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Developing New Products and Creating New Businesses

General Assembly - San Francisco

Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM - Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM (PDT)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Series Ticket Ended $175.00 $10.62
Session 1 Only Ended $40.00 $3.19
Session 2 Only Ended $40.00 $3.19
Session 3 Only Ended $40.00 $3.19
Session 4 Only Ended $40.00 $3.19
Session 5 Only Ended $40.00 $3.19

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Event Details

Developing New Products and Creating New Buisnesses

Thursday, March 13th to  Thursday, April 24th from 7:00-9:00pm

Alex Cowan, Design Strategist, at large

In this workshop series, you'll learn a structured approach for successfully creating new products. This is a five-part program where you will learn how to use design-thinking and lean to articulate a testable product idea, then come back after two weeks of customer discovery to formulate your business model and action plan. For alumni of the workshop, there’s also a  session III, Focusing & Validating Venture Progress.

By the end, you will know if your idea is worth the further investment of your time, and you will have learned a repeatable process for brainstorming and structuring new product and business ideas.

This class applies to entrepreneurs creating new ventures, ‘intrapreneurs’ working within existing companies, and coaches of product teams.


Thursday, 13 March 7 – 9 pmVenture Design I: Achieving Customer Relevance

Successful ventures are built on a strong foundation understanding of the customer. In this session you’ll learn actionable practices from the discipline of ‘design thinking’. These practices will teach you how to organize and focus your understanding of the customer in a vivid, compelling, and testable structure. We’ll close with techniques to go out and discover who your customer really is, what they really want, and how to successfully interact with them.

Thursday, 20 March 7 – 9 pmVenture Design II: Iterating to Success

Most of us keep a to-do list of sorts, cross things off it, and consider our work done. New ventures (startups) are a little different- you may need to try several different angles and approaches before you hit on a winner. Crossing an item off your list, may not actually mean it’s really ‘done’. Successful innovators minimize the work and expense of each iteration so they can keep trying until they get the result the want, an approach popularized and improved by the Lean Startup movement.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to structure the key assumptions underlying your venture and create efficient experiments to validate those assumptions. 

Thursday, 10 April 7 – 9 pmVenture Design III: Focusing & Validating Venture Progress 

You’ve used today’s best practices to structure and focus your venture and now you’ve had contact with living, breathing prospective customers. First, stop and congratulate yourself. Nice job. Second, no plan survives contact with the real world. In this session, participants will present and discuss their findings in a fixed format then receive structured peer and instructor feedback for their next steps. Design thinking, Lean Startup, customer development, agile- these are more ‘practices’ than ‘theories’ and the purpose of this workshop is to help you improve your practice.

Thursday, 17 April 7 – 9 pmVenture Design IV: Engineering Your Business Model

Your understanding of the pairing between your customer personas and value propositions is the ‘independent variable’ that drives the business. But smart, effective executions often determine success. In this workshop, we’ll use the Business Model Canvas as an organizing tool to step through the rest of your business model. The goal of the workshop is to help you ask the right questions about your business model and, where necessary, attach Lean Startup style assumptions and closed loop experiments to them.

Thursday, 24 April 7 – 9 pmVenture Design V: Designing the Right Product

Buildings things is fun and exciting. It’s good to get a little carried away- it helps keep up the excitement level. But it’s also good to make sure every single thing you invest in building is clearly attached to explicitly defined customer needs and behaviors. Where you’re not sure about something, it’s important to attach your implementation to clear assumptions that can be proven or disproven once you put the product in the hands of customers.

In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use agile user stories and prototypes/wireframes to make sure your product implementation is closely and explicitly tied to your understanding of what’s going to make your venture successful. You’ll also learn how to diagnose the UI elements your products needs and select comparables to discuss with your team so you don’t reinvent the wheel.





Alex Cowan Photo

Alex CowanDesign Strategist, at large

Alex has been an entrepreneur (5x) and intrapreneur (1x). He’s currently founder & CTO of Leonid Systems, an enterprise software company with offices in the Bay Area, Washington, Toronto and various points abroad. Leonid Systems bootstrapped not one, but four successful products out of a consulting business. Leonid's products are now deployed to many of the world's largest cloud communications operators which together earned over $350 billion in revenue last year.

Alex is also the Author of ‘Starting a Tech Business‘ (Wiley, 2012), a primer for non-engineers who want to up their game with the latest techniques and foundations concepts in product development. Prior to Leonid, Alex was busy applying design thinking, Lean Startup, customer development, and agile (among other things) as an executive and consultant at small and large companies.

Alex studied Industrial Engineering and Economics at Stanford University.

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Our Refund Policy: Plans change? We get it. But if you can't make it to a class/workshop, please email us at at least 7 days before the scheduled event date. No refunds or credits will be given after this timeframe.
Have questions about Developing New Products and Creating New Businesses? Contact General Assembly - San Francisco

When & Where

GA @ Hattery
414 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM - Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM (PDT)

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General Assembly - San Francisco

General Assembly is a global network of campuses for individuals seeking opportunity and education in technology, design, and business.

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