The novel thing about the course (aside from the whole game=course concept) was that they had university alums acting as a Board of Directors, who our team would have to report to. They would analyze our performance and question our decisions, and we'd have to defend them. Our grade would be a combination of how the Board judged us, and on our actual performance in the game relative to the other teams.
Each team operated a factory making widgets, so the parameters we had control over were things like factory capacity, price, quality of source material, and so forth. The one basic constraint was that you couldn't drastically expand capacity from week to week, so you had to play a bit conservative or go broke. My contribution to the team was a spreadsheet using a evolutionary algorithm to optimize our decisions based on an array of probable actions by our competitors. So our success would depend on the technical terror I had constructed.
The first week turned out to be a huge success. We utterly destroyed the competition, so severely that it was kind of embarrassing. The other teams sucked really hard and made a bunch of dumb decisions. So as a group we decided to play the next round more conservatively, because obviously the other teams could now see what we did and improve their standing.
They did not. We increased our lead over the competition, even in our conservative state... but now we had to report to our Board. Obviously our top position was good, but they were not impressed that we didn't play our lead to the full advantage. Which is all fine and dandy, so we played it less conservative the next rounds.
Each time we started a new round we figured that finally the other teams would figure out the game and start catching up. I mean, it really wasn't that hard to do. Except each time they did not, and we steadily increased our lead to the point where by the last few rounds we were making the most expensive product on the market for among the lowest cost, and by far the most sales.
The widgets our team made were the stuff that suits dream about, a blessed love child of Apple, Google, and Nintendo. We owned, and it was terribly funny trying to imagine what these other poor teams must have been going through. Our board kept on prodding us to be more aggressive, and eventually we stopped worrying that the other teams were going to clue in.
However, the final glory was still to come. Our final board meeting was up, and we had just finished a round of ultra-aggressive pricing and capacity and were now more successful than all of the other teams combined. The board was going to love us, and we knew we were all getting an A.
I had one more ace up my sleeve for the Board though. I calculated the P/E ratio of our competitors and how that related to market capitalization in the real world. I found that the likely market cap of our competitors was less than the in-game cost of expanding our factories. So to bypass the game's constraint about adding capacity, I proposed to our board that the best course of action would be to purchase our competitors for their factory space.
The board ate it up like crack covered strawberries. I ended up with an A+, by far the highest mark I ever received in any course. And it was completely awesome.
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