Saturday, September 11, 2004

HBS Blogs (or the lack thereof) 
After my last post VC asked:
A second-year friend of mine at HBS says that blogging just isn't part of the HBS culture. Can you comment on that at some point in the future? Friend has not elaborated on that, so I'm puzzled what it means, exactly.

I talked to several people about this, and here's what I came up with. I think the number one reason that blogging isn't big at HBS is that HBS is a very inward focused community. I think this focus has developed largely because of the fact that the HBS campus is so large, and so many people live on campus, that there really is no reason to look outside the school for anything. Do you know that if you live in the dorms, the only reason you would ever need to leave the HBS campus is to get a haircut, as far as I can tell. You can eat, drink, do your laundry, go to class, play sports, all without ever leaving HBS. Furthermore, there is extensive nightlife just across the river, so even when you leave HBS you don't have to leave Cambridge. Everything you could possibly need is within a 15 minute walk.

I think another reason for this inward focus is the belief that the HBS brand speaks for itself, that there is no need to advertise, so to speak. This is evidenced by the fact that the first essay on the HBS application asks why you want an MBA now, not why you want an HBS MBA now. It's just a general sense that this is HBS, a great place to be, and why would we spend time advertising that when instead we can spend our time enjoying ourselves here. I don't think that this represents arrogance, I think it's actually just the opposite. Everyone ackowledges how lucky and fortunate they are to be here, and I think part of the inward focus is a determination to make the most of the experience while it lasts.

Anyway, I hope that explanation makes some sense. I believe it's pretty accurate, and I don't think you can underestimate the impact of the self-sufficient campus. As always, feel free to comment, criticize, or ask more questions.

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