As a student entrepreneur with fantastic professors teaching Lean Entrepreneurship, it is exciting to see it spreading through the academic community. I only wish I would have had it as an undergrad, but it’s never too late to learn and change!
Congratulation for the great success for your LeanLaunch Pad class at ASU! I really feel the same way when I saw “over the course of the semester multiple businesses made first sales” in my class in Japan. The class is essentially to help students to learn Customer Development and to have a real experience to build a new business, but particularly when they, after several pivots, are solving the serious problem/needs at Earlyvangelist, they actually get a purchase order! This kind of moments are always eye-opening and feel fruitful.
Thank you for your nice post and thank Steve for your sharing it with us.
My honest reaction is not positive. But here goes. To teach entrepreneurship, one should be an entrepreneur who educates; not an educator who teaches entrepreneurship. Secondly, someone who has failed at and succeeded at some entrepreneurship attempts probably knows the very things taught in that class. Therefore you should not need to take the class because you have learned through experience.
As for the last point Sidnee makes – let everyone in, so what if some fail that is good for entrepreneurs, others will get A’s and never be entrepreneurs; but most will work for small companies at some point. Yes start them as undergrads and or in high school. Whenever possible bring in outside resources like mentors who have been there and done that. Yes go for it!
Robert…I agree! Entrepreneurs should be teaching this. I am an entrepreneur myself and I push for entrepreneurs to be the instructors in all e-ship courses at ASU. But the one great aspect of LLP is that there are entrepreneur mentors and advisors in the room to fill in the blanks if it is an academic who is facilitating.
I also agree that there is no teacher like failure…and that is the point. LLP is designed to drive you to “fail faster” so that you can learn rapidly (and ideally before you spend a lot of money). Some have the chance to fail and learn outside of an educational institution, and that is great, but this is just another way to enable that process.
Great post as usual. We are running the LLP at Colombia after having the program with Bob, and the teams selection is critical for the success of the program. Any tips or guide to make the teams interview?
I love this post. There is so much to go for on lean startup methods. Students who I am regularly in touch with tend to dive into writing long business plans way too early in the game. If they approach me with an idea, I like to say: “What does it take to test it?” or “Can you save time (and money) by doing a quick and dirty field test?”. Planning is something large corporations do in order to outline the strategy for the next 10 to 20 years. Startups should instead learn from tests and adabt what they had intended to do, to what they find as they go along. I have just recently summarised this in my top 5 reasons against planning:
1. The markets change faster by the day, making yesterday’s planning obsolete
2. Time spent planning is time lost creating
3. Planning destroys your flexibility
4. Good planners are not automatically good entrepreneurs
5. Nobody can predict the future :)
From my experience, young and emerging entrepreneurs need to get into the action asap. It is hard to learn it in another way.
Yet I still think it is important to do your homework and research the market once it get’s serious. It can help you raise money too!
I feel that entrepreneurship is something that needs to start in High School. I’m convinced we are at the beginning of a trend with the internet that will make many professions mostly if not exclusively free agency by the end of this century. Now that there are almost no barriers to starting a business (although succeeding is still as hard as ever), we should be teaching kids how to work as independently as possible.
Yes! We just found out that some teachers are teaching this concept as early as middle school. It is incredible…if students can start to think in this way (validate your assumptions), then think of the possibilities…they go way beyond just startups, but a general thought process & mentality!