Course Description

Why did Altavista fail, and Google succeed? Same for Myspace and Facebook? Was it technology, marketing, people, luck, execution, or something else? It is trivial to discern good ideas and profound technological shifts after the fact. But how could you become your own futurist and learn to analyze emerging trends and foretell the outcome? We will study and analyze both failures and successes in virtual reality, blockchain, artificial intelligence, healthtech, and other technologies. Students will conduct literature reviews, netnographic analysis, and case studies in order to identify patterns that they could later apply to their own research, career decisions, or entrepreneurial ventures.

The format of the class will include lectures, guest speakers from distinguished entrepreneurs and innovators, peer-reviewed presentations, quantitative and qualitative data gathering, and group exercises. Students will produce a technical report highlighting the barriers for adoption of emerging technologies. The report has the potential to be published and added to your professional portfolio.



Luke Kowalski

Luke Kowalski works in a corporate function at Oracle reporting to one of Larry Ellison’s EVPs and specializes in working across multiple disciplines. Before his tenure at this large corporation, he worked for various startups in technical, design, and business roles, as well as for Netscape’s Server and E commerce division. He holds several patents and professional certifications, serves as an ISO representative for US through ANSI and lectures frequently at conferences and universities. His educational background includes advanced degrees from UTA, Pratt Institute, and Columbia University. He firmly believes that Berkeley students have the potential to change the world and leverage disruptive technologies while still making a positive social impact. His pedagogy promotes a multidisciplinary approach, where engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, and marketers collaborate in real-time to create the best human-centric solutions.