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MBAs and MFAs should date.

Stealing intellectual property. |


| SAP founder gives $35 million for Stanford D-School

October 03, 2005

MBAs and MFAs should date.

Bruce Nussbaum

I've often thought that one of the reasons why business people and design people can't communicate well is that they didn't date in college. They didn't listen to the same music. Didn't go to the same classes. Didn't go to the same movies. Wore different clothes. Went to different bars. Fast forward a few years in the land of business and no wonder they still can't talk to one another even though they find themselves on the same team trying to develop a new product or service.

I have a solution. Go to the library and borrow one. Business people should go to the public library and take out a desingner for a day or two. And designers should go to the library and borrow a business major. Yes, I know this is impossible right now but in the Netherlands, they've started a program of lending out people. The townspeople of Almelo, apparently, aren't too comfortble with drug addicts, homosexuals, gypsies, asylum seekers, the physically handicapped and lesbians so a local library is making them available to borrow for 45 minute meetings.

Without commenting on Dutch illiberal society, I think we can borrow the form of library lending to bridge the gap between MBAs and MFAs. If you won't date one, then borrow one. Do it for the team.

07:13 AM

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I guess that I'm ahead of my time. I'm an MBA graduate and I work for a major design consultancy and have been dating an designer for 2+ years. It's really interesting how differently we see the world.

Usually our conversations turn into debates and then we realize that we are talking about the same idea but from a different viewpoint. He's more visionary - I'm more pragmatic.

Posted by: MBA dating a Designer at October 4, 2005 09:31 PM

I agree completely- and offer an easier solution: joining a mixed organization in college (ex: fraternity or sorority). i've found as a designer that it is much more helpful working on projects within my fraternity w/ the business majors than trying to talk to other business majors about what they do. it is REAL practice on REAL issues. not exactly the most typical idea anymore, but i figure that my pimping may get more business people to appreciate the greek (or other organization) systems more.

Posted by: Mike at October 6, 2005 04:42 PM

I'm in even worse shape than "MBA Dating." I'm an MBA/MSF who's fascinated by design. Cooper-Hewitt, the local design exhibitions here, the book "The Look of the Century," I love it all.

Now, if we can only get some designers interested in business...

Posted by: Joshua Sharf at October 7, 2005 05:43 AM


Opened your BLOG and it is a super service...I will check it out daily and respond if I have anything to contribute.

Bob Blaich

Posted by: Bob Blaich at October 13, 2005 04:13 PM

I like this way out. Very creative) And what is even more important enjoyable for both sides.

Posted by: Helen Date at November 28, 2005 02:35 PM

I recently concluded an MA in Design Management and now I can speak the language of business and can confortably have a conversation or even a date with a person who has a business background, something that before doing my Masters was quite tricky. What I think is that my Masters program should really be called a Masters in Design Administration a MDA instead of an MA in order to gain more credibility.

Posted by: Marea at November 30, 2005 07:25 PM

While attending a/the top design school 10+ years ago, I could not get credit for any business courses (that would need to be taken at other schools, as there were none offered). Too late for my generation, the school has now 'partnered' with a local business program, but I'm afraid the perception that artists need not participate in the business world is still a belief among many. It seems the fear of the unknown needs to be addressed and common ground found.

Posted by: Amy at December 6, 2005 11:19 PM

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