on Business Schools and Idea Validation...what we teach

Following Sramana Mitra's call for faculty to share how they teach idea validation, I posted this:
The topic of idea validation is vast, for sure.

For my Creativity, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship students I ask them a simple question to get them started down the path of idea validation: “What is the unique value proposition (UVP) of this idea?” What is it about your idea that would convince someone to change their course and either: try it, research it, buy it, invest in it, sell it, etc.? If there isn’t something compelling and interesting about it, don’t pursue it.

Of course, this is not the entirety of idea validation, but it at least gets them to think of the UVP before they spend much more time on the concept.

In my experience with business students, they often spend more time thinking of a name for the product or service than they do developing the UVP.

As Scott Lenet mentioned on one of your discussion forums last week, students should generate multiple ideas instead of only one. When students fixate on a single idea, they tend to become more and more entrenched in it and even defensive about the likelihood that the idea will succeed. If, instead, they are encouraged to come up with multiple ideas, they learn the value of adaptability and agility in new ventures.

The students in my class complete a “3 for 3″. Simply put, each student has 3 minutes to present 3 new product or service ideas. By intentionally restricting the time to three minutes and by requiring three ideas, they don’t get stuck on “owning” one idea and analyzing it to death.

For the full discussion, check her site here.

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