to research on so as to increase my knowledge in these areas. To sum up, I feel that despite not being especially keen to be a technical entrepreneur in the near future, the TWC course has still been useful in helping me to develop awareness for technology, its deployment and effects on our society. Such awareness would certainly be helpful when I enter the workforce in future.
ONG GEE FANG
I have set two objectives after the first class, first is to understand and explore the impact that technology brings to the society then to be active in class discussion. I have achieved in understanding and explore the impact of society, above all the eleven lessons I find today’s class was the most fruitful one. In the society nowadays, most of us will take technology as something to benefits us or help us to perform better. Less emphasis was on the consequences it done to us as human and environment, Mother Nature. How “retarded” we will be without technology say cell phone or cashier cannot function when the cash register machine break down, it simply show how much we reply on technology. We need understanding technology and science may not always be everything, this allows me to bring in some points of today’s speaker Mr Francis Leong. Take the curing of sickness for example; his auto immunization problem was cured by TCM after 10 days! I believe that we are created by God, who also created Mother Nature, and things are there for a reason, which is why herbs cure and also our body has a distinctive ways to self immunize. Going on it’s the environment, speed fast advancement in use of science and technology has deteriorated the condition of the environment example global warming. All these are cause by human activities and we have to bear the consequences, it reminds me of the Chinese idioms “自做自受” one has to bear the consequence of the thing one did. I guess the best we can do is to do the best out of it by playing a part in thinking conscious what should be done and what should not. And I have made a mistake for what should be done, which is doing my part in discussion in class. I find it difficult to speak up in class at time reason being I was active enough to share my view first before others. I have also learned that when you have some thoughts in mind that is relevant, you shouldn’t just assume that everyone one knows that. Instead I should have shared them with the class and not make assumption that they already know! This is what I have not achieved and sadly it has caused me to lose out in the class participation marks. To be truthful, I have an intention swap my class for TWC as it clashes with one of my modules that I intended to bid for but what changed my mind was the layout of the TWC module where the percentage of workload are equally distributed. And I never regret for not making the change because I felt that my TWC class is better of than my friends!
Up till date after going through 12 weeks of TWC, i have indeed learnt alot about the concepts that the technoentreprenuers took up such as the technology S-Curve, disruptive technology to patenting as well as the funding issues. For each new chapter in the book, there are case studies of how these concepts are being applied such as the sony walkman case and the case of how liquid paper came about from the wild idea of painting over the “mistakes”. Learning that inventions and innovations mainly comes from many sources such as solutions to current problems or accidental findings. There is no definite answer to how innovations came about but there is definitely something similar about all the sources which is whether one is willing to take that opportunity to further explore into detail to develop the innovations. I have found what i am looking for and what i wanted to do during this course. In addition, i have also discovered the long and tough journey of having your own innovation to be developed process such as prototyping it to patenting to financial funds problems.
ONG MEILIN CLAIRE
During the first class of the term I remember being rather apprehensive, as I had never taken an interest in technological gadgets aside from my ipod and handphone. Additionally, the grading system with its many components made me feel that it was a course I could not possibly excel in. As I look back on the past 13 weeks, however, I find that I’ve learnt a lot along the way. The break out sessions and discussions gave a very practical and realistic view of the theories and concepts in the textbooks. That was something that I enjoyed immensely. While it was admittedly tiring at times, I appreciate how it made us think about events and the issues surrounding them. Furthermore, theories are likely to fade from my mind, but these real life anecdotes and opinions are likely to be remembered. In my first journal I set out to learn about technology and its impact on society as well as to use it to our advantage. I feel that I am now able to identify the many facets of technology and the innovation process concerned with it. I have a better understanding of how companies and individuals carry out innovation. This last lesson that we just had allowed us to explore the wide-ranging and lasting effects that technology is bringing to the world as well. I believe I have achieved my objectives and more. Time spent with my group mates on research and presentation preparation has improved my skills with working with others. While it was gruelling at times, we did get to know each other better and had a good time as well. All in all, this course has furthered my knowledge in an area I previously knew little about and increased my ability to work productively with others.
ONG CHWEE NGOH ARIES
I am sure I have achieved my objectives for this course! (= TWC classes are always exciting because of the in-class research. I think the in-class research makes people really sieve out the gist of the given topics within a short-time period and this constraint makes it challenging. Initially, I thought I would not be able to cope with the stress due to the time constraint. However, I feel it is through all the “practices” in class that I am now used to “effective research”. I admit that reading up before class helps me to understand the lesson much better but I think I have learnt much more from the weekly presentations. It was not just about doing own group research for the questions that Prof wanted us to do; we also had the opportunity to ask other groups with regards to their presentations. I believe my attention span is better when we have discussions in class because the classes are not conducted as boring lectures. From the classification of types of technology to Intellectual Property Rights to Alternative thinking, the course is like a crash course because they are so much more that we can learn from Prof! I am glad Prof mentioned that she will be releasing notes on other matters such as the process of listing the company for technopreneur. This is because there is only this much that we can learn from textbooks and the Internet. Examples of real-life experiences and Prof’s guidance are what budding entrepreneurs need. I would like to thank Prof for her teachings this semester and I believe that all her notes will be useful when I become an entrepreneur!
Yes, this course taught me the procedure to startup and protects your business. The course also holds sessions with technoprenuers to share their experience which I think is a very good approach in teaching and enlighten the students. In my first journal, I mentioned about how technologies can benefit the society and there are many technologies that benefited the society. However, after listening to the talk by the guest speaker, I do have some second thought on whether technologies are “really” beneficial to society or just plain marketing strategy out to make money. Or are our societies being blinded by the monetary benefits? Personally I felt that this world is a balanced world. There is a cycle in every thing that you do. One analogy will be the Chinese’s “Ying” and “Yang”. In order to get something there are things that need to be sacrifice or filled up in other aspect. If technology is going improve the way we work, other side issues will arise. i.e. Pollution and diseases.
