INTRO TO LEAN LAUNCHPAD
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 venture capital presentation or a Y Combinator Demo Day. And it is most definitely not an incubator where you come to build the “hot-idea” that you have in mind.
This class combines Lean Startup theory with a ton of hands-on practice. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to give you a framework to test your solution hypotheses using a startup model while creating all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start up. The class is designed to give you the experience of how to work as a team and turn an idea into a solution for a real-world problem facing the Department of Defense and other government agencies.
You will be getting your hands dirty talking to "customers" or "beneficiaries" - military and other government stakeholders and end users as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. You’ll practice evidence-based entrepreneurship as you 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 will use agile development to rapidly iterate your product or concept to build/design something customers would actually buy and use. Each block will be a 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.
We teach Lean Startup Theory + hands-on practice. You will learn urgency, evidence-based entrepreneurship, customer development, and “good-enough” decision making. You will do so by talking to 10-15 customers per week and presenting your results in class each week.
One more thing... You're not going to get everything right, but that's where real learning comes from. Watch Steve Blank talk about turning failure into wisdom, here.