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Regular version of the site

Digital Product Development

Type: Mago-Lego
When: 4 module
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Veronika Belousova, Anastasia Nazarenko, Мышалов Дмитрий Маркович
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus


The course shows how to develop a digital product (service) by taking into account consumer and technological trends and adapting the value proposition to a dynamic competitive environment of the knowledge-based economy and meeting the expectations of lead users. The course provides cutting-edge knowledge which is essential in designing and managing a digital product. It also provides an overview of the best practices and enriches students with success stories from the founders of digital products. The students will pass through all the key stages for making the business model for their digital product (service) viable and revenue-generating. During the seminars, the student will apply the concept of design thinking to initiate digital products, build their own minimum viable projects and test relevant product hypothesis in diversified (multicultural and multidisciplinary) teams. Admission criteria: Students are selected by considering their background, experience in project activity, professional and personal interests, desired role in a project team, the value which each student brings to the project teams. The first priority for being accepted to the course is given to students, who already have a digital product idea or an appropriately composed project team. Dear students, we would like to thank you for your interest in our course on developing a digital product. In order to form a team of highly motivated students who are inspired by digital transformation and entrepreneurship, we would like to ask you to participate in our survey. This will allow us to organize project work in 10 groups with 6 members in each. Please let us know your expectations and your motivation for joining this course by answering the following questions: https://forms.gle/Spd8dWwa1cjEqDTJA
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Students will have insights on trends in knowledge-intensive business services, consumer and technological trends related to digitalization.
  • Students will be competent in analyzing business models for digital companies.
  • Students will know how to assess the level of technology diffusion and design a digital product.
  • Students will be experienced in creating multicultural, multidisciplinary, cross-functional teams for providing project deliverables.
  • Students will know how to create and defend a minimum viable project in the digital era.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze consumer and technological trends in service industries
  • Analyze unit economics for different business models
  • Formulate and test the hypotheses for validating the digital product idea
  • Create a business model for the digital product and critically assess the fundraising opportunities for the digital product
  • Explain the relationship between business model elements
  • Manage the digital product lifecycle effectively
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Digital product in service industries
    *Service innovation, disruptive innovation, digital-based innovation *Knowledge-capturing products, digital product *New product development process *Digital product lifecycle management *Customer knowledge management *Lead users, UX/UI design, usability testing *Operational resilience *COVID-19: effect on service industries and the response of knowledge-intensive business services companies
  • Hypotheses validation & MVP
    * MVP * Competitors overview * Customer Development vs. Design Thinking * Jobs-to-be-Done * Painkiller-Vitamin-Dopamine * ABCDX Segmentation Framework * Riskiest assumption test (RAT) * No-code
  • Business models
    * Business model * Business model innovation * Business model canvas * Value creation * Value proposition * Digital business model * Agile business model * Digital entrepreneurship * Digital platform, ecosystems
  • Unit Economics
    * AARRR Framework (Acquisition - Activation - Retention - Revenue - Referral) * Funnel estimation * RoI leverage approach * Unit economics for various business models
  • Fundraising
    * Crowdfunding * Fundraising * Business accelerator * Venture capital * Venture investors * Funding process * Pre-seed funding * Seed funding
  • Project Idea Assessment
    Requirements for a 10 min team presentation on generating an idea for digital product (service): • Team composition & diversity (background, experience, roles) • Target client profile, industry • Idea matching problems of target clients with the solution • Process, product or service • Degree of a novelty for an idea • “Pain points” and benefits for each stakeholder • Impact (social, cultural, environmental, for-profit)
  • Business Model Assessment
    Requirements for a 10 min team presentation on business model for digital product (service): • Customer Segments • Key Activities • Key Resources • Partner Network • Value Propositions • Channels • Customer Relationships • Cost Structure • Revenue Streams • “Rough and ready” prototype
  • Minimal Viable Product
    Requirements for a 10 min team presentation on defending a MVP for digital product (service): • Early customers • Value proposition (compared to competitors) • Your Solution • Early Metrics • Your market assumptions • In-house operations vs. outsourcing
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Team presentation on generating a project idea
  • non-blocking Team presentation on defending a MVP
  • non-blocking Team presentation on defending a project business model
  • non-blocking 20 min test based on course materials (open book)
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Team presentation on defending a project business model + 0.25 * Team presentation on generating a project idea + 0.25 * 20 min test based on course materials (open book) + 0.25 * Team presentation on defending a MVP


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Christoph Zott, & Raphael Amit. (2006). Exploring the fit between business strategy and business model: Implications for firm performance. Working paper. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.FF466C
  • Davis, F. D. (1989). Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3), 319–340. https://doi.org/10.2307/249008
  • Everett M. Rogers. (2010). Diffusion of Innovations, 4th Edition. [N.p.]: Free Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1976305
  • Handbook of antisocial behavior, Stoff, D. M., 1997
  • Osterwalder, A., Clark, T., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business Model Generation : A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=335366
  • Richard Shearmur, & David Doloreux. (2019). KIBS as both innovators and knowledge intermediaries in the innovation process: Intermediation as a contingent role. Papers in Regional Science, (1), 191. https://doi.org/10.1111/pirs.12354
  • Venkatesh, V., Morris, M. G., Davis, G. B., & Davis, F. D. (2003). User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View. MIS Quarterly, 27(3), 425–478. https://doi.org/10.2307/30036540

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Anna Cabigiosu, & Diego Campagnolo. (2019). Innovation and growth in KIBS: the role of clients’ collaboration and service customisation. Industry and Innovation, (5), 592. https://doi.org/10.1080/13662716.2018.1483823
  • Brown, T. (2009). Change by design : how design thinking can transforms organizations and inspires innovation / Tim Brown with Barry Katz. New York: Harper Collins. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.308063775
  • da Costa Aleixo Monteiro Melhorado Baptista, G. (2017). Mobile banking and mobile payment acceptance. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.58F041D3
  • Kotarba Marcin. (2018). Digital Transformation of Business Models. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.BF63B999
  • LIEDTKA, J. (2018). Why Design Thinking Works. Harvard Business Review, 96(5), 72–79. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=bsu&AN=131356794
  • Martin, R. L. (2009). Design of Business : Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage (Vol. First ebook edition). Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Review Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=674950
  • Tullis, T., & Albert, B. (2013). Measuring the User Experience : Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Usability Metrics. Amsterdam: Morgan Kaufmann. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=486121