SHELINA KISHINKUMAR MAHTANI
I was not able to complete my journal in week one due to technical difficulties but my objective was basically to see what technology was all about and learn what it would take to get into the business. We use technology everyday but only take it at face value. I feel that the course has allowed me to see the inner workings of technology and what it consists of. Besides this, I also have enjoyed the lessons and especially Prof’s inspiring quotes which I think I will remember for quite some time. Things like “Don’t think, just do”, “Know your three songs well”, “If you don’t know just smoke” are definitely words that have come from experience. I think that all in all, I have definitely learned something from this course. Even though some lessons were dry, overall there was always something to learn. I think the best thing is that what I learned is so practical and even if I never go into the technology industry in the future, it opened my eyes to many things. I think today’s class was a good wrap up. I never realized so many of the ill effects of technology. We always think of technology as all good. Every economist promotes it. I was especially surprised with the real life stories of gaming addiction. This and the guest speaker about alternative thinking really opened my eyes. His introduction really struck me, when he said “Whatever people said, I believed”. It struck me because I believe it too. Friends have said that I am quite naïve sometimes. The things he said, is very plausible. People fulfilling their own agendas and profiting from the lack of knowledge of others. Anyway to sum up, yes my plain objectives were met and plus I learnt a lot more on top of that.
Looking back at my first weekly journal for TWC, time really files. Unknowingly, 13 just past but I have definitely learn a lot. My first sentence of my first learning journal was – My ambition is to be an entrepreneur. And the journal talked about me hoping to learn from the pitfalls and the experience of past inventors and innovators and at the same time, get inspiration from them and come out with my own original, creative yet relevant new product. Franking speaking, I have not achieved my objectives set up in my first journal – to be an entrepreneur. But definitely, I have progressed much nearer to my goal. These 13 weeks of TWC have certainly taught me a lot and increase my knowledge about being an entrepreneur, all the patent works, where I can get funding etc as well as the science and technology which is constantly changing in the world. It was very fortunate that our professor is a technical entrepreneur herself and thus was able to share personal experiences with us. She shared with us her success stories as well as the difficulties she faced in implementing her technology and her ideas. She provided a plethora of real-life examples as well as how the theories we learnt in the textbook are applied in everyday life. Other than that, several guest speakers who were also entrepreneurs in respective technological fields were also invited to the class to share their personal experiences. These guest speakers also very passionately shared with the class their ideas, pitfall and experience. And I must say, I felt very motivated after hearing them as they made me feel that success is actually not that difficult after all, it is just up to you to grab the correct opportunity. Yes. If they can do it, why cant I? The Individual Assignment was a platform where it gave me the opportunity to sit down and thought about what original and creative product I can offer. It started off really tough for me as I had no idea what product to work on as I am not very technology savvy. However, it made me taught through about all the difficulties as well as the opportunities that I will have if I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The weekly in-class presentations we have geared us up for the working world where we have to constantly meet deadlines and work in teams. The vigorous class participation have exposed me to many new viewpoints and subjects which I had not known prior to this class. Journaling every week was also a good addition to this course as it encouraged us to think back on the lesson and what important points were brought up. In conclusion, this course has certainly taught me a lot and opening my eyes up to the world beyond just SMU which I am sure will undoubtedly benefit me in my future endeavours.
SHANE NG SOO LIAN
Here’s a recap of my objectives set up in lesson 1: a. Expose myself to a reasonable level of awareness of technology b. Gain a greater depth of knowledge of how innovations come about c. Open my mind to the possibilities of technology being either a business idea or an instrument to business efficacy I feel that I have completely achieved my objectives in (a) and (b). I am more aware of the effects and applications of technology, both positive and negative. For example, I never knew that microwave has very negative effects on food. I have also learnt a lot about the innovation process. All along, I thought innovation was purely about invention. I never realised that commercialisation plays a large part in innovation. Now that I understand the process of innovation much better, my learning curve will be less steep as I know roughly the steps to take if I ever attempt to push for a new innovation. For the last objective, I must say all the examples of innovations (eg: the dual-cyclone vacuum cleaner) have enriched my imagination. Sadly, to say, no idea has hit my head as yet. But I have been so excited about the possibility of technical innovation as a business that I have been talking to people I know who are involved in technology, discussing with them possibilities. Hopefully, during the holidays, an idea will come to me.
SERENE SIM SI YIN
Before I can talk about whether I did achieve what I started out hoping to achieve, I need to first have a recap of what I wrote in my first journal which has a word limit of 120words. Here it is “I hope to learn more about technology and its evolvement over the years, especially in the areas where it affects my lifestyle as a young adult in a modern city. Being a starter in this arena, I do not have much idea on how I can achieve that. However, as of other learning processes, I will do the necessary readings and ponder over doubts while voicing them out during class time to enhance interaction and improve my understanding. I thought it would be interesting to interact more with others and see if I can gain more insights through their wide variety of views and opinions, especially children whose creativity has yet to be stifled by the environment.” But apparently, down the road of this few months, 12 journals with this being the 13th, journal 1 was also my shortest and most without-focus journal. It was written on the first week when I was still so lost about this whole module and could only from the readings of the first chapter and perhaps the module’s name, guess what I could possibly wish to get out of it. Right or wrong, looking back at the above first journal’s goals, I felt a bubble rising within me. It does seem to me that I really needed this module. Prior to this course, technology, though constantly surrounding me, did not manage to interest me enough to get to know more about it or even attempted to. The mention of technology would imply high-tech devices that are so profound and boring, not to mention trying to understand the history of it or even the people behind it. Ironically, if you are to ask me about them now, I can actually start to relate them to you. Well, that’s what I did whenever friends ask about my course. Guess what they said to me? They said: “Woa, Serene, you did seem to learn quite a lot. My class was boring, I always go to class and stone (day dream).” For this, I am proud of it, proud to step into another arena and explore the wondrous things within this world of technology and its impacts. Of course, it would not have been possible without this course. Starting proper, why did I say that I seem to step into another whole new arena of technology? Remember in my first journal that I wanted to learn more about technology and how it affects me as a young adult, also, the fact that I have no idea on how to go about gaining all these knowledge. Guided through the course of 13 weeks, learning basic theoretical knowledge form the books, applying them to real-life case studies and discovering the practical facets of technology from entrepreneurs themselves, I must say that I really gain a lot more than one could expect to have in such short a term. Technology does not come in the form that it came to me as an end-user, it has passed through many stages of development through the hard work of the technical entrepreneurs and though advances bring with them numerous advantages, we often miss out their side effects or limitations. There are many issues surrounding technology that are still left unanswered or unexplored. These may open up more fields of doubts or great discoveries. No one knows for sure. Hence, as answers are brought to me, questions are born at the same time. In this way, a whole new arena of technology is born. And for this, I learnt to be more inquisitive and perhaps more complete as a person I think. Not missing out the second part, the class grouping has allowed me intensive interaction with my group mates whom I am stranger with initially. I must admit interaction with them has changed my perspective of some things and they have been most helpful to one another. I really enjoyed working in my group with Rio, Alan, Melissa and You’an. They are great friends to be with as well as team players. During project meetings, their views are most bizarre at times and yet interestingly well thought. In class, other classmates have also posted complex and