According to the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business School (HBS) is creating a new kind of case study program that illustrates high profile companies like Apple via comic books. The first one is about the early years at Apple. The Wall Street Journal is saying that Harvard is trying to make case studies more relatable, especially for foreign students or just visual learners. Yet some of the comic book illustrations are terrible. One particular image was rather provoking if you're an Apple fan. You have to wonder what's being taught about Apple at Harvard these days.
Melissa Korn, reporting for the Wall Street Journal, states that instead of ten paragraphs of technical jargon you can have a few pictures to get the same point across. A case study called "Apple's Core" by an HBS professor was translated by permission into a comic book which is a disaster to look at. Korn states that with comics, "you can get so much more emotion across I think in a picture…" Yeah, but with a graphic like the one noted above, the emotion isn't going to be one that's favorable by many.
According to Korn, these comics are to be supplements to case studies (thank god!). One HBS professor told Korn that "Case studies are always about villains and heroes, and it may as well look like it too." By the look of the graphic that they chose to use, it looks like Apple's late CEO Steve Jobs maybe portrayed as the villain.
I guess we'll have to wait for a copy of the comic to emerge in order to put this graphic into its true context. Yet for now, it doesn't look too favorable. Who knew that Harvard Business School would revert to teaching via comic books about serious business case studies? Perhaps someone over a Pixar should volunteer their time to create superior graphics and a slightly more favorable twist to HBS's storyline. What do you think?