Hal, along with his wife Rita, founded iPhone Life’s
original publishing company, Thaddeus Computing,
in 1985. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching Entrepreneurship with an iPhone
Every year I teach an intensive, month-long undergradu- ate course on entrepreneurship and consciousness at
a private university, Maharishi University of Management, in
Fairfield, Iowa. In the class, I invite fellow “accidental entrepreneurs,” who moved to Fairfield in the 1980s to participate
in a world peace project based on Transcendental Meditation,
to share stories and wisdom about starting businesses.
Here are some of my latest tricks and apps I’ve been using in the classroom to help teach students entrepreneurship
skills more effectively.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a difficult time remembering names and faces. The problem is exacerbated by
many hard-to-pronounce names of students from other countries. This year, in order to learn names quickly, I individually
recorded 20-second videos on my iPhone while the students
introduced themselves to me, holding nametags and sharing
interesting facts about their backgrounds. In the built-in Photos app, I watched the videos a couple of times before memorizing the names and a little bit about each student.
During my course, I help students grow in their ability to
commit to certain tasks—a quality shared by successful entrepreneurs. Keeping your word is fundamental to starting
and running a successful business, since building trust is the
glue of business. Customers must know you will deliver a
promised product or service; employees must know you will
compensate them; the banker and investor must have confidence you will pay them back. Many young people haven’t
developed the maturity or self-confidence to be able to make
and keep promises.
During the class, I have students stand up and make simple
promises to the class (e.g., go to bed by 10, do laundry, or call
their mom). The following day, everyone shares whether they
kept their promises. If a student isn’t successful, we examine
the reason. Perhaps the promise was too vague or was made
without considering what could go wrong, or maybe the student hadn’t fully committed. It’s fun and rewarding to see students begin to recognize how empowering it is to make and
fulfill a commitment.
I also recommend apps to help students keep commitments, break bad habits, and form positive ones. So, suppose
you want to lose weight, study Spanish, or exercise daily.
There are habit-building apps for the iPhone that have you
state your goal, commit to some kind of repetitive routine,
and then report on your progress.
One popular, highly rated example is Habit List ($2.99).
Its interface is straightforward and intuitive, and it does a
good job of keeping you motivated with reminders, badges,
and graphics. If you don’t mind spending some extra money,
Habit Pro ($4.99) and The Habit Factor® ($6.99) are two
examples of more comprehensive and sophisticated habit-training programs with top ratings.
I am still on the hunt for an app with a social component
that I could use in class. One positively reviewed app called
Pinky Promise seemed to fit the bill, but it’s no longer available. It let you create and accept commitments from friends
and family, each party holding the other accountable. I
couldn’t find information about why the app was pulled, nor
could I find comparable programs.
Please email me ( email@example.com) if you use an app that
helps you keep your commitments, particularly an app with a
social component. �
Memorizing Student Names
The Commitment Exercise
Apps for Building Good Habits