challenging questions at times that I can’t help pondering over at times. More often than not, questions posting sessions would become a discussion session where views are being exchanged and at the same time, I often realized that though many are raising new points of their own, they are still willing to accept the views of others and build upon them to be a whole new stronger argument of technology. For this, I myself am not sure whether this is caused by their ability to further analyze and argue or is it the topic of technology that gives them such free rein. But, I would prefer to think of it as the combination of both. Hence, in short I think I did achieve both of my set targets at the start of the course and have achieved to a greater extent in both of the targets set. However, as I have mentioned, I was quite lost at the time of setting targets and not quite sure of what to expect. Thus, unsurprisingly, I would also like to also elaborate on the other ‘returns’ that I have surprisingly gained along the way. The first point would still be back to the issue of knowledge. What about knowledge? Haven’t I just mentioned it just now? Well, this knowledge is different in that, it is knowledge of application and not knowledge of content that I originally wish to gain. This knowledge was most apparently taught to the class ever since the lesson on the theories of technology, such as the technology s curve theories and the dominant design. Prof mentioned that how many people actually utilize these theories, what they did including herself will be that of absorptive capacity where they go into a place and absorb what they see or heard. Next, during week 7 when the guest speakers start to came into the class till this week where I still get to hear on the experiences of the guest speakers, they talked about their job, their encounters and their way of dealing with such challenges. It is not hard to realize that in fact, none follows a hard and fast rule or any fixed regulations. Things don’t function the way that most people wanted or thought they will be, the world is changing, so the way we do things must also constantly change to adapt to the world. Though back in our mind, we somehow would have heard of it many times, but in this class, there are many live examples who are willing to share with us. Next, I realized that the writing of all these journals is a great idea for self-reflection. In order to put everything into words, there is a need for me to organize my thought at the back of my mind and think through them and account for their happenings. Also, I must also ask myself on what exactly I thought about them before I can start writing my journal. In a way, my mind starts to work in a very organized manner and upon organizing these thoughts, I am able to better understand the things that happen around me, analyze them and apply them for future purposes. It seems to be a ‘application software’ for my brain to function at a desired manner and thereby producing the required output. I like the way I will think through the day happenings and ponder over them. Maybe some might say we should be overly organized and view things too seriously in this aspect as if this becomes a habit, what will become of us if we have no time for such self-reflections? But if we do not reflect, how do we learn then? All we need is a mere 10 minutes per day before we sleep and for this habit, I am thankful. Last but not least, this is especially felt in today’s class. I am really thankful for being in this class for I do felt the human touch of concern for the first time in a tertiary education institute. Back in junior colleges, we have a fixed class with fixed civic tutor who will monitor us and help us. But here in university, we have to be much more independent and due to the pace that we have, professors and students are just teachers and students without the friendly relationship of warmth. However, today my lost of control led me to the reveal of the warmth Prof displayed and the concern in her eyes. Thus, here, I would really like to say a very big thankful to you for your concern and help. I really appreciate it and am thankful that I was assigned to your class. Thank you! Hope you will continue to teach more students and help them just as you have helped and guided us along the way. =)
ONG KIA GEOK JACQUELINE
In my first journal, I stated that I wanted to learn more about the different types of technology available and how these new technologies came about. I also mentioned that I wanted to learn how to apply the innovative methods used to come up with and market these technologies to this course as well as the other courses that I would have to take. Through the weekly in-class research and presentations, I have learnt a lot from the Internet but more so from discussions among my group members. I think that they are a very knowledgeable bunch of people and that we have a good mix; me being from social science, Weida from information systems and the rest (Qihan, Claire and Dao Xiong) from business. Because of this diversity among us, as individuals, we have different knowledge bases and very different viewpoints and stands. However, when we put it all together, we are able to come up with a holistic view which comes in useful especially for our presentations and projects. So, I would have to say that I have achieved my objectives and in addition to that, I have also formed strong bonds of friendship with my group members. In fact, our conversations are not only limited to TWC; I have also learnt quite a fair bit about investments from Qihan and Weida and I think that the friendships forged during this course will carry on throughout my university life and hopefully, even when we are all busy working, we will still keep in contact. This is something that I did not expect to achieve and I consider it as an achievement for myself as I can be a person who finds it difficult to socialize with others. I do not trust people easily because of my bad experiences with people during my primary and secondary education and that is slowly changing. My presentation skills are also improving. I find that I do not have to read wholesale from scripts now (I have advanced to cue cards) and I am not as scared of presentations as compared to before. (How can I be when I am “forced” to present almost every week?) I have a suggestion that I forgot to put into the evaluation. I hope you don’t mind if I just put it here. For the peer evaluation system, perhaps you might want to allow people to evaluate themselves as well as their friends. I think it might help us to compare our own evaluations against our friends’ evaluations, especially when we reflect and think about our own contributions. This was actually implemented into the peer evaluation system when I was studying at Temasek Poly and it did help me quite a lot. So, even if you do not want that score to contribute to the total score, I would strongly advocate for you to put it in as an additional feature. Lastly, I just want to say thank you to you prof, for making us do presentations every week and everything else that you have done for our class. 🙂
Yes, my objectives are met. This syllabus has trained me to understand in detail what exactly innovation is and what are the critical factors that determines the success or failure of an innovation. Besides the theories, what really impressed me from this course was that I’ve inherited a substantial amount of knowledge of technology and innovation through lots of hands-on research and interviewing of real entrepreneurs! The interview with the entrepreneur allowed me to learn from their entrepreneurship journey. The strategies that they take confirms what the theories imply, which in fact gave me the most comfort as I now know that what I’ve learnt so far is indeed what the entrepreneurs do and face each day in the real world. All these will definitely help me in the near future when I start my entrepreneurship journey
In my first journal, what I said I wanted to achieve from this course was to be able to set up my own business. Before I go about answering this question, let me tell you a slight history of my TWC career. I was initially preassigned to another Prof which my friend was under last semester. He told me that this prof was very theory based and thus very boring. I decided to take a risk by choosing a prof that was unnamed inside the bidding system as I felt any prof would be better than that. I had actually chosen you by sheer luck and I am really glad that it was right. What I have gained from this course was alot of insight on how current and future entrepreneurs think. Through the various case studies and guest speakers, it was rather refreshing to hear from real life success stories and they have all inspired me. I believe for somebody to be truly rich, he/she has to be able to take the risk to set up a business. While failure happens often, it takes sheer determination and guts to learn from that lesson and proceed to the next step. There are so many student entrepreneurs in SMU and I hope that I will one day be one of them and talk about my experiences in another TWC class. I also believe from the break up sessions in which we have to develop slides, I have learn how to think and work fast. In other courses, we are given alot of time to prepare slides. However, this TWC experience has allowed me to churn out slides that are good enough and yet informative enough so that I can teach my classmates on what I have learned. While stressful at times, I believe that it has ultimately contributed to my learning process and I am glad that I went through it. Finally, I would really like to thank you for all the important experiences and lessons you have imparted to me. I hope that I would be able to follow in your footsteps and one day be known as a successful technopreneur.
