You’re preparing for fall classes, staring at your syllabus, worrying:
- Should I teach prototyping or legal formation?
- Where do I fit in startup marketing?
- What about IP law or valuation?!
A 16 week semester is far too short to teach everything we want in our entrepreneurship classes. This article will help you prioritize what to teach, because there’s one topic that matters more than any other:Problem validation is the most important topic to teach in entrepreneurship. Click To Tweet
Problem validation is critically important; everything else in entrepreneurship flows from it. You can’t overlook it when prioritizing your schedule.
Why Problem Validation?
There are 3 reasons you must teach problem validation in your introduction to entrepreneurship, capstone, and your graduate entrepreneurship courses:
- It’s the most important aspect of entrepreneurship.
Customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems. Your students can’t figure out what customers will buy unless they validate problems.Once your students understand how to validate problems, they’ll quickly see how the rest of a business model falls into place.Every aspect of business models flow from problem validation, so it’s imperative we teach our students how to do it well.
- Problem validation cannot be read. It must be practiced.
If they have to, students can learn other topics like valuation, IP law, legal formation, and marketing outside the classroom. There are endless blogs and videos that cover the basics of every topic in entrepreneurship…except problem validation.Students cannot learn how to talk to customers by reading about it. Your students have to experience asking the right customers, the right questions.
- You’re their only teacher.
No one else in your students’ academic career will touch the subject of problem validation.Your accounting and finance colleagues can help them with revenue modeling. Engineering professors can help them with product development. Your business law colleagues can help them with legal formation and IP issues.
But problem validation, this thing that is so important to entrepreneurship, will only be covered by you.
If you have to cut something from your schedule, cut anything but problem validation. Make sure you’re teaching this because nobody else is, and because it is the most important aspect of entrepreneurship!
Workshop: How to Teach Problem Validation
It’s critical we don’t just talk about problem validation. We must teach our students how to do it, and to do it the right way.
(Note: surveys are not the right way 🙂 )
If you want help with that, we’re hosting our first free, 1-hour, online workshop on June 22nd, 2017. We’ll talk about the three phases of problem validation:
We will teach you these three phases, and we’ll show you engaging exercises you can run in your class to teach them.
Join us if you want to learn how to teach this subject that every entrepreneurship teacher needs to teach, and teach well!
We will send a video recording of the workshop to anyone who registers, but you don’t want the video. You want to show up live, because it will be an interactive workshop. To see and experience the exercises, you’ll want to be present.
We will be sharing more exercises to teach customer interviewing soon! Please subscribe here to get that post in your inbox.