Two equal armies are on the verge of battle for control of an island. Each army is connected to the island by their own bridge. The first army invades the island and burns the bridge behind them to show their opponent they mean serious business. As we learned in our final lecture of Business Economics, this may be a successful move in Game Theory in which two businesses are strategically competing for control of a market. However, when it comes to relationships in life, the golden rule of “not burning bridges” should really be followed.
I moved around a lot growing up as a child within the US. And when I turned 26, I took an international assignment in Saudi Arabia, where I spent the last five years before moving to London. New cities, new countries, new friends, and new homes have been a recurring theme of my life. Yet, as I have moved along in life, adapting to new situations continuously, I’ve tried my hardest to keep the bridges I’ve built along the way intact.
I spent my teenage years growing up just outside Princeton, New Jersey in the US and some of my closest friends are from that period of my life. However, since I went away to boarding school at the age of 16, I have rarely been back to Princeton. When the film “A Beautiful Mind” was released in 2001, the film meant so much to me because it was filmed in Princeton and I knew exactly where every scene was shot from the background. I thought it was so cool. The movie was based on the life of John Nash, who received his Nobel Laureate in Economics for his work in Game Theory. The movie was excellent despite being very sad, as John Nash suffered from schizophrenia despite his genius.
However, I remember as they discussed Nash’s economic theories in the film, I disregarded trying to understand Game Theory because I thought that only super-smart people that deal with complex businesses and marketplace economics would ever need to know this.
So fast-forward 15 years of my life, and a massive surprise hit me in Professor Jonathan Haskel’s (@haskelecon on Twitter and a blogger as well at http://haskelecon.blogspot.co.uk/) Business Economics lecture. He was actually teaching us about Game Theory and how to find the Nash Equilibrium! I was now that super-smart person who dealt with complex businesses and marketplace economics that only MBA’s would need to know!
I was categorised as a “Bridger” in our Organisational Behaviour class, i.e. someone who knows a lot of different groups and can connect people. That makes sense given my history of moving around and meeting lots of different people. But in my Business Economics lecture, a bridge connecting me all the way back to Princeton was built. It was an amazing feeling, to look at that bridge from London to New Jersey with detours in the Middle East and many other places around the world, and think of how far I have come.
Suresh is a student in our 2016-17 Full-Time MBA class.