TEOH BENG SHEN TIMOTHY
Yes and no. In terms of the first objective, I gained much from the various in-class discussions and examples from the break-out sessions. However, I found the workings of innovation theories to be overly technical and rather boring. Innovation to me should be something mystical, spontaneous and serendipitous. To attempt to explain innovation using theory would be like attempting to explain that The Force exists in people due to tiny microorganisms in our bloodstream known as midichlorians. (completely ruined episode one for me) I am excited about learning about the way things work, but not when theories which could well be crafted out of thin air are the used to justify them. I guess I’m more of a scientific person in that way, there are rational, practical explanations and causes to justify why things are the way they are. As for the bit about periodicals, I find that the only thing I have time to read these days is either the Financial Times or the Business Times; school moves at an incredible pace and it tends to get difficult to be able to do everything you want to do while maintaining good grades. Seems like I might have a time management problem. Perhaps what I need is an innovation (tangible or intangible, no matter) that would allow me to become more efficient about the way I use my time so as to allow me to finish all my responsibilities with regard to school work and still have some time left over to pursue other interests. I used to be a big fan of reading the encyclopaedia when I was a kid, and it’s so easy to forget the things you used to enjoy and love in the pursuit for academic excellence. Anyhow, it was a good course and I found that I learnt the most from the case study. However, maybe something that could be considered for future batches of students? The scope shouldn’t be narrowed down too much, to say just one topic like funding. It greatly restricts the amount of material that can be covered by the team presenting, and generally makes for a boring presentation for the class. At times, it’s difficult to see the reasons behind why something is done a certain way when the guidance given is so restrictive. I would recommend a student-defined scope for the case study. Pick a technopreneur, and teach the class whatever you feel had the most impact on you based on your interactions with the technopreneur and finding out about his business and process. See you around school!
OH TIAN YU
Oh dear, for some reason, I did see this question coming, and my personal answer to it actually has been a yes, to a large extent. Different people in class have different starting point. Personally, I could roughly gauge how I started in comparision to many of my classmates. I still remember saying I have started off as a bimbo. Somehow, after taking both TWC and CAT (computer as an analytical tool), I did feel myself making some marked progress. I did not expect much for myself, what I had adopted was an open mind towards what was being taught in class. The biggest benefit I have gain from this class is actually lessons learnt about entrepreneurships rather than technology in itself (at least that seems to be much of the emphasis in the second half of the semester). All in all, in terms of knowledge, all those talks about Google, Amazon, Apple has definitely leave me with a strong impression towards these companies. The weekly breakout and projects have honestly gave good opportunities for me to exchange ideas between my group mates. Even while reading the papers now, I am able to look at things from a different perspective. Just earlier today, I was actually reading an article on how a collarboration between Volkswagen and Proton actually fell through, honestly, I probably would not even take a second look at this article prior to the semester. Having said that, it will look horribly biased if I did not paint a more balanced side of story. I must admit that all in all, I still have been quite reserved the whole semester. Some things just do not go away with a snap of the fingers. I am left asking myself the next question, have I taken a small step. I think my answer would be yes. In all, I have to say I am satisfied, at the very least, TWC for me is not a waste of time like what many of my peers claim it to be.
SIM TZE KIAT TERENCE
The objective I have set up in the first journal was as such: “I would like to learn about how technology helps mankind progress and to learn from past experience of different innovation process and apply it to my current life.” I feel that I have definitely achieved my objective. Having gone through the various lessons, I am proud to say that I have definitely benefited from the lessons. From the different type of innovations and technology together with the theories and how to protect new innovations and technology, I have to say that I now have a much clearer view of the world. Before this class, I have a very “Square” mind, I find it very difficult to think of new ideas on how to improved things. Although I can’t say that I am very creative now, but I feel that I have got rid of my “square” mindset. I have benefited most when I actually did my individual assignment. I have to do my research and critically analyse the data found. It was then I had an actual taste of how much work has to be done for a new innovation. Also, while researching for an innovation to write up upon, I went through scores of articles which I felt greatly beneficial. Aside from all the academia stuff, I learnt a lot from Doctor Tan Lai Yong as well. As I was coordinating with Dr Tan for the guest speaker seminar, I spoke to him on a couple of occasions and I found him to be a simple and humble man. But what really inspired me was the talk that he gave. In short, I admire his spirit and his willingness to sacrifice to help poor needy people in Yunnan. It really made me realised that one can still be happy despite not having all the material items in life. All in all, I have gain more than one I have expected of from this course. Thank you Prof Pamela from helping me get rid of my “square” mindset and as well as providing me with a great opportunity to learn from learned and self-sacrificing people like Dr Tan. PS: Hope your new website would be a success and I hope that I will win the car too. 🙂
ONG SHUN WEI
In journal one, I wrote that ‘I would like to become more aware of and sensitive to the impact that technology has on the business world and the relationships that they share. Also, I hope to gain as much general knowledge as possible. To achieve what I mentioned, I believe I must learn well. Reading course materials with keen interest is essential. Furthermore, reading other articles on the newspapers or magazines with purpose and focus will be beneficial to me for this course as well as the sharpness of the mind. Learning well does not just encompass ‘reading of passages’. To me, it also means working well with my group mates. The chance to learn from them humbly and contributing my ideas to them actively is one I look forward to.’ I am glad to say that I have learnt much about technology from the course. I am aware of the full spectrum of the subject now. From the types, sources, process of innovation, to learning about intellectual property and getting to know various technopreneurs, it has indeed been enriching. True to what I said in week one, I grew to really like TWC simply because it is so different and interesting as compared to other modules such as finance and accounting. I am also happy to be able to say that I have been able to read up on the related chapters for every TWC class. As such, preparing for the final exam will be a process of ‘revising’ and not ‘studying new things because I have never read them before’. However, to me, the biggest takeaway from the course is that when I am browsing through newspapers or magazines these days, I take a lot more interest in articles that talk about technology-related contents. I read, reflect and try to associate them with what I learnt. I can relate and appreciate them, thus the interest. I treasure this attribute that I have picked up. My group members have been a joy to work with. I am confident I have contributed much to the group. At first, Belinda and Zheng Chang were a little quieter because they are from year 1, and I am glad I made the effort to make them feel that their input count and are valuable to the group. Subsequently, they were more comfortable to voice out their opinions, which meant the group benefited more. At the same time, I also asked myself if I have any regrets now that the course has come to its end. I think I have not been able to participate in class as much as I had wanted to. To my surprise, I found it abit difficult in TWC class, whereas I do not have such problems in other classes. I questioned myself why it happened, since I thoroughly enjoyed the classes. I attribute it to the fact that I do not know that much about technology and when this is so, it was tougher for me to cough up relevant questions. I realise and regret that I might not be able to do as well as some of my peers simply because of this. However, I also know that its class participation that have got me good results in other modules before, thus it is just part of the system. Perhaps, in modules which are like TWC in future, I may have to spend sometime to think of questions even before class starts. Nonetheless, I feel I have achieved the objectives I set out in lesson one. Having said that, there is always room for improvement, is it not? Finally, I would like to comment on Prof Pamela’s teaching method. I have been really amazed at how effective TWC classes have been conducted. The weekly presentations, I felt, have been more than just ‘sharing of research findings’ from the presenting groups. The fact that each group also ‘taught’ the class the content of a particular chapter has made it so much easier to either reinforce before-class reading or after-class study. Added on to the examples or cases that each group provided, I have been finding it easier to absorb and understand the theories! Thank you for an enriching and interesting course, which no matter what, have allowed me to takeaway several things.
