3.2.4 General Theory

Course subject(s) Module 3 – Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Compulsory readings:

The following three articles provide you with key insights about the value proposition of your offer:

The first article is a blog discussion by Alexander Osterwalder on the difference between users and customers. This understanding between users and customers may be important to your offer as well, in order to articulate the key elements of your value proposition in the eyes of your target customer. Link:  http://businessmodelalchemist.com/blog/2010/07/users-vs-customers.html

The second article is about this customer-centric approach: “How to create your lean canvas”. This article, up to page 17 ‘Channels’ gives you insights on how to identify the key problems customers have and the possible solutions to offer to them. Download below.

The third article explains more about the empathy map which is a person-centred method to understand the customer experience. Download below.

Non-compulsory readings:

1. Blank, S., (2013). Why the lean start-up changes everythinghttps://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything

2. Cespedes, F., (2015). Any value proposition hinges on the answer to one questionhttps://hbr.org/2015/01/any-value-proposition-hinges-on-the-answer-to-one-question

3. Tjan, A., (2009). Value Propositions that workhttps://hbr.org/2009/09/value-propositions-that-work.html

Non-compulsory readings about IP:

Intellectual property rights (IP rights) are important to prevent others from using your key technology. More information about the various IP rights and when they apply can be found by following the link: http://english.rvo.nl/topics/innovation/patents-other-ip-rights.

When it comes to patents, the database Espacenet (https://worldwide.espacenet.com/ ) holds a large number of patent applications from around the world since the 19th century. This database can be used to search for existing patents, existing solutions to technical problems, identify the state-of-art of technology and see what competitors have developed.

Searching the database effectively requires some skills, but it is well explained in the presentation below. Please use this database to ensure that the technology of your offer is not violating active patents (if so, you require a license to use it), and identify what competitors have developed to target the customer problem you identified. This Powerpoint-document gives you insight in IP Search Tools. Download below.

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Entrepreneurship for Engineers/ by TU Delft OpenCourseWare is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://ocw.tudelft.nl/courses/entrepreneurship-for-engineers/.
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