Fascinating MBA Talk of the Week: The Worst-Designed Thing You've Never Noticed (Roman Mars)

This week's fascinating MBA talk comes to us from the maker of the Podcast 99% Invisible is a bit of an analogy -- both as an analogy for good design in business and specifically good design in crafting a business school application. Watch it and then consider the applications I suggest in the highlights below.


  • The principles for good flag design - and how they apply to the MBA application
    • Keep it simple (so simple that a child can draw it from memory) - Your application should tell a simple story with a beginning, middle, and end, and you as the hero
    • Use meaningful symbolism, ideally things that play pivotal moments in history - you story should have a theme and cover all the pivotal moments in your life
    • Use no more than 2-3 colors from the major color wheel - choose a few themes, not too many. Sometimes the whole truth can get in the way of a good, truthful story.
    • No lettering or seals, no writing of any kind - here is one departure from the analogy. While good writing will not beat the symbolism and meaning of the prose over your head, we believe that subtly should be minimized in the application.
    • Be distinctive - You want your story to stand out in the mind of the admissions committee. It should easily identify you in some pithy statement (e.g. "That Nigerian education guy")