To recap, my objectives are to 1) gain knowledge about the interrelationship between technology, world change and people’s reaction to it as well as to 2) learn on how to capitalise on TWC to be an advantage. The first objective is perhaps fulfilled in the lesson on the lesson on the K-wave. In this lesson, I have learnt that technology drives the economy and changes the way people live. The second objective, which is one of materiality, is more than satisfied as the later half of the course is filled with talks by guest speakers who have successfully capitalised and earning money with technologies. Although I have achieved my objectives, I felt that these objectives are not my greatest takeaway from the lesson. I would think that the greatest learning point I have taken away from the lesson is the entrepreneuring spirit which is behind many of the sucesssful innovations, even more so as many of the studies on technopreneurs are done on people my age. I have always had the idea of starting the next big website. Some of the ideas I had was starting the next Ebay in Singapore, or the next Amazon.com. However, because of the lack of technical skills, I did not expound on my ideas. I had talked to a web design company once and they told me to drop my idea as they think I will never make it. Thus, my ideas never really turned into reality. However, I am greatly inspired by the technical entrepreneurs who never gave up on their work, make it happen and turn it into a successful venture. Thus, this has provided a strong driving force in me to further develop my website ideas. Although I know that for every one person who made it, there are probably 1000 others that didn’t, I see satisfaction in those that tried. So, I have decided to be one that tried and not one that regretted not trying. Also, I had much to gain from the talk by Dr. Tan Lai Yong as mentioned in my other journal. After writing that journal, I realise that besides simply doing “charity”. Dr. Tan Lai Yong has in a sense innovated the lifes of the Yunan Village people as he brought to them new ways to do business and new ways to live. Thus, I learnt that being an innovator can be of multi facades. I also hope that I can further my learning of how to go the technical entrepreneur route when I read the log book of how the instructor created the 1bid2go website. As I personally have interest in doing a website, this will be of a great help to me. Last but not least, I would like to thank you, my Prof, for showing me the world of technology in depth and I look forward to taking another class under you. (hmmm….I also hope I can win the car.. hah)
Yes, I have definitely achieved my objectives set up in the first journal and in fact, I have really gained much more knowledge than I have expected to before the start of this course. It is not only the knowledge that I have gained from reading the textbook or the various topics discuss every week in class that gave me a new perspective of things happening around the world, but more importantly, Prof Lim’s sharing of her valuable experience as a technopreneur that really interest me. Like last week, we discuss about the fundings that many organizations are able to provide for startups and I realized that getting fundings from them is not as easy and simple as I used to think. There are really other very restrictive conditions to follow. Today, from the guest speaker, I have learn other important lesson that is, we must really consider other alternative views of things which we, or I presume many other Singaporeans failed to do so. Also, Prof Lim today mentioned a lesson that she had learned about interpersonal and communication skills. I have actually personally experienced that when I was doing my final year project in my polytechnic. The reason why my project did not excel was because of my presentation skills and not because of the project itself. I then realized that I would definitely need to improve and buck up on my weak communication/presentation skills. With that in mind, I have decided to join SMU in accountancy instead of NTU engineering. I hope I can improve much more on this weakness of mine before I graduate from SMU. I like the way Prof Lim teaches as she is very practical and honest with us compared to other Profs in our school who teaches things that are very theoretical and they do not really say what they truly feel about certain sensitive issues. Things I have learnt in this class can be readily applied in the outside world and I think that is very important for me if I want to set up a business of my own in the future. Being a technoprenuer herself, the advices that Prof Lim gave us was definitely very valuable, reliable and real. Today when she told us that whoever wants to be a TA can email her and request for that position, I was very tempted to try and apply for it since I really want to learn more things under Prof Lim. But however, I figured I probably would not make a good TA since my knowledge and grades are not that fantastic. Therefore, I truly hope that Prof Lim would offer another course in the future that is fully based on technoprenuer and business creation which would be very useful for me in the future. Lastly, what I want to say is that this course together with Prof Lim have inspired me to push on and continue to work towards my dream as a technoprenuer.
ONG BENG HWEE FELIX
I think i have learnt a lot from this TWC course. Basically, the prof’s method of teaching works well for students. For example, she got us to learn on our own and present the results to class. It certainly help to retain the concepts better in us. Basically i have learnt how to manage and understand innovations that are appearing in our environment. The things that stay with me are the various graphs such as the K-Wave, etc. I think the most interesting presentations are the speakers who actually talk about their first-hand experiences in the area of innovation. SMU has many student entrepreneurs who are deeply passionate about IT innovations. I think what is lacking in me is my passionate in IT innovations and the desire to create a company to be an entrepreneur. I feel that I may be suited better to be an employee than a boss. The hardest and difficult part of being a boss is to find customers. That alone is enough to sap the energy of every budding entrepreneur. I intend to give myself a few years of work experience in the industry before thinking of other alternatives. I guess it is far more important for me to get a steady stream of income to sustain myself.
