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Behind Facebook and Google’s random acquisitions — Catherine Tucker

From Fortune A lot of attention has been paid lately to big tech companies buying up smaller firms in billion-dollar deals: In January, Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion, Facebook purchased mobile message service, WhatsApp, the following month for $19 billion; last week, it acquired virtual reality gaming company, Oculus VR, for $2 billion. There is a lot of discussion about the motives behind these large deals. Some say they are attempts to block competition, while others maintain they are efforts to stay relevant. I see these deals as a reflection of the uncertainty companies face as they try to identify the next big thing. This is especially true for successful companies like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG), which are known for doing what they do tremendously well. They’ve seen similarly successful companies like Kodak struggle as technology moves on, rendering its product obsolete. As a result, companies today are eternally motivated to … Read More »The post Behind Facebook and Google’s random acquisitions — Catherine Tucker appeared first on MIT Sloan Experts.  Read the full post >

U-Lab: Prototyping the 21st-century university — Otto Scharmer

From The Huffington Post Higher education has hit a wall — particularly the business school. Four issues are upending higher education as it is constituted today: It is overpriced: While the cost of higher education has skyrocketed, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have emerged as a game changer, opening doors to an unparalleled democratization of higher education. The marginal costs of online learning are basically zero. And yes, in spite of huge enrollment numbers (often 50,000-80,000 students per class), MOOCs have not yet been able to fully deliver on their high- flying promises. Critics often point to course completion rates–often as little as 5% of the enrollees complete a course–a sign that MOOCs are still evolving. It is out of touch with the changing market: The old model of higher education worked for a remarkably long period, although not for everyone. Students invested in the pursuit of a career path that almost … Read More »The post U-Lab: Prototyping the 21st-century university — Otto Scharmer appeared first on MIT Sloan Experts.  Read the full post >






 

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