Co- Instructors: Jerry Engel, Jon Feiber, Jim Hornthal, Oren Jacob
Course Title: The Lean LaunchPad (Twitter #leanlaunchpad)
Units of Credit: 2
Lead Instructor: Steve Blank (@sgblank)
TA: Bhavik Joshi (@joshi_bhavik)
Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Days and Times: Mondays, 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (1/23/12 to 4/9/12; No class on 3/26/12 for Spring Break)
Classroom C210, Haas School of Business
Office Hours: Schedule to be posted soon
Prerequisite: Interest/passion in discovering how an idea can become a real company.
Goal: provide an experiential learning opportunity showing how engineers, together with scientists and other professionals, really build companies.
Course Description:This course provides real world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to actually start a high-tech company. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It’s not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom, or how well you use the research library to size markets. And the end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation. And it is most definitely not an incubator where you come to build the “hot-idea” you have.
Instead you will be getting your hands dirty talking to customers, partners, competitors, as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. You’ll work in teams learning how to turn a great idea into a great company. You’ll learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, based on the customer and market feedback you gathered, you’ll use agile development to rapidly iterate your product to build something customers would actually use and buy. Each block will be new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share the hard earned knowledge with the rest of the class.
See http://steveblank.com/category/lean-launchpad/ for a week-by-week narrative of a past class.
You will be admitted as a team. Teams must submit a proposal for entry before the class begins. Proposals can be software, physical product, or service of any kind. Projects are treated as real start-ups, so the workload will be intense. Teams have reported up to 20 hours of work each per week. Do not take this class if you can’t spend the time.
Team Organization: The teams will self-organize and establish individual roles on their own. There are no formal CEO/VP’s. Just the constant parsing and allocating of the tasks that need to be done.
Suggested Projects: While your first instinct may be a web-based startup we suggest that you consider a subject
in which you/a team member are a domain expert. In all cases, you should choose something for which you have passion, enthusiasm, and hopefully some expertise. Teams that select a web-based product will have to build the website for the class. Teams that select a physical product must have a bill of material and a prototype.
Attendance and Participation
▪ 15% Individual participation in class. You will be giving feedback to your peers.
▪ 40% Out-of-the-building progress as measured by blog write-ups each week.
Team members must:
▪ 20% Team “lesson learned” summaries (see appendix for format)
▪ 25% Team final report (see Dec 1st class for format)