Tag Archives: reminders

Reminders from class October 7

Next week is fall break, woo hoo!

For our next class, you must be prepared, as a group, to tell us:
1) What you learned from your first foray into customer discovery (each group member must talk to a MINIMUM of five people). Remember to use the four hypotheses as a guide, especially the first two for now. (See handout). Summarize key themes or especially interesting findings.
2). Why is your problem painful? BE SPECIFIC. Back this up with as much research you can find from as many different sources you can find. Google is good, but try to go beyond that to find as much as you can.
3. Deciding on a name – sounds like you already have names, but might want to think a little bit more about that and brainstorm a bit.
I will post reading questions soon.
Be sure you are staying organized. Remember, you will use all of this information later on in crafting your pitch, so don’t lose any of your research!

Class Reminders 3/20

For next week:

Be sure you’ve thought through and jotted down your findings/research on channels and customer relationships. (see the PowerPoint I sent)
Continue customer discovery and honing your pitch.
Starting thinking about the points of differentiation with your competition – and being sure you know who all of your competitors are.
Start working on some basic prototyping and wireframing. Balsamiq and Cacoo are two options for creating wireframes you might want to check out.
I sent a link to a post to comment on re: the readings already.
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Class Reminders 3/7 – Be sure to read, important info

For next time we meet, which is after spring break (yay!)

Continue doing your customer discovery and be prepared to update us on what you learned in class. You don’t have to send me anything in writing this time, but we will ask you about it. Each person should do at least six more interviews.

Keep working on: 

1. Really understanding your problem and the size of your market

2. Honing that pitch

3. Your customer segments (who are you targeting)

4. Your value propositions – what value do you deliver to your customer? Why would customers turn to YOUR company over another? How are you solving the customer problem or need?

5. You don’t have to “turn anything in” for number three or four right now, but they will be written up as part of your final business plan. Optional: If you WANT to send them to me in writing for feedback, I’d be happy to look at them.

6. I will be sending a blog post related to the readings for you to comment on.

This could be helpful to you as well. These are examples of general types of possible value propositions, from the book Business Model Generation

·         Newness. Often though not always related to technology. Satisfying a new set of needs that customers didn’t even know they had. For example, cell phones created a whole new industry.

·         Performance. For example, a computer that is faster, has more storage, better graphics, etc. Improved performance has limits in terms of driving demand though if you get past what is “good enough.”

·         Customization.  Tailoring to specific needs of individual customers.

·         Getting the job done.

·         Design. (think about fashion and consumer electronics.)

·         Brand/status. Show that you are “in;” Rolex signifies wealth, etc.

·         Price – similar value at lower price. Some customer segments will be more price sensitive. For example, Southwest airlines, low frills.

·         Cost reduction – Helping customers reduce costs. For example, in B2B, helping a business reduce their costs.

·         Risk reduction. E.g. a one year warrantee on a used car.

·         Accessibility. Making products/services available to customers who previously lacked access to them. E.g. mutual funds made it possible for people of modest wealth              to build diversified investment portfolios. NetJets makes it possible for people to access private jets.

·         Convenience/usability. E.g. iTunes makes it easier to search for, buy and listen to music.

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Important things to help you think through what we’ll do Thursday

Met with Andre yesterday and we talked about a few things to help you think through these problems.

For problem 2A, which deals with media organizations and how they can better use mobile: I’ve presented the problem as one media organizations have, and it most certainly IS. However, think too about USERS and what they need. What kinds of news/information/entertainment do various types of users want to get and when? Think at a local level first. How could you OPTIMIZE delivery of that content for mobile? For example, you could develop some kind of special Grizzlies app that leveraged the content that organizations like, say, the CA already produce, but with additional features unique to mobile. Think about verticals – for example, many media organizations might have a separate entertainment vertical, for example.

2C talks about MONETIZING mobile. Here too, think about users. What kinds of ads could you get on your phone that would actually be USEFUL rather than just annoying? People love getting coupons and ad circular inserts in their newspapers – what if you could get a set of relevant coupons right before you got to Target through a media organization’s app?

For problem three – it’s okay to think big there, too – zoom out. Think about ANY big breaking news event and what you might need to get on your phone. You don’t have to get hung up on the specifics too much.

Yes, you can solve a different problem, or an offshoot of one of these, but if you do, be really prepared because the first thing Andre will ask is if the problem is a real one, and he will be very, very skeptical. 🙂

Remember, everybody should bring to class at least one idea to share with us. I’d rather not, but I think I’ll assign one of the assignment grades to that to give you some incentive to think hard. I will grade very easily overall but just be prepared. 

