2: From Idea to Opportunity I

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Summary: This is the first of three sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity. In this session, we look again at the challenges of new enterprises in technology. In particular, startups that succeed usually invent and live by a process of customer learning and discovery called "Customer Development," which is a critical component of the Lean Startup philosophy and methods. The Customer Development process for launching a new product into a new market is the antithesis of the well-honed Product Management rules observed by large companies. Indeed, following traditional Product Management rules is a recipe for failure when it comes to a startup in a new market.

The waitlist for admission to the course will be cleared by the beginning of class today, if necessary. Students notified of admission since the first session must be in attendance or a person from the waitlist will replace them.

Quote of the Day (#1):
"The key to a leader's impact is sincerity.  Before he can inspire with emotion he must be swayed by it himself.  Before he can move their tears his own must flow. To convince them he must himself believe." Winston Churchill

Quote of the Day (#2): “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” Francis Bacon

Guest: Steve Blank

Required Readings (Policy on Required Readings)
  • Case: The Rapid Equipping Force ... see Files section of Canvas for a copy.
  • Read the Steve Blank article from HBR (Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything).
  • Technology Ventures (Byers, Dorf, and Nelson): Chapter 1 ... click here or see Files section of Canvas for a copy.
  • Browse Steve Blank's blog.
Recommended Readings
Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)
  • How was the Rapid Equipping Force method for building and delivering products different than the traditional methods the Army was using?
  • What do you think this case has to do with technology entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley?
Online Assignment  (Policy on Case Analyses)

No submission required, but carefully examine the required readings above including the case about the Army.  Please also consider the study question before coming to class. Be prepared to share your opinions in class if called upon by Professor Blank.