Software as a Business

Lecture with internship (WS 18) - Lecture


Selling software is difficult, because software obeys other business models than physical products. This course introduces modern software business models, and structures innovation management as well as startup founding around this. Inspired by the Lean Startup movement in California, essential success factors for business cases are discussed. What is a "minimal viable product (MVP)"? What are "business model canvases (BMC)"? Along the lectures of Prof. Aßmann, several entrepreneurs report about their experiences with the founding of startup.
At the same time, a Praktikum/internship of 2 SWS is conducted. Students work in groups of 5-6 people and work out a business model for an app of an IoT platform.


Software as a Business (SAAB) is a course with group internship at 2/0/2 SWS (6 cp). Lectures and internship are both held in English. The lecturer is Prof. Dr. Uwe Aßmann, as well as some industrial experts.
The course takes place every week on Monday, 9:20 (INF E023) and Friday, 14:50 (INF E023). Some of the dates are lectures, others are internship lectures or consultancy dates for the internship groups.

Order of lectures and internship lectures

In 2018, this is a somewhat experimental format. Please, be aware that the order and content of the dates may change frequently. Please, consult the web frequently!
Pitch sessions are particularly important. In these, you have to show and demo something of your group's work, and they will give you comments of everybody in the course. This will help you to improve your business model.

Structure of the lecture

0 - Introduction
Course start. Overview of the course. Innovation Success Stories, Successful entrepreneurs, Social entrepreneurs.
2018-10-12Introduction to LINC Innovation Management Platform
Demonstration of the web-based collaboration adn innovation management platform LINC:
  • Agile Management in Taiga
  • Idea Management in WOI
  • Canvas Development in Fridolean
  • Document editing in HackMD
  • Chat with RocketChat
  • Details of the IoT platforms: Cube-It, Smart-Shirt, Beer-Mat-It. Division into internship groups.
    2018-10-15Basic Tools for Lean Startup
    Basic Patterns, Tools of Lean Startup. The innovators toolbox. Basic know-how about business models. Business model canvas. Lean canvas. Other canvases.
    (Internship dresden|exists)
    Internship: IoT platforms
    Design Thinking in a Nutshell (Presentation). Understand - definition of a problem (internship).
    2018-10-22Lean Startup
    Lean Startup Overview.
    I - Problem-Solution Fit
    2018-10-26Problem-Solution-Fit with Customer Interviews (Early Feedback)
    Customer interviews for customer analysis and modeling. Hypothesis testing about the customer model.
    2018-10-29Question-Driven Customer Guidance
    Customer Guidance (Development). How to create the right questions for a customer interview. How to move the customer forward in his journey.
    (Internship dresden|exists)
    Explore User Needs
    Explore users need - with moodboard, customer interview, customer analysis with Pain-Gain Canvas or Problem-Canvas
    2018-11-05Question-oriented selling interview methods
    For customer interviews, question-oriented methods such as SPIN and solution-selling are popular. They help to travel with the customer in his journey.
    2018-11-09Deep Pain-Gain Analysis
    Value Proposition Canvas and Customer Journey. Deep Pain. Deep Gain. Pain-Gain Banana. Pain Canvas. Pain Killer Canvas. Stickiness Analysis.
    (Internship dd|exists)
    Problem-Solution-Fit mit Design Thinking
    point-of-view with VPC, an important method for problem-solution fit. Moderated by dresden|exists.
    (Internship dd|exists)
    Idea Generation in Design Thinking
    breain writing, 6-3-5 idea generation method
    1. Feedback loop - Pitch
    1. Feedback loop - Pitch (Problem, Findings, Idea) of MVV of all groups to get feedback of all groups. PLEASE prepare a 5-minute NABC pitch. Think about Pain level (strong need), Gain Level (strong benefit) and Ultimate Competititive Advantage. "Make sure that your product is a pain killer and not a vitamin."
    (Internship dd|exists)
    Prototyping and Construction of Smoke Tests
    Several ways how to produce a prototype.
    2018-11-30Watch Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin Live
    Today, in Berlin the final day of Techcrunch Disrupt Berlin. We will watch streams of pitches of the 5 finalists of Techcrunch . The winner of last year was Lia, a startup for pregnancy tests. Guess what is the winner today.
    II - Product-Market Fit
    Landing Page and Smoke Video Production
    How to produce a "killer" landing page and smoke video for your MVP. Demonstration of successful examples. Magnetic headlines. Opt-In. How to use nABC to produce a video.
    2018-12-07Creation of Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
    Feature modeling of the MVP. Idea and feature variation. Consultation about which technologies to do a prototype of the product.
    Exercise on Canvas Engineering
    Canvases, canvases, canvases. Maturization of the Business Model Canvas. How to make your BMC scalable.
    Smoke Website Pitch
    Every group pitches its landing page website and smoke video.
    2018-12-21Glühwein Smoke Tests at Home
    cancelled. Xmas!
    III - Scale
    2018-12-10Scalable Business Models
    Discriminators for varying the customer segment. Customer-driven business models.
    2019-01-07Product Line Business Models
    Product familiies, product matrices. Regional product families. Discriminators for dimensional variation of a product line.
    2019-01-11Lecture of External Expert
    Dirk Röhrborn will talk about the development of his company communardo and its role in the Atlassian ecosystem.
    2019-01-14Software Ecosystems
    Software ecosystems, a very scalable business model. Apps with mixed value creation. Roles in a software ecosystem. How to scale on an IoT platform. How to create a software ecosystem. What does this mean for your app on Cube-It, Beer-Mat, Smart-Shirt?
    (Internship dd|exists)
    Lean Coffee - Questions, 2nd Feedback Loop - MVP Pitch
    Consultation about the pitch of the MVP. "done is better than perfect".
    Visit at Wandelbots
    We visit Wandelbots, one of the most successful Dresden startups in the last years. It is located in Bergstrasse 14, Dresden, on the way to the Hauptbahnhof. ATTENTION: we meet either 14:45 at the department, or 15:00 at Wandelbots (Bergstrasse 14).
    2018-01-21Lecture of External Expert
    Matthias Walter from Platform innovation Kit will talk about multi-sided platforms and ecosystems.
    2019-01-25Lecture of External Expert
    Ronald Scholz from Sherpa incubator (Bergstr. 14) will present his work for Dresden startups. Also, we will consult a last time before the Dungeon of Dragons on Jan 28.
    2019-01-25Lecture of External Expert
    Frank Lindner from seedmatch visits us: Crowdsourcing. Venture Capital. Networking.
    IV - Dungeon of Dragons
    Dungeon of Dragons (Höhle der Drachen)
    Pitch of all groups in front of the investors and experts ("Dragons", Drachen).
    Prof. Aßmann must take part in a selection committee. Lecture cancelled.
    2019-01-01Canvas Engineering
    Canvas engineering. How a canvas is structured. How to specify and create metric analysis on canvases. How to make new canvases.

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    Sebastian Götz
    Letzte Änderung: 12.07.2016