You may consult your personal course readings and notes as well as any posted materials such as the instructor’s slides. You may do web searches for examples of the phenomena if you wish (you should not need to), but conceptual searches, including of Wikipedia, are not allowed, nor is collaboration with anyone else. Pay special attention to strong thesis statements to begin your answers; avoid restating the question.
The relative length of your answers should reflect the weights of the various questions’ point values.
1) (20 points) As we have seen, mobile phones, the Internet, social media, and related technologies have the effect of dramatically lowering coordination costs. Discuss some current and/or potential implications of lower coordination costs for these three domains:
a) Crowdsourcing business models
b) Security and risk (including cyber‐warfare)
c) Economic development in countries such as Kenya.
2) (30 points) Analyze the impact of psychology on modern tech-related markets and behavior. Include the following in an integrated essay answer, and use those insights to predict what we can expect in the near future:
a) the effects of emerging technology on human relationships, providing 3 examples,
b) 3 insights from behavioral economics that have been translated into market successes,
c) your understanding of why people are so bad at risk/benefit tradeoffs, and
d) the demographics of your millennial generation.
3) (15 points) We have seen the effect of the Internet and related technologies throughout the course, and these effects can often be represented by power law distributions. A) Give 4 examples of power laws from the course, B) define the curve, then C) discuss why you think information technology is so often associated with this kind of a distribution.
4) (30 points) Mobile computing and other technologies are radically changing the nature of information privacy. Citing at least 3 readings and 3 lectures, present a reasoned assessment of the threat to privacy from the combination of the following
a) big data
b) Internet of Things
c) online advertising
d) social networks.
Conclude with 3 actions that can realistically be taken to improve the future of human privacy.
5) (20 points) Discuss the future of cars in terms of platform economics, paying particular attention to network effects. What is required for a platform to win in this domain? Who do you think is best positioned to win in the U.S.?
6) (15 points) What advice would you give a younger sibling/cousin about what he or she should do at college to prepare for a career in the digital economy, given what you now know about the future of work. Provide at least 3 examples to support your reasoning.
7) (20 points) Assume a scenario in which you have $5,000 left from your signing bonus, graduation gifts, and savings from previous summer jobs. You are looking for a stock investment, aiming to maximize share price appreciation for the 5-8-year time horizon. What one tech stock do you buy? (It does not have to be one of the 7 stock pitch companies.) Justify your choice, using a) the company’s annual report, including both qualitative and quantitative indicators, b) standard numbers from Yahoo Finance or equivalent, and c) your understanding of course concepts.
8) (20 points)What do we mean by computing outside the box? Why is it important in 2017? What concepts connect the various flavors (at least 4) of the overarching idea?
9) (10 points)
The U.S. physical retail industry is in a major contraction – more than 8,000 stores are forecast to close this year. Artificial intelligence is getting very good very fast. More and more jobs inside offices and factories are being replaced by computers and robots. Social media is being transformed by chatbots, fake news, and ever-more-intrusive advertising. Digital privacy is being compromised by our habits, our devices, and our merchants and advertisers. These developments pose strong challenges to existing business practices and personal attitudes. In response to these challenges, what are the 3 key steps, in your view, we must take en route to a prosperous future?