A major assignment in this course is the completion of a team project. Students should work in groups of four or five. You will be responsible for assembling your team, meeting with your teammates and choosing one of the two project options listed below. Each student team will give a presentation in class and submit a joint paper.

Option 1: Strategic and Economic Analysis

For this option, teams can either evaluate how a specific business initiative related to the economics of information has been implemented in an organization, or analyze a specific initiative that is being considered but has not yet been implemented. In either case, you will work directly with the relevant executives at the organization.

For initiatives that have been implemented, you should describe the organization, its business strategy and environment, the technological or business initiative and its strategic fit for the organization at hand. For initiatives that are being considered but not yet implemented, teams will write a management report that describes the strategic, economic and technological issues facing the company, evaluate the company's current strategy and options, and recommend a course of action. In either case, seek to document the organization's own metrics for measuring the business value of the system and, where appropriate, suggest ways to improve on these measures.

Student teams should pick a company and business initiative for which they have access to key contacts, subject to the approval of the course instructor. Some examples of appropriate systems to analyze are listed on the last page of this document.

With the instructor's permission, two teams may coordinate their projects to do a comparison of two sites, two companies or two related technologies or two initiatives. Studies of phased roll-outs (e.g. a new knowledge management system across 30 sites over 3 years), or natural experiments (e.g. different regulations governing or affecting use of consumer data in different countries or jurisdictions) are especially encouraged.

Additional information for option 1 can be found in the documents below:

Detailed description (PDF)

Report guidelines (PDF)

Option 2: Issue Briefing

For the issue briefing, teams will explore, in detail, a particular technology or business issue of relevance to the economics of information. Your analysis should draw on industry contacts and interviews, library resources, course materials, and/or web-based information. The end result is a tutorial-style presentation and report that will educate and engage your fellow students as it brings them to the frontier of knowledge on this topic. Projects will need to be approved by the instructor in advance for relevance and to avoid duplication with other teams.

Additional information for option 2 can be found in the documents below:

Detailed description (PDF)

Report guidelines (PDF)


The deliverables are the same for both project options.

5 Team formation. You should meet with your teammates this week and decide on a project/company/initiative.
7 Each team must submit a title and one page description of the project/company/initiative/issue they plan to work on, including relevant parties to contact, and a timetable for the team.
11 Submit a one-page topic summary and progress reports. Progress report should be in outline format and list parties contacted and appointments arranged, background research completed and planned and your preliminary hypothesis and insight (which may be proved, disproved and/or modified by the data you eventually gather). Include dates for key milestones completed and remaining.
15 Submit draft presentation slides. For option 2, also submit proposed blog post.
16-22 Selected student presentations in class.
23 Final project paper due.

Project Examples

All student work is courtesy of MIT students, and is used with permission.

Consumer Resale in a Digital Age (PDF)

Competitive Behavior in the Korean Search Market (PDF)

Pricing Digital Textbooks for Growth and Profits (PDF - 2.3MB)

Listening Platforms (PDF)

New Pricing Models for Online Music in the US (PDF)

Location Based Social Commerce (PDF)

NASA Electronic Non-Conformance System (PDF)