Blog Archives

Schedule to Finals

Happy Friday DMIers! I hope you’re enjoying the rain.

I wanted to pass along a few more resources to help with your projects:

Schedule to Finals

As we discussed in class, the university released the final exam schedule, which means I adjusted our schedule to close out the semester. Here it is:

Week of Nov. 6: Same as current schedule.

Nov. 13: Brief 9 due and three working screens of your product are due. I strongly encourage you to have a full rough prototype instead of just three screens.

Nov. 15: no class since Debra will be in San Diego on a J&PR business trip.

Nov. 27 (day we come back from Thanksgiving break): full drafts of Make $ Plan and product mockup due. We’ll do an intensive critique in class.

Nov. 29: open lab to finalize work.

9 a.m., Friday, Dec 1: Make $ Plan and product due. You’ll be emailing your Make $ Plan to me. The URL to access your product will be before the Executive Summary section.

  • I’ll email the class when the web page is ready and reviewers can access the needed files.

Pitch presentations will take place Dec. 4, 6 and 15.

  • Dec. 15 final exam time slot is noon – 1:50 p.m.

Have a great weekend.

Perfecting the art of the pitch

Greetings DMSers. Nice job with the mini-pitches yesterday about your markets. Our next one will be Thursday, Nov. 12 and will focus on revenue generation. You’ll have 3 minutes total to talk up how you’re going to monetize your concept.

Since we’re focusing on The Pitch (remember it’s two parts: the verbal and the deck), I want to share some resources that can help in the development of your story:

The exact pitch deck strategy I’ve used to raise $125M since 2011 by Mitchell Harper. While some of his content is beyond the scope of our class exercise, several tips are really worth using.

He has another post, How to nail your investor pitch and walk away with multiple term sheets, with great advice also. Check out #5 through #9, which all apply in some way to our assignment.

Finally, I mentioned a great piece in This American Life about a journalist pitching an investor on the streets of San Francisco. Listen to that one here. Dive into the “I’ve got 99 problems and a pitch is one” segment. Great storytelling.

Tomorrow is all open lab time to work on the Money & Marketing Plan and your product mockup.



Is This Shopping Nirvana?

Good morning DMSers.

A few random items to share this morning…

Monday’s Verbal Pitch Session
Everyone did a nice job with the 60-second Problem-Solution exercise. I mentioned you need to be prepared to do a new pitch each week in class for the rest of the semester.

The verbal challenge you need to prep for next class session is…
You’ll have 60 seconds to focus on ONE feature of your product and how that feature improves the lives of your market.

One feature only. It should be the most important feature your product offers from your market’s perspective.

Instant Gratification via ShopThis
We’ve been discussing advertising — the good, the bad and the “let’s drive all our customers away” varieties. Check out this New York Times piece about ShopThis, which provides a way for consumers to instantly purchase products they see highlighted in stories or in advertisements.

Also note the partnerships behind this new endeavor. Many of you need to start thinking about how you’re going to integrate partnerships into your business plan materials. What’s in it for your partners vs. what’s in it for you and your startup business?

Crafting Your Pitch

Greetings DMSers.

I have a few resources I want to share regarding tomorrow’s topic, The Pitch. There are lots of ways to develop a business pitch that you’ll deliver to potential startup investors. Two pros in the field share their approaches here:

Dave McClure discusses How to Pitch a VC

During his presentation, McClure references an entrepreneur by the name of Tim Young who uses only 5 slides to pitch investors. Given that Young received more than $10 million in funding in one year, he’s probably worth listening to. Definitely review his Rules for Slides.

On the Advertising Front

Since we’ve been discussing and blogging about advertising, I wanted to share these stories I’ve found recently:

Today’s New York Times has a great feature regarding a startup company that has learned how to track your online life via all the electronic devices you use (even with cookies disabled) and then sells your info to advertisers. Check that out here.

BusinessWeek has a good article about StumbleUpon’s work in mobile advertising.


Mashable has a piece about how watching ads on mobile devices might earn you more data on your cell phone plans.