Week 1, Friday Lecture Outline
- I. A tale of two navies
- II. Some lessons about learning
- III. Is the University of Michigan building galleys?
- 13th and 14th centuries: Mediterranean empires
- rise of Venice and Genoa as trading and naval powers
- e.g., the travels of Marco Polo (1275-1292)
- 15th and 16th centuries: Atlantic empires
- rise of England and Holland as trading and naval powers
- e.g., Drake's circumnavigation (1580-81)
- Built around the galley
- Ideal for battles won by ramming and boarding
- Well-suited to calm and flat waters
- Built around the caravel and galleon
- Ideal for battles won through superior firepower
- Well-suited to high waves and rough weather
- Late 1500s - Holland chases Portugal from the East Indies
- 1588 - England defeats the Spanish Armada
- 1616 - Venetians saved from Spain by England and Holland
- Not bound by tradition
- Scarce resources
- Capacity for borrowing profitable ideas
- Constant observation, inquiry, and experimentation
- The role of direct experience:
- competency traps - favorable performance with inferior technologies reduces
experience with superior technologies
- The role of others' experience:
- diffusion of ideas - maintaining the networks and connections that may
provide exposure to innovations
- The role of experimentation:
- variation in failure rate - success is the enemy of risk-taking, therefore
induce ambiguity independent of performance
- What are the UM's competency traps?
- Is the UM open to diffusion of ideas?
- In what ways does the UM create variation in failure rates?
- Competency trap:
- MTS - ten years ahead of its time, now obsolete - UM has negligible
experience with distributed computing
- Diffusion of ideas:
- travel budgets - generous funding to visit other places and see how others
- Variation in failure rates:
- vague goals - M-Quality deliberately underspecified?
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