TU-E4040 Opportunity Prototyping
Fall 2015 (Tuesdays 14.00 - 16.00), 3 ects
Dr Peter Kelly
- Professor of practice, high growth entrepreneurship
- Visiting professor of business, Trinity college dublin
- Visiting professor of design, Mada, Pontificia universidad de chile
- Tuas 2168 (next to avp space)
- +358 41 503 4508 (mobile)
- theideastudio (skype)
My executive assistant
At its core, the entrepreneurial process deals with dynamic challenges faced by individuals who wish to pursue an opportunity but do not have the necessary resources to hand. Many individuals mistakenly equate entrepreneurship with starting an independent business of their own. This may very well be the most appropriate way to pursue an opportunity but entrepreneurial process thinking is context blind; it can happen in new ventures, existing businesses, family businesses, not-for-profit initiatives, in fact anywhere where opportunity pursuit is bounded by resource constraints.
The design of this course is deliberately provocative and challenges much of the conventional wisdom as to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship:
- In essence, the entrepreneurial process is an exercise in design thinking; how to create a compelling solution to a customers problem. Perhaps more than any other discipline, design looks at problems from a deeply customer empathetic perspective.
- The linear logic of "have idea”, "write plan”, "raise money” is entirely misplaced. Ideation is defined as a process of forming ideas or images --- note the visual imagery to design disciplines. In my experience, too little effort is placed on creatively exploring how problems can be solved from the outset. Piquing the imagination of others is the hallmark of individuals that can and do push innovative solutions forward.
- Pursuing opportunities is a tough endeavor; resource providers are skeptical as are target customers. Anyone can do it but the alignment of personalities, opportunities and resources rarely fall into place as neatly and quickly as aspiring entrepreneurs hope. The fear of failure is often a big inhibitor for individuals to step out of their comfort zone. One of the greatest innovators of all time, Thomas Edison, considered failure as learning insights. In keeping with this spirit, the philosophy of the course is "failure tolerant zone”.
We will introduce you to an approach called effectuation, a set of decision making principles that expert entrepreneurs use in situations of uncertainty:
- Action is initiated based on means available and not pre-set goals
- Limits of investment both in terms of time and money are set up front
- Opportunities are explored and developed in co-creation with outside parties
- Surprise opens up new possibilities if you are open to reshape the opportunity
- The future is shaped by the actions you take
Using available means as a starting point, expert entrepreneurs create an artifact (idea), set limits on how much time/money to spend evaluating the opportunity potential, engage the outside world with an open mind to shape the opportunity with an aim to secure pre-commitments from some to take an opportunity forward.
Through a combination of practical exercises, case studies and masterclasses, the aim is for students to gain:
- Insights into the effectual mode of thinking
- A mastery of the skills necessary to distinguish between ideas and opportunities
- Confidence in communicating with impact
- An appreciation for what it entails to be an entrepreneur
Deliverables & evaluation
The design of the course involves both individual tasks and a group assignment.
Each participant will need to complete the following:
- Actively participate in the Networking Masterclass scheduled for 15 September @ Design Factory (The Stage) 10%
- Prepare an individual write up (3 page maximum excluding exhibits) for the R&R case discussed on 29 September 15%
- An individual reflective essay (4 page maximum excluding exhibits) discussing the entrepreneurial insights gleaned from a National Geographic documentary "The $400 Million Emerald” 20%
The group task deals with The "Business” of the Sharing Economy.
Please see Assignments for further details on individual and group tasks.
The proposed grade allocation will be as follows:
- 45% Individual
- 45% Group Presentation
- 10% Peer Assessment of individual contribution
Schedule (subject to revision)
Please see Schedule for the latest information.