HUSSAIN YOOSUF SHAREEF
If I am being honest I would say that I do not remember what exactly I wrote in my first journal. However I can say with guarantee that I have achieved 150% of what I wanted to achieve throughout this course. The reason being, the course opened my mind to the technological world especially more related to business, which I was not very closed to. As I didn’t have much technical and IT background, I have learned a lot from this course. Moreover being a business student and planning my life’s journey to make on the business field, the lessons I learnt from this course was very much useful. From the first lesson of innovation and invention, and then science and technology, and then the major theories behind the innovations and lastly in today’s lesson considering the negative side of technology, I have got a greater knowledge and something which will be useful in my working life by taking this course. Furthermore, from the in-class researches done, from the case studies discussed, and also from the shared experiences of guest speakers and the most importantly from the experiences shared by the professor, I am now not one step but two step ahead of the place where I was before in the field of business and technology. Overall, I would say that I have achieved more than what I have expected to gain from the course and honestly saying it was a very useful course for my future carrier.
Yes, actually more than what I had expected.This course is a chanllege to me ,but I learnt a lot in class at last.I saw the things I’ve never seen before, and indeed open up my eyes.I learnt about the theory and the practical knowledge about innovation and business,which gave me a start of really thinking about my own business.I’m quite encouraged by those technical entreprenuer’s stories,which I believe will benifit me a lot in my next 2 years study.What’s more,working with my groupmates is a very comfortable thing and I also learnt a lot from them.
LE THI VAN TRANG
Some objectives I set up in the first lecture were fulfilled with each passing lecture that I attended in class. At the end of the course, I have been equipped basic knowledge about how technology has improved the world, and human being’s standard of living. What has made a relative difference between developed countries and developing or poor countries is technology. Technology advancement results in the productivity which brings a comfortable life to human kind. Among the knowledge about technology I have absorbed so far, the fact of technology cycle life impressed and amazed me much. The movement of technology follows a natural law which includes four periods: recovery, prosperity, recession and depression. Regarding about my awareness of the course, I feel that I was inspired in certain respects. To be more specific, I have started to think of how important, beneficial and feasible technology has brought to every aspects of life. Hence, I want to go further by applying flexibly these kinds of technology in my country’s real situation, especially in such a vibrant and potential circumstance that my country is an indispensable part. It is the inspiration for me to write the individual project which is the solution to improve selling train ticket service in railroad industry. One of the expectations of the course, from my point of view, is creating motivation for me to become an entrepreneurship. However, I feel I’m not suitable to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I’m more inclined to be an inventor, thinking of new ideas, rather than involving in commercialization. The reason may be I don’t have necessary character of a real and successful entrepreneur, such as ability to take risk, manage a whole business ect. In conclusion, the course is beneficial for me in the sense that it makes me more creative to think of new and practical ideas to apply not only in my daily life, my career. In broader perspective, motivation to become an inventor is a “true sense” inside me which results from the long period of lectures and researches done in class.
TAN PEI XIAN
Yes. I do think that I have learnt much about technology through this course. The lessons and guests speakers have truly inspired me and gave me insights on the business world, the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs/technopreneur and the requirements of an entrepreneur/technopreneur. The working mechanisms of technologies revealed through this course are new and interesting. It is undoubtedly an eye-opener for me. Now, I have an interest in upcoming technologies. The way technologies were developed and commercialised as shown through in-class presentations and case studies have introduced many new technologies to me. I have learnt how to appreciate the wonder of technology and evolved from a mere consumer to an informed user. An aspiring entrepreneur in the making, I hope.
New to the realm of technology and world change, the old me had set ambitious objectives to achieve during the length of the course. Though fourteen long weeks have passed, we have only touched upon the tip of the iceberg of technopreneurship in this relatively short period of time. I have most certainly expanded my tech horizon and it now spans over previously unheard of topics such as funding and different types of innovation (in week 1 I thought there was just one- the brainwave!) Through the theoretical knowledge that has been imparted to us, I am now able to evaluate past and current innovations, and I proved I could do this when the other day I gave my dad sound advice on why RFID tags are the next best thing, and was rewarded with a startled but approving glare from him. My individual report greatly aided me in looking at the tech side of a business plans, and the lesson on funding has given me hope that there is always potential if there exists a good idea, determination, some faith and a lot of luck. For me, though the fourteen weeks of Friday morning classes are over, the many weekly journals have been written, research has been completed and the exam is only a few days away, the result will depend on whether even 10 or 20 years from now, I will remember that if there is an invention- persevere- as there is always scope for innovation.
At the beginning of the semester, I personally felt that there isn’t much ground to learn anything productive in a field like technology and world change. My first journal was more of a quest to see how I can grow as an individual and broaden my horizons in the course. Thirteen weeks down the line, I look back and am certain that I have achieved my personal objectives set up in the first journal. In fact, I feel as if I have accomplished more than what I could imagine and am deeply impressed by the in depth knowledge I have gained this semester. I had set minimum targets to achieve in my first journal which were regular accomplishments that one keeps for any course. Personally, my triumph off these thirteen weeks was the whole experience itself and the fact that I could express my opinion and thought process openly to an audience who were willing to listen and contribute. Technology and world change is a topic that applies to everyone because of the flexibility involved and more importantly because it presents a platform to innovative students to speak their mind without fear.
TEO WEN KAI
13 weeks ago, I knew nothing about TWC. Today, I’ve definitely realised the impact that technology can make on our businesses. I set out in week 1 wanting to learn how to use technology to my best advantage and hopefully even in my business ventures in the future. I’ve learnt so much more than just technology per se. Somehow, I would see TWC less of a module about technology, but more about the technical know-hows of setting up a real business by taking into consideration funding, government policies, intellectual property and business strategies. A course that gives a great insight to setting up a business, I have gained more than what I expected in the first lesson. I remember expecting TWC to be all about very “techie” knowledge – computers and more computers and something that I would not be interested in. It really turned out to be all about business. I’ve learnt that there are so much more things to take into consideration when setting up businesses. Definitely, I have achieved my objectives, and got alot more than I bargained for.
