T’21 Fellows’ Projects: Breadth of Diversity of Thought and Depth of Interest

December 18th, 2020

Each year, CDS MBA Fellows undertake self-directed research projects on contemporary digital strategy topics. Projects are chosen and directed by the students, and include a mix of primary and secondary research. Findings from their work are published as whitepapers, and each student is asked to present their work to the Tuck community. 

Fellows this year plan to tackle incredibly important topics, including a record number focused on health-related issues. We’ve outlined the full slate of project topics below. We look forward to sharing the results from their work with you in the spring.  

Four students will tackle health-related topics. Haylle Reidy is exploring the tradeoffs between innovation and privacy in digital health solutions. Haylle is a former product manager at digital health startup athenahealth and spent the summer evaluating startups as a venture capital intern with Oxeon Ventures. Alex Mullin is looking at digital therapeutics, with a specific emphasis on barriers to adoption, despite promising efficacy data. Also a health care veteran, Alex spent her summer at CVS Health thinking about their strategy and future growth opportunities. Rod Milligan spent his summer at Apple after several years as an engineer at Chevron. True to his engineering roots, Rod is interested in understanding how technologies will enable the future of remote diagnostics and telehealth, focusing on sensor, optical, and connected devices. Sarthak Vaish will apply a smart cities lens to health questions, evaluating the role that the technologies and data underpinning smart cities can be used to evaluate both personal and population health. 

Continuing the center’s partnership with Google last year to think about the future of mobile gaming, CDS Fellows Emma Sapat, Hugo Naulot, and Will Maness will team up to partner with Google for their project this year. Their research with Google will focus on how companies who have previously relied on traditional performance marketing efforts (such as IDFA on iOS)– especially mobile gaming companies– can effectively build brand equity to grow their businesses. 

Four fellows will evaluate enterprise software tech and product, which took on a massively expanded role in our lives this year due to the COVID-19 crisis. alex becker product engines ebookAlex Becker, fresh off his work with the CDS last spring resulting in the publication of an ebook on product-led growth strategies at enterprise SaaS companies, will continue his work to evaluate the rise of product marketing in the SaaS world. Élise Sauvé will examine whether or not productivity software, now central to our WFH world, actually drives productivity or simply makes us feel busier at work with little productivity gain. 

Ben Simon, co-chair of the new Future of Automotive and Mobility Club at Tuck, will use his background and experience at CarGurus to explore success factors for online marketplaces to better understand why some marketplaces thrive and others struggle to reach widespread adoption. 

Not surprisingly, innovation is an evergreen theme explored by CDS fellows. Youssouf Ntambi plans to tackle a large topic central to the center – how do large technology firms respond to disruption by startups? The research will take on new importance as antitrust efforts impact the future of competition in the tech sector. Jocelyn Teece will continue/expand her research (which she began at Cambridge University) on Silicon Valley, with a focus on the key factors for creating and sustaining geographic clusters of innovation. 

Another timely topic given the debate over the future of data privacy, accelerated by Apple this year, Arleen Chien will focus on tech for good with a look at how marketing and personalization data can be used to drive positive behavioral outcomes. 

Lastly, Keri Arslancan will build on her deep media experience to think about the future of media and whether or not the direct-to-consumer model driven by the COVID-19 crisis this year is here to stay or a sign of the times. 

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