PM101 is a project-based course with no case discussions. In small teams, student will specify a product during the fall term and, assuming you continue with PM102, launch a product during the winter term. To ensure a good fit with your learning goals, please review the course catalog description for PM101 (http://www.hbs.edu/coursecatalog/6701.html). You can also view last year's syllabus to get a sense for the readings we'll assign and for session topics (https://sites.google.com/site/hbspm101/home/2014-sessions-part-1).
We're using this application to ensure that we have the right number of projects, and that each project is at the right stage of development.
After we select projects, we'll round out enrollment by choosing a group of students who wish to work on projects originated by classmates or by the instructors. This group of "joiners" will be chosen mostly by lottery, although we'll also take into account: 1) your reasons for wanting to enroll in PM101, provided below; and 2) the value of having a diverse group in terms of past work experience, undergraduate degrees, etc.
We'll inform you about our selection decisions around Aug. 25. For students who are invited to enroll, we'll then run a process to match students to projects. Our goals will be to: 1) give both sides of the match -- project "owners" and "joiners" -- as much latitude as possible to chose who they want to work with; and 2) expedite the matching process, so we can hit the ground running in early September -- ideally, without devoting much class time to team assembly. Consistent with those goals, we'll reserve the right to assign students to projects if our matchmaking process leaves some orphans.
Working on a classmate's project will NOT earn a "joiner" any equity stake in the project nor any claim on the project's intellectual property, unless all concerned parties agree to such arrangements.
In addition to this form, please forward a resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile to Prof. Eisenmann by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your HBS class card either has not been updated to reflect your summer experience or does not provide the detail we'll need to understand your background. Your class card should be adequate if you previously worked in consulting, investment banking, private equity, or other jobs not related to technology, product development, or startups.
You should NOT apply if you have been a full-time product manager in a tech company/startup for six months or more. A summer internship in product management is okay.
FOR STUDENTS PROPOSING PROJECTS ONLY
It's okay to apply as a team of two; you can specify that option below. We are less likely to approve applications from teams of three or more, because we want to reserve plenty of spots for students who aren't working on their own startups.
Unless you apply as a team of 2+, you MUST be willing to have a "joiner" help with your project. This requirement to accept a "joiner" also applies for students who have co-founders who aren't enrolled in PM101. Such co-founders are welcome to attend class (subject to a limit of one auditor per team), but we'd still ask you to expand your team to include a "joiner."
A project suited for PM101 will fit one of two profiles:
1. Your idea is at an early stage of development. You've done enough customer discovery work to have some confidence that you've identified a real customer pain point, and you have some hypotheses about potential solutions. However, these hypotheses haven't yet been tested and you don't have specifications/preliminary designs in hand.
2. You've already launched your website/application, and you are poised to either design a new version or to add significant new features. You have hypotheses about the new version/features, but you haven't tested the hypotheses nor have you complete specification and design work.
To fit profile #1, your project should not be so raw that you might abandon it in a few weeks because you lose interest or because rudimentary research reveals fatal flaws. Nor should your project be "fully cooked," in the sense that the customer research, design work, and planning (MRD, PRD, etc.) that we will do during the fall turn out to be redundant with work you have already completed.
To fit profile #2, you should not expect to complete development of your next version or new features before December, although your team might undertake some coding work to support MVP testing during the fall. Our learning model requires PM101 students to work in sync on the same tasks at the same time. If you have the resources and inclination to move into development significantly faster than the rest of the class, then your venture is probably not well suited for PM101.