ROBIN YOONG CHEE CHUN
By the time I stepped out of the lecture room after the first lesson in week 1, I had certain objectives that I would want myself to achieve by the week 13. I believe my personal character does play a part in me achieving my objectives. The moment I heard Ms Pamela Lim mention that how some students find that there is need for this module to be taught, my interest for the subject tripled. While the words of the students stay in my head, I wanted to better judge Technology and World Change myself. Class discussions allowed me to learn more about the module, and most importantly, gave a new meaning to the word ‘Technology’ for me. I wanted to know more about the other side of technology that I have always been interested in (other than the idea the technology being equivalent to the latest iPOD), and would not have known where to start without the guidance and introduction to this module. I now know how to theoretical ideas of technology such as those of the technology S-curve and Nikolai Kondratiev’s long cycle, and also practical ideas such as how to commercialize a product and what to do or who to look for when I want to start my own business. With practical and theoretical knowledge in my hands after 13 weeks, I believe I have achieved the learning objectives I set up for myself for this module. However, I am guilty and admit that I did not pick up the book ‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’ form the school library for a thorough read through session. I wrote in week 1 that I would do so to help me achieve my learning objectives of this module, and not doing so would show that I have not been planning my time well enough to find the time to read up the book. I will thus in the future better myself in time management to better achieve future objectives. All in all, Technology and World Change has been a module that brightens up the heavy curriculum of mine. Participating actively in class discussions and reading up on the textbook weekly allowed me to overall achieve my learning objectives of this course. Last but not least, I would say that it is not the professor nor the course materials that made the students feel differently about the course. It was their negative attitudes that made them feel that way. I say so because I walked in to class with a positive attitude in week 1 and left is week 13 feeling good about learning what I have wanted to learn in these 13 weeks.
LEE SHUN MAN
In the first lesson, I have raised my attention in expectations to raise my awareness of innovations in the local scene. During the course of my module, I have made consistent efforts to read up more on technology, and I have found new insights regarding technology and world change. I read up on digital life every Tuesday in the straits times, to keep myself updated on the latest technological news. This is extremely helpful as I can relate things that I read in the papers with what I learnt. I also have improved on my communications skills as I have presented during in class presentations as well as the case study that we are assigned to. Besides good communication skills, through this course, I feel that there are much more to learn in order to be a good innovator or entrepreneur. External and internal environments play an important role in preparing an individual to take on the challenge to be an innovator or entrepreneur. I also highlighted in my first journal that I wish to achieve effective teamwork. For myself, my team comprised of individuals that are quite different as there is a good mixture of year Ones and year Two students in my team. For my group, I feel that we have put aside our differences effectively with open communications and come together to come out with work that we think have made use of the best of our potentials. I also gained a lot from my fellow course mates, from their creative presentations on current innovators, innovations, entrepreneurs and inventors. Some of them even came from the local scene. One of them is that of Sim Wong Hoo, founder of Creative Technology. His work has inspired many locals to come up with innovations and not to give up in times of crisis or difficulties. In addition, there is also a case study on Osim, which shows that actually, there are various budding innovators that have succeeded in the local scene and has since spread their influence overseas. For Osim, they have established foothold in other Asian countries like Hong Kong, Japan, and China. I also learnt a lot from our Professor. Her vast experience in the different fields has shown us her versatility and has inspired me that a woman can achieve as much as a man does. Even though social stigmas may go against the gender in terms of credibility, reliability and capability, as a woman, I got to stand strong against these social stigmas and learn not to give in. It is very easy to succumb to social pressures and in turn underestimate one self when others tend to see the female gender as the weaker sex. Also, I learnt that versatility is important for an innovator to overcome possible difficulties in front of me. For myself, there are still a lot to learn if I want to be a successful innovator or entrepreneur. I feel that this module has greatly benefited me greatly. Thanks professor for conducting organized lessons week after week. These lessons are indeed enlightening and useful, especially during the frequent casual interactions between you and our class during discussions. I look forward to taking a course with you again!
KWEK JIA LING
Throughout the whole module, I have gained a lot of insight and knowledge about innovations brought about by technological advancements, the process of starting a business after the innovation, how technology can affect the world, (in a positive and negative way) and much more that I could ever imagine. At the start of this course, I would never have thought that technology would be interesting, and would be more for the science-geeks, or those technology-savvy people. But i was wrong! After this course, I realized that understanding technology is very important for innovations. For example, the technology S-curve helps us understand the development of technologies, whereby after a radical innovation, incremental innovations will appear constantly, until there are diminishing rates of return, then another radical innovation will occur. I also learnt that the marketing of the innovation is equally important for an innovation as is the technology for the innovation itself. If the product is not marketed well, and is unable to convince the masses that it is useful, even if there is an improvement in Technology, there would not be World Change. Conversely, if the product is marketed well, everyone benefits from the new innovation, causing world change. This is what I thought was very applicable. A successful innovator should always be accompanied by a marketing guru. Steve Jobs is a very good example. His powerful marketing skills led Ipod to dominate the industry. I also did not how that it would be so easy for someone to “steal” an innovation. The example of Kidde and X-IT that was shown in class struck me that an innovation can easily become others if the innovator is not careful, and he may lose the potential benefits that the innovation can bring. It is important to decide how to deal with an innovation, be it by patenting it, or develop it with own resources, or sell it to a large corporation. It was an eye-opening class that day because I did not realize that there were so many implications after innovating a product or service. I felt that I was more well-equipped than before to become an entrepreneur or technopreneur in future. Lessons are very practical, and can be easily applied to us in 3 years to come when we graduate. For example, I now know where to obtain funding, and business angels a good way of obtaining funds, whereas venture capitalists are not so good. (as they are too profit-driven? Haha) TWC classes were also very interesting as Prof and the class engaged in weekly discussions about different issues of technology. The weekly in-class research, though tedious, was an effective way of letting us learn and absorb new information quickly. I have to admit that after these 14 weeks, my knowledge of technology and the world increased by leaps and bounds. On the whole, I feel that I have benefited a lot from this course. I think what I learnt far exceeded the objectives of this module which I set out at the beginning of this course. Thanks Prof for making our classes so interactive and fun, and at the same time enabling us to learn effectively. Its one of the few modules that I actually listen and learn in class, and I guess that is why I achieved my objectives for this module. =))
MOHAMED SHAH REZAL BIN ABDULLAH
I feel that i may have been asking the wrong questions when i started on this module. Or maybe not. There were things that i wanted to find out and if not for this module, then i guess, i would have had to go out of my way to do the research and all that. In the beginning, i said that i wanted ‘to know more about the significance that technology has in the world’. And i dare say that from having done all the research on the technologies of the past and the evolving technologies of the present as well as looking into the future of technology, i have seen much and i can conclude that technology has such a big role in our lives and it is just getting bigger. There are many wondrous technologies and products of technology. But many of these products of technology do come with a heavy burden and a giant price tag. Just as they have helped us to live our daily lives in a more comfortable manner, they have also changed our mindsets and ways of thinking. Many of us become very engrossed in the comforts that technology brings and push aside the costs and consequences of these comforts; like air-conditioning and elevators and even defence. For all the comfort that has been brought into our lives, there are the many other effects like pollution and global warming and global dimming and many other technology related illness that have appeared since the advent of technology. But we are very resourceful. That is one of the characteristics of us very adaptable and resilient human beings. We are already finding ways to combat the negatives of the current technology and looking at putting technology to a greener use. That is indeed the future to be looking forward to because i do not feel like handing down a world wrought with problems to our children and their children. My greatest takeaway from the module has to be the lesson i received about this thing called innovation. It does not come easy and it is a lot of hardwork. But what i have gathered is that if i have an idea brewing in me, i should act and not keep it inside for me alone. Even though i may not be a total success, there is much to be gained from taking that very alien first step to being an entrepreneur. No pain no gain as they all say.
