Summer 2013 MBA Course

B8798-001: Lean LaunchPad: Full Semester Edition

M - Full Term, 05:00PM to 09:15PM

Location: URI 331

Instructor: Bob Dorf

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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” that you have in mind. This is a practical class – essentially a lab, not a theory or “book” class. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to create an entrepreneurial experience for you with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start up. 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 would use agile development to rapidly iterate your product to build something customers would actually use and buy. Each day 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.

Bob Dorf

Part Time Lecturer

Bob Dorf is likely the second most knowledgeable Customer Development expert on the planet, second only to his co-author, Steve Blank, who developed the methodology after retiring from his eighth startup, E.piphant. In March, 2012, along with Steve Blank, Bob published The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company, two years in nearly-fulltime research and development. The 608-page, painstakingly detailed...

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