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Module 3

Saturday, January 19th, 8:30–4:30



Establishing a World-Class Product and UX Practice; Healthy Product Prioritization

Learning goal: Product management and user experience design are a combination of art and science that justify a dedicated independent team.

Product management is a frequently misunderstood role, often conflated with project management or product owner or scrum master in Agile development teams. And, most companies relegate design to afterthought: “make it look pretty and easy to use!” When properly empowered, these two roles can operate as a yin and yang to be the catalyst for sustained accelerated business growth. This class will focus on how to position these roles, how they should operate, and a nuanced approach to building (or rebuilding) a solid product team.

  • Roles and responsibilities

    • Product management vs. other peripheral roles

    • UX, UI, and research

    • Collaboration and execution with engineering

  • Intertwining product management and UX functions

    • Ideal org structure

    • Best-in-class deliverables and process

    • Elevating the role of design

  • Building a top-notch product organization

    • When and where to start

    • Overlaps between CEO and PM

    • Keys to finding, selecting, and closing top talent

Learning goal: There’s always more to do than there is capacity to get it done. Product-forward companies live and die by their ability to continuously make smart product priority decisions.

Product desires/needs come from every angle: customers, competitors, shifting sands in the market, internal stakeholders, executives, engineers, etc. There is a long list of product prioritization methodologies out there, but no single best framework because the right roadmapping process depends on several factors, such as the market, timelines, sales cycle, stage of company, and so on. This class will illustrate the best methods for building a robust product roadmap across various situations, and bring them to life by addressing real world complications, such as technical debt, defects, and outside influences.

  • Product prioritization considerations by company stage

    • Pre-MVP

    • Pre-PMF

    • Post-PMF

  • Top prioritization frameworks

    • Kano model

    • Jobs-to-be-done framework

    • RICE model

  • Addressing real-world complications

    • Handling technical debt and bug fixes

    • Addressing prospect/customer demands

  • Achieving a balanced product roadmap

    • Purpose of a product roadmap

    • Stakeholder involvement

    • Iterating and triangulating on priorities

    • Presenting the roadmap internally and externally

Teacher: Foster



Scale: Mastering a Strategic View Toward Financing Your Business

Leaning goal: Money is a way to get needed resources, but it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

This class will expose participants to multiple methods and sources of obtaining growth financing, the tradeoffs among them and the best ways to attract the best and most likely funding source for the business.  

  • Using other people’s balance sheets.

    • Joint marketing and other channel strategies.

    • OEM and outsourcing of manufacturing.

    • Joint ventures and partnerships.

    • Customers.

    • Leasing.

    • Corporate investment.

  • Debt.

    • Types.

    • When it makes sense to use debt.

    • The role of personal guarantees.

    • Other collateral.

  • Equity.

    • Different types.

      • Friends and family.

      • Angel capital.

      • Venture Capital.

    • How to choose

      • Suitability.

      • Tradeoffs.

  • What it takes to be a “backable” business.

Teacher: Aberman



Lunch roundtable and discussion

Discussion on fundraising



The Mechanics of How Deals Get Done

The terms and mechanics for how venture capital and business exits occur.

  • What are the essential terms of any venture financing?

  • How much can you negotiate these terms?

  • What is the role of a term sheet?

  • How does a VC value a business?

  • What’s in a capitalization table? Does it tell you everything you need to know?

  • How VCs value a  business

Teachers: Aberman and Riechers



Summing up and Lessons Learned

Discussion of program and lessons learned to assess benefits to participants.

Teachers: Aberman and Kudisch