Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are You A Poet or a Quant?

I've been terribly neglectful about posting on a regular basis. The reason is simple: I've been flat out working to get a series of websites launched as part of C-Change Media. I've been creating a business plan, deck and design brief, talking to partners, negotiating with vendors, assigning stories to freelance writers, testing social network platforms, helping to guide a designer and a technologist to get us up and running. I've also been creating a wealth of content myself (when you're an entrepreneur, you do it all--taking photos, shooting video, reporting, writing, and editing, along with all the business side duties as well.) This gets increasingly complex when you are launching several sites on different business topics. In any case, we're getting close to a debut later this month of Poets& It's a site devoted to an area of business coverage I know a lot about: graduate business education. Back in 1988, as management editor of Business Week magazine, I created the first regularly done MBA rankings. I wrote three guidebooks on business schools and also built out Business Week's online presence in this field in the mid-1990s. For years, I also supervised our coverage of MBA and Executive Education.

I have a confession to make. I really missed reporting and writing. Before leaving BusinessWeek in early December, I had been an editor/manager for more than seven years: four at BusinessWeek as executive editor of the magazine and editor-in-chief of and another three at Fast Company where I was editor-in-chief. I missed the joy of discovery that occurs when you go into the field and interview people, bring back your reporting and insights, synthesize what you've learned and then put it all in writing. I'm hands-on, for sure, having already visited Dartmouth, Harvard, Stanford, and London Business School to get back in touch with the graduate business education market.

Why Poets & Quants? Because it’s part of the language and culture of every MBA school. Poets are MBA candidates with liberal arts undergraduate degrees. Not surprisingly, perhaps, they often struggle with the finance and statistics courses. Quants are students with business, financial or engineering backgrounds who are undaunted by spreadsheets and statistical analysis but may have some trouble writing a well structured, smartly argued paper.  Many MBA programs consciously combine poets and quants in teams so they can take advantage of each other’s skills. At P&Q, our goal will be to help both the poets and the quants make the best possible choice for an MBA education.

We've already put up a Twitter stream @PoetsAndQuants. And we have a very cool logo for the site thanks to the exceptionally talented Kristen Young over at YellowFarmStudios. Tell us what you think of it.