Last weekend was an interesting weekend. It was the 1st #IBMWatson Competition outside of the US. The event was held at HEC Paris.
Prior the competition I was unsure of participating, as there was another activity related to identifying careers in the energy sector. As with many other activities during the MBA, you must prioritize the activities and evaluate what could be gained from each. I decided I needed a different weekend. One with exposure to new ideas, views and options. As my knowledge of computer science is very basic, I thought the IBM Competition could be fun.
So the first step was to have a team of four people. As there were few days left and ad-portas of exam week, many classmates were already busy. I first called Daniel Gomez, with economics and start-up background, Michael Thomson, with experience in education and employment counseling, and Maria Rahat with marketing and branding expertise. All accepted the invitation to have an entertaining weekend, take time away from studies and do something different (also get to know each other better as we had not worked together before).
Our first meeting, the Thursday previous to the competition, was to brainstorm on potential ideas where we could use #Watson’s capabilities. There is a lot of potential on things to do with #Watson. Of all the idea, we agreed on develping a career development application (it later became more than that), which takes all your information (i.e. understands who you are) and identifies companies and environments that best fits you (i.e. identifies company culture, career and surroundings).
The weekend started, competition was on with the other teams, and focus became the norm. For us the key was to have fun, dream a little on the potential of our idea and get the most out our group.
We consulted with three different mentors. Their insights were valuable to adjust and include new perspectives to what our application could do. Specially in the long-term, e.g. big data analytics to change labor, mobility and productivity policies. This motivated us even more, increasing the level of excitement to see how far we could go in the competition.
Developing the idea something was missing… the name. That Sunday morning as I was listening to Eminem’s Lose Yourself and getting prepared, an idea came… It’s not about finding opportunities, it’s about interpreting them. It’s not about being an efficient company, it’s about becoming one. Then Mike added – as we met with the team – it’s not about choosing a job, it’s about choosing a life… so #BecomeOne came to existence.
—————- so ——————
We got selected to go to the final round, where five teams would present their ideas. Take note that three teams would be winners with some nice prizes (attending the Roland Garros -Trophée des Légendes).
To make the story short, we got 2nd place
A fun and different weekend, that ended with a nice prize.
You can also see our presentation on youtube (from the 1:05 mark).