I&E 290: Media, Entertainment, and Tech


Media, Entertainment, and Tech covers key categories and innovative companies that are defining today’s next generation of media and entertainment. This class identifies current trends and innovations within the industry and begs the question: what makes a venture, product, or innovation successful in the everchanging media, entertainment, and tech landscape? By speaking with industry leaders and analyzing case studies, students begin to wet their feet in the world of media, entertainment, and technology.


I took this class as a part of my Innovation & Entrepreneurship certificate as a way to explore an industry I am intrinsically infatuated with, entertainment. Specifically, over the past few years, I have been engaging with the television industry through internships and viewing to understand how the innovation of streaming is changing the game of television consumption. In this class, I was able to engage with not only television and streaming but other ways of storytelling and media. This taught me about the various ways in which entertainment, media, and tech are intertwined.

This was my final elective for the I&E certificate so I took a lot into consideration when choosing this class. Mainly, I identified the course as one taught by someone with a lot of experience in the entertainment, media, and tech field. In fact, Jed Simmons, the course instructor, has executive-level experience at major media giants such as Hannah Barbera, Youtube, Turner Broadcasting and many more. His expertise was one of the main persuasions and reasons for me taking the class.

I found myself not disappointed with my decision. From the very first day of the class, I was pulled in. Professor Simmons utilizes a distinct type of teaching, focusing on cold calling, questioning, and pushing students to the brink of their intelligence. Needless to say, this class was challenging. In fact, it was one of the more demanding classes I have taken at Duke. However, in that challenge I found knowledge. By reading case studies, engaging with professionals, and being questioned by Professor Simmons, I learned that the key to innovation in the creative fields is the idea of disruption.

When thinking of disruption, we typically think of a brand new technology or idea that creates a new field within the world. However, as I discovered in this class, disruption appears in a variety of different ways, one being the one I just described and the other being through organization and efficiency. For example, Netflix originally disrupted Blockbuster and other competitors by coming up with the idea to ship DVDs to customers instead of making them come into the store. This simple innovation made way for a variety of new innovations in the industry which ultimately led to what we know today as streaming.

In the class, I engaged with the idea of disruption and how the media landscape is changing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, this class gave me a plethora of tools that I can, and will, utilize when it comes to my future career in entertainment.