Sridhar Tayur and (gulp!) Taylor Swift: Absurd? No. Ample!

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This Wednesday morning – like many of my mornings – began with me savoring Italian coffee and having Chobani (Pineapple, today) yogurt, enjoying the sun streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows in our living room, reading Simon Critchley’s The Book of Dead Philosophers.

He writes about Albert Camus:

Sadly, Camus was killed in a pointless car accident in 1960, three years after receiving his Nobel Prize for Literature at the age of forty-four. He once said that he couldn’t imagine a death more meaningless than dying in a car accident. Such is perhaps the random force of the absurdity that Camus so eloquently describes.

I love cars (you know that! See Ford v Ferrari and True Grip), and so, yes, this tid-bit attracted my attention. The more I thought about CamusThe Myth of Sisyphus, The Stranger – I realized that I may be Maximally Inverse in my philosophical viewpoint from him – I do not share his Dead Certainty 😏 that there is “no eternity outside the curve of the days”  –  although we have overlap on How to Live (“consciousness reveling in this world, delighting in nature, a life of sensuous vitality”):

Camus: Absurd == Tayur: Ample.

As I finished my yogurt, and got up to get my second cup of coffee, I was amused to see (on a LinkedIn post) that Darden has written a case on Taylor Swift:

Shamrock Capital: Pricing the Masters of Taylor Swift.


In 2011, Darden published a case about my supply chain enterprise software startup (thanks Ron Wilcox!):

SmartOps Corporation: Forging Smart Alliances?

What should Taylor Swift expect next, then?

Her Darden case could be re-distributed by Harvard, as in the case of SmartOps (see link here).

What next for her after that?

Have a second case, this time written by HBS (thanks Julie Battilana), like:

OrganJet and GuardianWings.

And, here is a transcript of the actual class discussion from a few years back.

Camus may consider the fact that Taylor Swift and I have something in common as Absurd, but, I think, it is a better reflection of Ample. ☺️

The last time I visited Darden was when Ron Wilcox wrote the case (in 2011). Recently, I received this email:

Dear Sridhar,

Rupert, Max, and I are co-organizing the Dana Clyman seminar series at UVA Darden for the 2023-2024 Academic Year. The series is jointly hosted by our Operations and Quantitative Analysis areas.

We would very much like to have you visit us and give a talk in this seminar series. Our schedule is starting to fill in but we still have a variety of dates available for both the Fall (Oct 20 – Dec 1, 2023) and Spring (March 1 – April 1, 2024) semesters. Seminars are typically scheduled on Fridays. If these time windows do not work, do let us know your alternate preference and we will try to schedule something around that time.

We hope you can make it!

Yes: I am scheduled for Friday March 1, 2024.

What about Harvard? You know from Back to School and À la recherche de Dieu à Harvard that it has become an annual affair, and my attempts to get excommunicated 😏 (like Emerson) have been unsuccessful so far:

Dear Sridhar,

I hope that all is well with you.

We’ve confirmed that the Schwab Foundation program will run again at Harvard Kennedy School from March 16 – 23, 2024. We would be thrilled if you could join Julie Battilana for the Acting as an Agitator or an Innovator: OrganJet and Guardian Wings session on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at 1:30 p.m.

Will that date work for you?  It would be great to have you back!

Thank you!

Yes: I will be there.

For much longer than I have Taylor Swift, I have admired Michael Jordan (see Air Quantum). From just a few minutes ago:

Hi Professor,

Happy Wednesday!!

I’m delighted to share that our internal teams and leadership at Nike are excited about exploring quantum computing opportunities. Our technology leaders are keen to meet you and have outlined a proposal they believe would maximize the value of your time and expertise. Please let me know if the following works for you:
We propose to split the one-hour engagement into two calls, lasting approximately 30-35 minutes each.

  • The first call would be an executive-level discussion involving our CDIO and VP of Innovation. This conversation would focus on strategy, competitive advantages, and the implications of adopting this technology.
  • The second call would involve our engineering and architecture team, which includes professionals like myself who have completed courses like MIT’s Quantum Computing Fundamentals and have experience identifying potential use-cases for Nike. We aim to delve into adoption strategies, the rate of technology change, adoption rate, and what to anticipate in the near future.

If this proposal aligns with your expectations, could you please provide us with a few potential dates and times that would work for you over the next few weeks?

Absurd? No. Ample!😊

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