Lots of people want to enter the world of entrepreneurship. But, taking the first step is the hardest part.
Move Slow and Learn Things hosts two-day intensive design workshops to help students or community members take an idea and make the first steps of turning it into a product.
I’m a (non-technical) software designer.
I’m making Eariously, accessibility software that lets students listen to their assigned reading.
In January 2019, I taught a product design course at Colby College.
Since, I’ve continued to help students and members of the central Maine community turn their ideas into products.
What happened during my product design course?
27 non-technical students at Colby College enrolled in my course. By the end of the month, every student had built software product prototypes, culminating in a showcase of their creations in front of 500 of their peers.
The course was built on a few core beliefs:
Taking the first step into entrepreneurship is often the hardest. Everyone has the capability of designing products. Often, it just takes a bit of talking to figure out what to do first.
The best solutions are developed when the creators themselves are experts about the problems. During my course, my students proved this thesis. Students have felt empowered, sometimes for the first time, to solve their own needs.
Software is just a medium for problem solving. While our class did not have experience with web development, students used off-the-shelf tools and software they were already familiar with in order to develop solutions.
What do students think about working together?
I’ve loved working with talented, curious, creative, and kind students.
They, too, love my course and working together.
What have students made?
During my course (and the time since), students on Colby’s campus have started to develop a number of incredible projects to solve problems affecting students. Some of our favorite products:
Want to bring my course to your school or community?
Excellent news! I’ve turned my one-month course into an intensive two-day course.
On Day One, we focus on talking problems and helping each individual get to the root of one that matters to them.
On Day Two, we take the first steps helping each individual make a prototype. Students leave with homework of what to complete next. They’re invited to continue working with me as they move toward a functional prototype.
I’m very interested in bringing entrepreneurship to my school or community, but what about the fine print?
How much does the course cost?
School and community budgets are always in flux. Let’s work together to find a price that works for us both.
How many students can participate in the course in one weekend?
Special attention is given to each student. In order to give particular attention to every student in the course, there’s a cap of 20 participants per workshop.
Do participants need a technical background to participate?
Participants most definitely do not need a technical background to be part of the class. In fact, the vast majority of the students and community members who I work closely with have never taken a computer science course.
Where is this course taking place outside of Colby?
We’re thrilled that weekend availability is beginning to fill up for the fall. The course is currently taking place at the local library system of Central Maine, Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space in Waterville, as well as in high schools throughout Brooklyn and Queens.