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BUS 285 — Why Minimum Viable Product Is No Longer Enough

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 7 weeks
Date(s): Apr 18—May 30
Time: 6:30—8:30 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 20
Unit: 1
Tuition: $595
Instructor(s): Jin Zhang
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—8:30 pm (PT)
Apr 18—May 30
7 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 20
1 Unit
Jin Zhang
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Product managers are familiar with the concept of a minimum viable product (MVP), a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers so that one can validate the product idea early in the development cycle. While MVP has helped companies focus on validating the riskiest assumptions, the approach has notable downsides, the most significant one being that alpha or beta versions of products often don’t engage users or create enough “love” to help the product grow. So what makes a product stick? Why do some products, like many social media apps, gain initial interest yet fail to sustain long-term growth? Why are other products, such as personal productivity apps, early and “imperfect” yet able to attract loyal followers? This course will provide a five-step framework for developing a product that sticks. We will discuss where to concentrate when preparing to launch a new product and what to focus on when growing beyond the initial launch. We will focus on critical areas such as problem statements, user definitions, and iterative approaches. The course will include interactive classroom discussions, group projects, and deliberately selected guest speakers with real-world builder experience.

While this course has no prerequisites, some product management experience will be beneficial. A desire to seek innovation in product building is essential.

Director of Engineering, Meta

Jin Zhang has extensive product management experience with both startups and enterprises. Prior to Meta, she held product and engineering executive positions at Amazon, CA Technologies, Apigee, and IBM. She is a TEDx speaker and a frequent contributor to CIOReview magazine. Zhang received an MBA from Iowa State.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.