Robinson Lu is a student at Santa Clara University currently taking a business course taught by Theresa Strickland using MikesBikes Introduction. Having seen the simulation, Robinson’s competitive side took over and he dedicated hours to become the best of the best! As of the 17th of March (2017), Robinson Lu has placed 15th within our Top 20 Global Hall of Fame (Single-Player). This is an incredible feat considering that he splits his time between course work, the simulation, and becoming a founding father of a new ATO chapter in his school.
With all of this in mind we asked Robsinson some questions about what makes him so successful! Check out the interview below:
What is your decision making process within the simulation?
Business is an extension of practical economics where I think execution and forecasting make up the most important segments of success. My business professor Theresa A Strickland always says that “cash is king” thus my main decision making process is about eliminating the left over inventory so that profit can be maximized and the minimization of waste(as to avoid conflicts of innovation costs). It is more about how decisive you are in the simulation. It is never about fearing the outcome or even trying to make everything perfect. Your team’s opinions do matter but only to an extent where your main stream of thoughts are not impeded by the thoughts of others.
At the end of the day, you have to be very confident about what you are doing regardless of what mistakes you made or what other people are commenting on your results within the simulation.
What was your strategy going into the simulation?
My strategy is to find the right balance of quantity and price. Ironically, it took me 2 hours to figure out my first two rollover and the time exponentially decreased as the rounds proceeded. Balance is the key in single player because in the multi-player, there are way too many variables so that profit maximization would not be achievable unless surplus of Luck was introduced by the elements of nature.
How did you familiarize yourself with the simulation?
Oh, as what any student should do. Practice. Practice makes perfect. It is all about what do you see behind the numbers which sometimes can be confusing but becomes clearer with practice.
What resources did you pull on to develop your winning strategy which led you to the Hall of Fame?
In order to win, you definitely need to be able to sit down in a calm manner and not stress about every time you messed up your shareholder value. You have to adapt the changes and challenges along the way. If you are as nerdy as I am, who loves to collect random data and analyze them, then just get into it.
What challenges did you face? How did you overcome these?
You have to understand that life is a game of trade-offs and opportunity costs. If today I decided to work on MikesBikes for 2 hours, I would give up the time I spent with that intelligent girl I met in the dining hall. However, in order to be successful, you have to be very determined about what you want. If you want to be successful in business (and in the simulation) you have to work for it.
Was there anything in particular you did that you think helped to prepare yourself
You have to go into the simulation with an open mind. Yes, like the old cliche, be yourself in the dating world. You have to be open to the situation set in front of you so that you will adapt to the problem rather than wanting the problem to change. Eventually, you have to love the things you do no matter what.
How has participating within a course which uses a business simulation to supplement their teaching materials helped you?
It will definitely help with future career building. Business simulation gave me a very clear hypothetical scenario where I am able to solve a real life situation without dealing with the bad results. I wish that it will worth more points in my grade because to some extend, Mike’s Bike tests my ability to problem solve in the business world. It certainly boosted my confidence. I now have a new vision for my book sales in China and for my new book that will probably come out in 3 years. I could use lots of what I see in the simulation to enlarge my profit building in my online shop in China and even use some techniques I developed in trading stocks.
Do you have any parting comments?
It is my honor to be a part of the simulation. I believe that it is a learning process for me. One of the most intriguing things about Smartsims is that their staff are phenomenal! You guys are really patient about all my tedious questions about basically anything. You guys responded very efficiently and quickly considered the fact that you are all the way in New Zealand! I would love to work again with the staff and please give them some bonus. They deserve it.