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Module 2

Saturday, December 8th, 8:30–4:30



Product: Operating as a Product Forward Company and Illuminating the Path to Product Market

Learning goal: The fastest-growing and most successful companies have one thing in common: they think and operate in a product-forward manner.

Service companies meet the needs current prospects and existing customers, whereas product companies proactively address the needs of their future customers, ones they have not yet met. This requires defining a target market, mapping out a successful customer journey at every turn, and ultimately defining a single product solution that will be differentiated in the market both today and in the future. This class will teach participants the specific mechanisms that top companies use to put product at the center of their growth objectives.

  • Why it’s important to center growth around the product

  • Operating in a product-forward manner

    • Critical functions, deliverables, and processes

    • Essential elements of product vision and strategy

  • Product planning in a post-agile world

    • Connecting product milestones to business outcomes

    • Setting long-term direction

    • When to change course vs. stay the course

  • Evaluating product management

    • Invisible asymptotes

    • Success metrics for product management

    • Setting OKRs and milestones

Learning goal: Identify the clues hidden in business performance that can point a company in the right direction to achieve product-market fit.

Marc Andreesen is noted as saying that until a company achieves product-market fit, the only thing that matters is product-market fit. Everyone else says you’ll know you’ve achieved product-market fit when you see it. That does little good for an entrepreneur who isn’t seeing it. What is the right next step to get there? Attendees for this class will be presented a model for how to focus on the right priorities to get there.

  • A truer definition of product-market fit

    • Why PMF is “the only thing” that matters

    • The signs of having achieved PMF

  • The Venn diagram of PMF

    • Customer

    • Solution

    • Economics

  • Developing a specific action plan to move toward PMF

    • Solving problems that matter

    • Addressing product gaps

    • Planning research and learning initiatives

Teacher: Foster



Capture: Making Your Product and Business Matter

Leaning goal: Done correctly, marketing and public relations are essential business growth tools, but they are not about mere visibility.

Many founders think that marketing and PR are about publicity and becoming known. They are two activities that together create and reinforce a clear and consistent description of a product’s value to customers. A successful business understands the importance of using branding and other tactics to describe a business and its product. It also knows the difference between marketing to customers, to employees and to potential partners. This class will describe these differences and the strategic use of marketing and PR.

  • What is a brand.

    • How does it relate to the value proposition?

    • Trademarking.

  • The roles of marketing and PR.

    • The differences between marketing and PR.

  • Different approaches for different target audiences.

    • Existing and new customers.

    • Potential partners and external resources.

    • Potential acquirers.

  • Marketing and PR techniques.

    • Social media.

    • Earned media.

    • Funded media.

    • Events.

  • Resources.

    • Internal/external.

    • The role of external resources.

  • How do you measure successes?

Teachers: Shea and Throckmorton



Lunch roundtable and discussion

Discussion on how to stand out.



Scale: Claiming and Creating value Through Win-Win Negotiations

Learning objective: Make negotiation a structured and intentional act with an outcome in mind.

Negotiating to satisfy mutual needs and build strong working relationships is an essential ingredient in business success. Whether negotiating internally to resolve short-term problems or externally to meet client needs, the best leaders look for effective, innovative ways to maximize gains for both parties. This workshop series will address key principles for maximizing individual gains, as well as achieving win-win outcomes. These highly experiential modules are designed to enhance participants’ negotiation savvy and capacity to acquire and effectively use power. By using a variety of assessment tools, feedback sources, skill-building simulation exercises, and exercise debriefings, the modules increase participants’ negotiating self-confidence and improve their capacity to achieve win-win solutions to individual, team, and organizational problems. This workshop series is also designed to enhance participants’ analytical skills, interpersonal skills, creativity (e.g., identifying creative solutions to conflict), and persuasive abilities.

Upon completion of the first workshop, participants should understand:

  • Distributive strategies and tactics to maximize their own gains

  • How to gain strategic advantage through the use of and response to a variety of negotiation tactics

  • Key negotiation principles that foster effective listening, questioning, perspective-taking, and decision making

  • When an agreement can be reached and when to walk away

Teacher: Kudisch


1-hour session

Optional One on One Sessions – Assessment Number One

Learning goal: Use the tools provided to evaluate the participants business; check on course progress to date.

Each participant has a one-hour session with a member of the faculty to discuss explore course content to date, to relate it to the participant’s business, and to ask specific questions. Prior to the one-on-one sessions, participants must review their business’ current operating condition and apply content from first two modules and provide a short assessment.

Specific questions to be discussed:

  • What is your value proposition? Do you think it is clear?

  • How would you assess your product development approach?

  • What is your culture and how would you maintain it or change it as you scale?

Teacher: Members of teaching team assigned to each company