PM101 2020 Application
To be considered for enrollment in Product Management 101, please submit this form before 5 PM on Friday, August 7.
We expect this course to fill up fast! Therefore, early applications are welcome and encouraged for both Founders and Joiners. Founders may refine ideas over the summer and update Prof. Perri in August with a more complete/final proposal.
*The PM101 course is for registered, second year, HBS students ONLY. Cross registrants from other masters programs at Harvard or MIT will be accepted as project joiners on an exception basis. Please contact Prof. Perri for consideration*
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 spring term. To ensure a good fit with your learning goals, please review the course catalog description for PM101 (
). You can also view last year's syllabus to get a sense for the readings we'll assign and for session topics (
This application ensures that we have the right number of projects, and that each project is at the right stage of development for the course.
After we select projects, we'll round out enrollment by choosing a group of students who wish to work on projects originated by classmates. This group of "joiners" will be chosen by Prof. Perri who will consider: 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. 23. For students who are invited to enroll, we'll then run a process to match students to projects. Our goals are to: 1) give both sides of the match -- project "founders" and "joiners" -- as much latitude as possible to choose who they want to work with; and 2) expedite the matching process, so we can jump right into product development 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 parties agree to such arrangements.
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, please forward a resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile to Eric Dunn by email (
This course is for students with limited prior product management experience. Therefore, you should NOT apply if you have been a full-time product manager in a tech company/startup for one year or more.
FOR STUDENTS PROPOSING PROJECTS ONLY
It's okay to apply as a team of two, three or four; you can specify that option below.
Teams of founders with fewer than four members MUST be willing to have "joiners" 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, but we'd still ask you to expand your team to include "joiners" from PM101.
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. Projects that are technologies looking for a problem will not be accepted.
2. You've already launched your app, and you are preparing to make a significant set of changes or pivot towards a new target customer/use-case (e.g., from B2C to B2B). You have hypotheses about these changes, but you haven't tested the hypotheses nor have you completed 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 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.
We only build digital products in PM101. Hardware-oriented products will only be accepted if there are substantive software components to develop for your product.
What is your name?
What is your email address?
How would you like to participate in PM101?
Please choose one response. If you have a strong commitment to pursuing your own startup idea, you probably should not choose Option #3. PM101 has a heavy workload, and you are unlikely to be able to do good work on you own idea and another project at the same time.
I'd like to work on another student's startup idea
I only wish to work on my own startup idea; if it is not selected, I don't want to enroll in PM101
I'd prefer to work on my own startup idea, but if it is not selected, I'd like to enroll in PM101 and work with classmates on another project
Why do you want to enroll in PM101?
Please limit your response to 200 words or less. If you have relevant skills that could enhance classmates' learning (e.g., design training; coding skills; experience with user testing) please let us know.
What is your current level of programming/technical skill?
No programming experience is required for PM101, but we do like to know the breadth of technical skills in the course. 1 = never studied programming/have limited knowledge of relevant technologies; 3 = took an intro CS class or equivalent/could define many relevant technologies and concepts (e.g., responsive design; SQL; scrum; GitHub; technical debt); 5 = Could earn a living as a software developer
What is your startup's name?
Answer the questions that follow ONLY if you are proposing a project. We understand the name may change as your project evolves.
Are you applying as a team?
If so, please, provide other team member names below. Only one team member needs to complete the rest of this form.
What will your startup do?
Describe your venture concept -- target customer, problem you are solving, proposed solution, likely business model, etc. -- in 200 words or less. If you have a pitch deck or other work that would help us understand your idea and its stage of development, please email it to Prof. Perri at
How long have you been working on your idea, with whom, and what work have you done to move the idea forward?
Briefly describe any research you have done to validate your concept and any design work (e.g., wireframing, prototype development). Please limit your response to 200 words or less.
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