Bif! Pow! Jobs! MBAs Learn The Story Of Apple From This Comic Book


Want to know what a business lesson about Apple looks like at Harvard Business School?

A whole lot like a comic book, apparently. The publishing arm of Harvard Business School is turning to comics to help tell case studies related to high profile companies. One of these — called “Apple’s Core” — turns the story of Apple’s early days into sequential art, reminiscent of the Steve Jobs manga from last year.

This change was reportedly done to make the story more interesting and palatable to visual and foreign learners, who would prove less inclined to learn about Apple if made to read a printed case study.

“None of [my students] had English as a strong suit,” said one professor who teaches from the comic book. “So I knew that to give them a 30- to 50-page written text, they will not read this. The participation will not be there.”

While this rationale might be all well and good, however, it is certainly possible to question the wisdom of compressing pages of nuanced business study into simple comic book stories. Although it’s only one panel out of many, the above image (supposedly depicting Steve Wozniak) seems to confirm that fear — appearing to dismiss Jobs as a two-dimensional villain, while also repeating a punchline from Mike Judge’s new series Silicon Valley.

Do you think turning the (sometimes impenetrable) complexities of the business world into a simple story of heroes and villains is a good move for MBAs? Let us know in the comments below.

  • omitwords

    Bif pow? Really?

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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