EMIR IYLIA BIN SHAFRI
In the first journal, I set out to learn how inventions turn into innovations. I believed that this class would hand me the magic formula into turning an invention into an innovation. However, throughout my journey, I learnt a very important lesson. There is no magic formula. Some strategies might work for some, which might not work in other scenarios. However, I did manage to learn very important lessons. I learnt firstly about innovations itself, specifically, how innovations are diffused (through the technology S-curve), how dominant designs are selected, and other vital theories to innovation. I also learnt how insights are achieved, as well as the different types of innovations. Following that, I learnt some vital strategies in managing innovation, from learning the process of innovation to protecting my intellectual property rights, to technology strategy, funding strategies, organising strategies as well as funding strategies. With these, I might not hold the magic formula to turning a simple invention into a multimillion dollar invention. But I do know now what to do in which situation, in order to increase my chances of successfully innovating. I have benefited a lot from Prof Pamela’s immense experience. She had tonnes of experiences to share with us, and her insight proved beneficial to us. Whereas most of my friends taking TWC under different professors found it unbeneficial as it was just studying straight from the book, for my classmates and I, it was a wonderful journey, with a plethora of information, delivered in a practical manner by our instructor. And as for myself, thanks to Prof Pamela, I believe I am now one step closer to achieving my dreams of “helping the world go round”.
I will never forget the day when the 3 speakers spoke. Their auras of wisdom, experience and humility definitely touch the hearts of many of us. But what makes this day so unforgettable for me is that they lifted me out of my ‘mild depression’. Considering that I’m a more optimistic and forwards looker, its really quite rare for me to experience “mild depression”. But at the start of this term, 2 factors contributed to this. And one of which was that I suddenly didn’t know what I really wanted in live. Because all along, I thought I always knew what I really wanted. But somehow, when I began to re-evaluate what I really wanted, I feel that those things are not really what I want. So I began my search, but to no avail. And I felt really tired, because the things I’ve been doing so far don’t help you to achieve what you really want. It’s like a ship traveling without a compass. I thus become frustrated, because somehow I lost meaning in the things I’m doing – I see no connection. Then after some time, I become depress because I still cannot find any answers to my questions. And with it comes many morbid scenarios about what might happened to me. One of which is something like “what will I do, if I lost my legs?” My legs are very important to me, because the things I’m good at, (cycling, trekking, running etc.) all requires legs, so when I ask myself this question, I found myself having no answer to it. And I felt really lost and sad. But after hearing what Hong Zhuang said…. I can’t exactly pin point what he said, but I know that after his speech, its like a breathe of fresh air, I felt really energized, and magically, my unanswered questions have been answered. I know for sure that I want to CREATE something in this world – I can called my own, something that will still exist even if I’m no longer around. In short, I know I want to be an Entrepreneur. Maybe not a technopreneur yet, but yes an Entrepreneur. He showed me that there is no obstacle too big for those with good ideas. He showed me that as long as you have an idea, just DO IT! Emailing to the millionaires in Singapore, pitching his idea to almost everyone he come across, reading all the java, C++ programming stuff, touching up on his 100+ pages business plan, and setting up his company one day before his last paper are the things that really invigorate me and inspire me. It really engraved in my mind that if you know what you want, don’t hesitate, just take action, and you will make mistakes and learn along the way. And I remember this 2 sentences, “there are too much money and too few ideas flowing around in the world these days… so instead of ideas chasing money, money is now chasing ideas….google didn’t set up to make money, nor did youtube, what they did was to better the lives of people.” And “even if somehow sitting down here copied my idea and execute it, I will still be very happy, because it shows that my idea is good, and has help make the world a better place…and if I can come out with 1 good idea this time round, it means that my idea will be even better the 2nd time.” Now, I’m starting to stop doing things I have no connection with. This may come at a social cost. For instance, I’m active in SMUXtremists, and if I’m not as active, people will think I’m slack, and I have not met their expectations…and they will start to distance away from me. Yes, I have passion in trekking and biking, but I made the decision that if I pursue my interests, there are only 3 people who are going to benefit from it – me, myself and I. You see, because I’m bless with so many privileges, freedom, income, health, family, friends, network, education, creativity etc…. why not use these privileges to benefit people other than ourselves? My BGS prof is correct, ”WE have been given the privilege of education …and many others in this world don’t. And because we have been CHOSEN to receive such a privilege….therefore, such privileges come with it – GREAT RESPONSIBILITY.” And yes, I decided to put even more time in the environment (I joined this environmental organization called Environmental Challenge Organization (ECO) for 1 year + ). I’ve been telling my team, “ since we have been given so many privileges, what are you going to do with what you have been given? ” That’s the purpose of my life – it’s not about me, its about making this world a better place. And now, after the exams, I’m making major changes to my business plan, talking to everyone I know about my idea and hopefully be able to find a mentor and partner along the way. I really can’t wait to implement my idea, and even If I failed, I’m still happy that I gain a lot more by following through this journey. And I totally agreed that it’s not the money that counts. For me, what drives me is seeing that the world has become a better place because of your idea. But I’m still unsure whether I should go solo in the event that I can’t find any partner or mentor. Prof, you have any advice on this? And yes, THANK YOU! Because without this course, I wouldn’t be able to achieve such epiphany and maybe… I would still be in the state of “mild depression” if not for this course. Yup, thanks for EVERYTHING!