Category Archives: DevBlog

Technology Entrepreneurship Course Blog

Technology Entrepreneur Course 4-8

Lecture 4:  Business Model Testing, OAP Projects

Evidence of research:

-setup a blog, domain name (Domize or Domainr), website (low fidelity level)

Business model canvas –







Test customers.


Opportunity Assessment Projects

Identify and define market by pitching your idea to your potential customers.

Use social media, email, coworkers, friends, roommates, etc to ask about your product/service.  Post a survey through these mediums or use online surveys that are available are Wufoo, SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang.

Lecture 5:  The Founding Team

How big of team do you need?

Who to choose for your team?

  • Someone with vision and passion
  • Someone you work well with
  • Has skills
  • Startup experience
  • Creative visionary plus operations and down to earth make a good team
  • An innovator and Tech combo works best

Where to find a co-founder?

  • Co-workers
  • Angel investors
  • Networks
  • Recently cashed out investors

Lecture 6:  Creativity and improvisation

Brainstorming and creativity’

  1. Creative visionaries/lead users/ talking to customers often are a fertile source of ideas.
  2. Certain ways of organizing can lead to increased group creativity (plus sales/profits)

Purpose of creativity in startups –

  • In how many areas do you want to be doing something new?

Successful entrepreneurship = invention + inspired execution

Into to “How to hack Brainstorming” from MIT data shows that the most successful ideas came from the following categories and percentages:

  •  3.41% in school discussion w/students
  • 41% in industry – co workers, etc.
  • 21.54% in social discussions
  • others

Discussion on Lead users vs. non Lead users:  Lead users/product users = $146m; internal brainstorming = $18m.  Lead users have better sales, ideas novelty of ideas higher potential because they are using someone in the industry that has experience and connections.

Lecture 7:  Brainstorming

How to Hack Brainstorming:  Characteristics of good brainstorming.

Groups were tested to see who was the most creative in what situations:  Real groups = people gathered together to brainstorm ideas.  Nominal groups = groups that used electronics to come together as a discussion and were in separate places.

Here’s the chart:

  # of ideas# of good ideasAverage OriginalityAverage Feasibility
Real GroupPersonal3232.52.9
Nominal GroupPersonal84132.42.6


  1. Capture ideas – write them down 1) Beware of the tyranny of the pen (everyone writes so no one takes charge singly. Alternatively, use audio recordings, videos, pictures, etc.
  2. Frame the problem – question contributed – not to broad not to narrow.
  3. Facilitator – separate idea creation from idea screening – possibly make it two meetings.

*Where do we need to be new?

*Where do we need to use what is already here?

Name your 15 Best and worst startup ideas:

Kayak transporter, automatic shades, product searcher, cargo cover, home decorator, calorie counter, garden planner, weather dresser, mole detector, plan for the weather, beach bag organizer, automatic hair trimmer, personal bug free space, talking plants, weather alarms, music in a pillow, hat and sunglasses combo.


Take an idea you think is the worst and advertise it as if it was the best idea ever!

My pitch:  Hat and Sunglass combo:  “Do you have when your glasses slide down your nose?  We have the solution for you! Play and work all day with the newest invention around!  Hat Sunglasses!”

Lecture 8:  Technology Lifestyle and Diffusion

How do technologies evolve over time? At what stage do you pursue business through a certain technology?

Product innovation starts high and ends low.  Process innovation starts lows and ends high.  Where they meet is where the dominant design emerges.

Cycles of  disruptive innovation – innovations start low in and move upward in an s curve but before one is complete another innovations starts low and meets where the last one was at a  plateau.

Everette Rogers 5 Factors in Adoption ( consider when adopting new inventions)

  1. Relative advantage
  2. Compatibility
  3. Complexity or simplicity
  4. Trial-ability – easy to try out
  5. Observability – by other to want to get it

Technologies developed in one industry might jump to another industry

Technology Entrepreneurship Course Blog

Technology Entrepreneur Course 1-3

Today I started a technology entrepreneur class from Stanford.  It’s an online course that allows for a school session or at your leisure time frame. The link is here for the Technology Entrepreneur class.  To see a list of the lectures and go at your own pace you can go straight  to this site.  Oh yeah, did I mention it’s free!  Thanks Stanford!!

I watched the first 3 lectures.  Here is summary of each:

Lecture 1:  Technology and Entrepreneurship Overview

This really was an overview of what the class will cover.

Question:  What big problem exists that I could solve that could have a big impact on others?

We should focus on one main idea to be able to tackle a problem and move forward in a entrepreneurial fashion.

Check out:

Suggest book:  Technology Ventures ISBN: 0077305914

Lecture 2:  Silicon Valley

Since Stanford is sitting in what is known as Silicon Valley there is a lot of cross over between Stanford students and the inventive and progressive Silicon Valley environment.  New ideas are welcomed.  Failure is looked at as a learning opportunity.  This course is set up to have business inventors from the surrounding area present ideas they have put into practice and mistake they have made.  This should allow for us as new inventors and entrepreneurs to get a head start and learn from others’ mistakes.

Lecture 3:  Nine Key Frameworks for Entrepreneurship

#1 Two Phases -Opportunity Recognition and Pursuit of Opportunity

#2  From the Textbook:  Vision – Strategy – Execution

#3  Sahlman’s Concept of Fit:  Business plan involves 1- Resources 2- Opportunity 3- People 4- a Deal.

#4  Question Every Venture… (The Monk and the Riddle): 1- Big Market? 2- Winning Strategy? 3- Excellent Team?

#5  Risk Reduction:  Team Risk, Technology Risk, Market Risk, Capital Risk.  Start with riskiest and work down the list.