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Important Reminders from Class 2/20

I won’t give you an assignment to comment on the readings (though please actually do them) because I want you to focus on the following. Remember, we are iterating the syllabus a little bit.
1. Study the problems to be solved. I passed out a handout on them in class, and I sent it via email as well. It is possible I may email you and add to these before next Thursday. Think about them. Maybe do a little Googling on them.
2.Come up with at one favorite startup idea that solves one of those problems and a rough elevator pitch for it. At this stage, your pitch does NOT have to be perfect, and we’ll probably talk about it/work on it a little bit in class before you give it, too.
3. If you have a different problem to solve, email me ASAP and we can talk about it.
Andre will be there next week and we’ll be really getting into this, so put some serious thought into this.

Class Reminders 2/13

Heh, I actually thought I sent/posted this last week, and then I realized today I did not. #AbsentMindedProfessorProblems. Anyway, because I forgot, no required comment on reading questions, but please actually READ anyway. It’s good for you. 🙂

Also, I had posted this on the class Facebook page already, but if you had problems accessing the UM Drive for readings try this link.

And class Facebook page is here, if you still haven’t joined,
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Class Reminders 2/6 AND Reading Questions

Hi all,


For next week, please:

STARTUP CASE STUDY: Choose an innovative media-related startup you admire or find interesting.  As you did last week, do a little research on them, check out their website, social media presence, etc. and write up what you learned. What have they done well? What kinds of attitudes or techniques might you adopt from them?  What problem do they solve? Think like a business person as well as an audience member – where is their revenue coming from? What is their content strategy (assuming they have one)? Their marketing strategy? Send this to me in a Word document, and be prepared to talk about it in class. I will post good ones on the blog.

Read: E. Schein Organizational Culture and Leadership Chapter 1 and 2 and 13 on UM Drive

Clayton Christensen Innovator’s Dilemma Introduction and Chapter 2 of the Innovator’s Solution On UM Drive

Kets de Vries in Leadership Mystique Chapter 7 The Rot at the Top & Chapter 8 Achieving personal and organizational change on UM Drive

In a comment on this blog post, answer the following questions:

Describe, briefly, one reason organizational change is challenging.

Describe one other thing you find interesting or relevant from readings or lecture.

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Reminders from Class 1/30

For next week:

Case study.  Choose a traditional media organization (PR firm, news organization, ad agency, music label, Hollywood studio etc.). What has this organization’s response been to the changing media landscape? Do some research online, and if possible, interview somebody from that organization, and ask them what lessons they have learned as they work to adapt.  What kinds of opportunities did they take…or miss…. to grow audience or build new revenue? What specific challenges did they face? This does not have to be a comprehensive, extremely long thing, but will hopefully get you thinking about some of the opportunities disruption has brought to existing media orgs.  Please write up what you found and submit it to me via email in a Word doc and bring a copy to class. I will post good ones on the class blog so that you can share with others what you have learned, so write clearly and include links. There is lots of good stuff in the trade press about how organizations have responded to change. Nieman Lab even has an encyclopedia that might be of use to you…not sure how often they update it, but has lots of good info. 

 Remember, choose an organization YOU are interested in. Doing this kind of exercise is good for your career 🙂 

Read:  Jarvis, What Would Google Do? book “New Publicness” and “New Society” sections and respond with comment here.

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Class 1/16 Reminders

For next week:


Tow Center Report on Post-Industrial Journalism: http://towcenter.org/research/post-industrial-journalism/

Why Journalists Are Becoming Entrepreneurs http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131113184643-6114706-why-journalists-are-becoming-entrepreneurs

Do before next class: Watch Page One movie. This is a tale of disruption in one news organization (New York Times) but some of the lessons apply beyond journalism. You should write down at least one concrete observation you made about disruption from the film. It’s already getting  a little bit dated, but the major themes are still relevant. The film is available on Netflix and we have some copies you can check out from the journalism office in room 300. Try Googling it, too, as there may be other ways to watch it online.

Respond to questions about the readings and film here in a comment on this post. You do NOT have to be a contributor to the blog in order to do this, but I will be setting you all up as contributors eventually: https://jpreneur.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/response-to-readings-week-one/

Start thinking. What is your best media business idea? Hint: Think about a problem you could solve or a pain you could cure.

Join class Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/138719566294582/

If you did not have a Twitter handle on your card, set up an account and send it to me. Please do upload a photo/avatar of some kind so that we aren’t all staring at generic egg-like thingies, and fill out the bio section. Here is how to find me: https://twitter.com/Brizzyc. This is a helpful guide to Twitter with some basics for those new to it, and I can also do a brief intro to it: http://mashable.com/guidebook/twitter/

Use the hashtag #jpreneur on Twitter at least once to reflect on the film and/or share a link relevant to journalism entrepreneurship.

 Class blog set up – I will be sending you an invite to be a contributor to the class blog. Stay tuned.

Send me brief bio of yourself for the class blog. Just tell a little bit about yourself so we can make a little roster. Mine’s a bit too long, but e.g. http://changingnewsroom.wordpress.com/about-me/

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