Coming back to campus

I’ll be making an infrequent return to the MIT campus this afternoon on a career panel, talking about non-traditional recruiting paths. Sloan alums will remember my vocal skepticism of the value of traditional MBA recruiting, which at most schools seems designed to funnel MBAs into consulting or banking while giving other options short shrift. So I have a lot of things to say about the topic; hopefully I can say them in a constructive way this afternoon…

The old ways are sometimes best

The ever durable A List Apart had a great article on Paper Prototyping today. I have to second the recommendation. I had a tremendously productive prototyping discussion with one of our engineers recently using nothing but sticky notes on a whiteboard. Software is great but sometimes the physicality of being able to move stuff around makes a big difference to your creativity.

The practice reminds me of Voice of the Customer, the marketing practice by which customer utterances are written on Post Its and grouped to identify customer pain areas and requirements. Very low tech but very effective.

Props for Double Bag

Eric Asimov in the New York Times writes Quiet Cover for a Vital Brew, another in his series of beer tasting adventures. Reading these is almost as much fun as reading the great Michael Jackson’s beer writing; one gets the sense that if Asimov were not constrained for space by the newspaper, he would be fair competition for Jackson when writing about New World beers.

One of his Top 10 brown ales this week is the Double Bag Ale from Long Trail, a Vermont brewer whose stuff shows up in my local package store—interesting, since according to a 2001 interview with the president of the company they had pulled out of Massachusetts. Perhaps things turned around. I have enjoyed both the Double Bag (an appropriate name for a Vermont beer) and the Harvest Ale in the past; I think I’ll have to check out their other offerings…