#6  Crossing the Chasm – “trying it out” to “total adoption” by customers/people/world

#7  Customer Development Process – Hypothesis Testing, Experimenting.  Customer needs – Customer validation – Customer Creation – Company building.

#8 Startup Race:  1-Founding(Vision) 2-Seed Stage  3- Growth  4- Exit Stage

#9 Effectuation:  What resources to I have?  What can I do with them?  Execution – Strategy – Vision

We were asked to set up a blog to document our experience with the class.  Also to set up a business model canvas.

Check out and his article how to build a web startup.

WPTwitter copy

Setting up Twitter in WordPress

The WP to Twitter plugin is convenient for automatically sending out a tweet when you create a post/blog with WordPress.  The process does not take much time to set up and is a huge convenience as it automatically sends out a tweet everytime you blog.

To start off, download the WP to Twitter plugin into your WordPress Plugins by going to the Plugins category on the left menu bar.  Then search for the new plugin by clicking on the ‘Add New’ button and typing in WP to Twitter in the search box.

Click on install for the WP to Twitter plugin.  You will need to provide information about your twitter account and log in through the WP to Twitter application process.  Click on the link to start the application process and log into your Twitter account.

From here, follow the instructions step by step given on the WP to Twitter plugin page.  This will include copying your WP reference name to Twitter and your Twitter access tokens to WP.  The codes can be long and jumbled so I suggest using the copy and paste commands to transfer the data.  Since the information on the plugin page is step by step, I won’t reiterate those steps here.

(For further detail step by step information, continue with the tutorital by Joe Dolson’s )

Once you have followed the plugin instructions and have the account set up you will see the WP to Twitter plugin at the lower right hand side of the Posts page.  After you have created your post/blog and published it, a tweet will automatically be sent out.  If you want to you can add additional text or just have WP automatically send out the title and url for your newest post.

Happy Tweeting!



Setting up columns with Bootstrap

Twitter Bootstrap has made it easy to create columns for your webpage content.  They have included a responsive grid system that scales and uses a 12 column grid system more accurately called a mobile first fluid grid system.

Bootstrap has taken the smallest screen and created their code accordingly.   This is good because you can scale your website from a  extra small smartphone screen to a full-size desktop screen.

So, to get started.  In CSS write a containing element that looks like this:

.container-row {
padding: 0 15px;
margin: 0 -15px;

You want these margins and padding so the content  can be fully fluid and stretch with the screen size.

Then code the following on your page:

<div class=”container-row”>
<div class=”row”>
<div class=”col-xs-? col-md-?”>

With ? being the number you want to have the column span over -up to a total of 12 (full length of screen).  The first class=”col-xs-?” is meant for a ‘extra small’ (mobile) screen.  The second “col-md-?” is for a mid size screen.  You want these separated because it will make your code fluid with all screen types.  On a very small screen you most likely won’t be able to fit  a lot of content using half of the screen but on a mid to large size screen, half  of the screen would be ample room for lots of content.  This is bootstrap moving forward with the mobile first agenda.

Now place your content on the page, end it with a </div> and it will display in the first column you created.

Two or more columns

To set up more than one column, designate the first column as less than 12 and use the remaining amount (up to 12) as the second column for each size of screen.  Here’s the example:

<div class=”container-row”>
<div class=”row”>
<div class=”col-xs-12 col-md-8″>
<div class=”col-xs-6 col-md-4″>

Let’s look at the “col-md-?” part of the code.  This is referring to a mid size screen and the code  “col-md-8” and “col-md-4” totals 12.  Further, it would have 3/4 of the page set as the first column and the last 1/4 as a second column.

But here it get a bit tricky. The extra small screen has a 12 on the col-xs-12 and that would be considered full screen with no space for a second column.  Bootstrap says to be able to stack columns on the mobile you use one full-width column and the second is half-width.  For further explanation click here.

After the final column of content is added, end with </div> and  you should have it made!

For further information, coding examples and as a reference, see Bootstraps Grid System page.


Developing a Website with Twitter Bootstrap

Developing a website from scratch is no easy task…but it’s all part of the adventure.

We started our website using a user friendly CSS html interface called Twitter Bootstrap.  You can find and download it here:  Twitter Bootstrap.

The Bootstrap website has useful information about getting started, css (cascading style sheets), components and an overview of the JavaScript.  Also, there is a customize button that shows you how to customize parts of the code you want to download for what you want on your website.


Getting Started:

Getting started with Bootstrap can be done in a few ways that are outlined on the website.  The user can decide and implement templates and different content definitions.   Bootstrap lays is all out here.



Bootstrap has a Grid system that is responsive to your mobile size and will scale to the appropriate device.  It easily displays lists, addresses, and other typography benefits.  It will make tables, basic forms and buttons.  With a small amount of time  learning this coding system you will be able to display your webpage in an orderly and concise way.  Check out all the info on CSS here.


Glyphicons, dropdowns, button groups (quick link), navbar, labels, badges, headers, and thumbnails are just a few of the things that are readily available in Bootstrap.  Check them out.


I have to say my favorite part of the code is the Carousel options.  It puts movement into the webpage.  It’s great for advertising or displaying something that you really want to grab the attention of the viewer.  Read about it here.


Go Customize:

You can customize what you download in your bootstrap.  If you aren’t sure, they will gently lead you back to the ‘CSS’ or ‘Components’ aspects of the website to help you know what you want.

So, check it out.  It’s a great way to get started.  Twitter Bootstrap! 


Recommended videos and informational websites:


Tutorial – Twitter Bootstrap