Bill Magill, Adjunct Professor

Period 5| November-December 2018|
Seats: 48
Credit: 0.5

Objectives & Course Design:

Technology Venturing Practicum (TVP) is now focused squarely on app development. Working in hybrid teams of MBAs and code developers, you’ll think through app design and functionality, markets and channel, validation, and funding. MBAs will also focus on developing compelling commercialisation models; the developers will focus on coding MVP prototypes. We’ll be partnering with local coding camps in the Paris area.

Upon completion of this course you will hold a deeper appreciation for the processes and unexpected challenges underlying the launch of an early stage digital innovation venture. Although well use app development as the vehicle for examining technology commercialisation, the principals presented are relevant to any innovation. Whether continuing with your project team from this class or pursuing new entrepreneurial opportunities in the future, you will be better equipped to contribute to a technology commercialization and all that this encompasses.

Professor Magill is a former Silicon Valley venture capitalist who has invested in and helped build tech start-ups in the U.S., Europe and Israel.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this class, you will:

  • Understand the process of imagining, designing, and improving on a compelling app idea, and managing a coding team that develops it.
  • Appreciate the iterative nature of a business model search, and distinguish between that search process and actual execution.
  • Understand the critical importance of validating your ideas and model quickly, and how to design an effective validation strategy.
  • Understand how to access investment capital to fund continued innovation development and growth.
  • Hold a greater appreciation of effective collaboration with technology developers through the commercialization process.

Prerequisites and Other Considerations, please read:

  • The course is targeted toward those students with a strong interest in digital technology-driven entrepreneurship.
  • This course is structured as a workshop. The flow, content and guest speakers may be modified in real-time according to the needs of the teams and projects involved. If you’re looking for a tightly structured series of repeatable 90-minute lectures, this course is not for you. (We’ll be happy to recommend some good reading.)
  • The use of laptops and phones during class lectures is 100% prohibited. If you cannot refrain from checking in with friends, doing other work, or checking your interview status during class hours, this course is not for you.


Optional books:

  1. Technology Ventures – From Idea to Enterprise, 2010, Dorf and Byers. Specific chapters will be relevant to the class focus and available in the course website. This is a comprehensive bible for anyone interested in starting a tech company (beyond apps). It is less about business modelling, more about the core elements of consideration (including IP and patent strategy, for example). Author Thomas Byers directs the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.
  2. Business Model Generation, 2010, Osterwalder and Pigneur. We will be using the business model canvas from this book to brainstorm through the business model elements. Understanding how canvases are constructed is essential for course participation. (A link to a video primer will be available in the course website.)
  3. The Startup Owner’s Manual, 2012, Blank and Dorf. Indispensable reading on the art of business modelling in the era of lean startups and agile development, which is elemental to the TVP course.

Optional papers, articles, blogs:

Numerous helpful readings will be made available either on the course website or part of the course package.

Additional reading:

The following books provide excellent reading on the subject of technology commercialization and are available in Professor Magill’s office for students interested in a closer look. Select readings from some of these texts will be provided in the course pack:

  1. Inside Real Innovation, 2010, Fitzgerald, Wankerl and Schramm.
  2. Only the Paranoid Survive, 1996, Grove.
  3. Crossing the Chasm, 1991 (revised 1999), Moore.
  4. The Art of the Start, 2004, Kawasaki.
  5. The Hard thing about Hard Things, 2014, Horowitz