Computing and Communications Technology
Hal R. Varian: http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/~hal
Please note that I am on leave from Berkeley and working at Google, so
I am only on campus on Tuesday afternoons. However, I am readily
accessible by email.
2 Web site
The primary web site is
This a Management of Technology (MOT) course and has 3 different
It is known as IS224, MBA 290C.1 and EECS C201, depending which
department you are in.
Graduate standing in the College of Engineering, Haas School of
Business, School of Information. Space
permitting, graduate students from other units, or advanced
undergraduate students, may be admitted.
This course is about business strategy for technology-intensive
Traditional business strategy has focused on the the classical issues
of suppliers, customers, competitors, entrants and substitute products.
However, several new phenomena emerge in technology intensive
industries such as
- Network effects.
- The value of a new product to a potential user may depend on how
many users adopt it.
- Once a product is adopted, it may be very costly for users to
switch to a new product.
- System effects.
- The demand for your product, such as software, may depend on the
price and characteristics of other very different products such
- The same firms may be both competitors, suppliers, customers and
providers of complementary goods and services.
Here is the schedule for the
The basic textbook for the course is Carl Shapiro and Hal Varian,
Information Rules, Harvard Business School Press, which focuses
primarily on external strategy. Other readings and lecture materials
will be provided for internal strategy discussions. Here is the
web site for the book.
There are two types of requirements.
- Individual requirements
- Participate in class discussion
- During the semester, read the business and technology press
and find 4 examples of news stories involving examples of strategic
issues we have discussed in class. Submit them along with a one or two
paragraph summary of how this relates to course topics. Here are some examples of news articles that
students prepared last year.
- Group requirements
- Technology assessment. Your group will prepare a short
writeup and a Powerpoint presentation on a particular technology that
summarizes current issues and future prospects of that technology. We
will assign technologies and topics to groups based on interest. Groups
will be created by the instructor in order to ensure balance among
students with different backgrounds. Here are some examples of previous technology assessments.
Grading will be based on the items mentioned above along an evaluation
of your contribution to the group by the other members of the group.