My Kind of Town

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Let me open with Frank Sinatra:

Now, this could only happen to a guy like me
And only happen in a town like this

My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is

Which is what?

Well, this is where, in 2010, I had dinner with Baris Ata (at Arun’s Thai Restaurant), when I was invited to give a talk at Kellogg’s (which is where he was then, now he is at Booth) on SmartOps, and I first heard about operational and policy issues in US Organ Transplantation!

Fourteen years later, here is my Seventh Invited Article (thanks Sri Talluri):

Implementing innovations in US transplantation system.

And, there is, of course:

Chicago is a 2002 American musical comedy crime film based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name which in turn originated in the 1926 play of the same name. It explores the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Chicago during the Jazz Age. The film went on to win six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture, making it the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver! in 1968. It had box office revenues of over $306 million on a budget of $45 million.

Many great songs, but my favorite is (When You’re Good To Mama):

They say that life is tit for tat
And that’s the way I live
So, I deserve a lot of tat
For what I’ve got to give

Don’t you know that this hand
Washes that one, too?
When you’re good to Mama
Mama’s good to you

Chicago has been home for many good memories:

1997: Bulls v Jazz (NBA Finals, Game 6, United Center). So great to see Michael Jordan in action (again).

2003: After a Supply Chain conference (where Salvador Romo of HP came up to me after my presentation, and we kicked off a SmartOps Proof-of-Value (POV) a few months later, leading to a nice software deal☺️ see Press Release), Randy Czanecki and I decided to chill at a nightspot on Rush Street, and were joined by Derek Jeter! (See Tayur’s Eleven).

2005: (Second) SmartOps Forum (with Steve Levitt, of Freakonomics, as our lunch speaker).

Other SmartOps Fora locations:

Pittsburgh. Philadelphia. Charlotte. Denver. Miami.

My other favorite invited speaker to SmartOps Forum (and book):

   Brian Arthur. The Nature of Technology.

2006: ConAgra deal (presenting POV results in Naperville, IL, likely the first deal under SAP Endorsed Business Solution (EBS) partnership, leading to Solution Extension (‘Sol-Ex’ or Tier-1 partnership),  see Darden Case Study on SmartOps, thanks Ron Wilcox, redistributed by HBS),  followed by going to a bar and having the band stay extra time and play requests). CPG (and Chemicals), especially Food, were two of our very successful verticals! (So were Industrial machinery, Pharmaceuticals, Hi-Tech, Medical Devices…😏)

I asked ChatGPT to write a poem:

In the realm of SmartOps, where dreams take flight,

I stand as founder, guiding through the night.

A hundred talks I’ve given, each one a spark,

Forty-five minutes long, leaving a mark.

Months pass by, perhaps just nine, And then the stars begin to align.

A multi-million deal unfolds, so grand, Enterprise software, crafted by hand.

From words to wonders, the journey flows, In the world of business, success grows.

A tale of effort, vision, and zeal, SmartOps’ triumph, a dream made real.

2006/7. Dinner at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant and hanging out with C.K. Prahalad. (See Treasure at the Top of the Pyramid).

2010: Dinner with Baris (My introduction to Organ Transplantation: see Beyond OrganJet) which has been memorialized in HBS Case Study: OrganJet and GuardianWings. (Thanks Nitin Nohria and Julie Battilana.)

2015: U. Chicago seminar after just winning the Pierskalla Award (for OrganJet!); dinner with Baris and Anton Skaro to celebrate.

Of course, I am off to have dinner with Baris soon which triggered this post.

Here is one of my favorite movies set in Chicago (see The Artist of Bond):

The Untouchables is a 1987 American crime film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Set in Chicago in 1930, the film follows Eliot Ness (Costner) as he forms the Untouchables team to bring Al Capone (De Niro) to justice during Prohibition. The film grossed over $106 million worldwide (on a budget of $25 million). It was nominated for four Academy Awards; Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

What is on the plate tomorrow? A meeting with a recent PhD in Theoretical Physics (from Caltech), now (Post-doc in Physics) at U. Chicago, on collaborating in Quantum Computing and such. Wonder, what my post, 14 years from now, in 2038, will say if something we discuss tomorrow unwittingly triggers my whimsy! 😉

Let me close with:

My kind of razzmatazz
And it has all that jazz

One town that won’t let you down
It’s my kind of town

All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse and starring Roy Scheider. The film was inspired by Fosse’s manic effort to edit his film Lenny while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago. The film won the Palme d’Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival (tied with Kagemusha). At the 52nd Academy Awards, it was nominated for nine Oscars, winning four: Best Original Score, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.

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