How to Build a Startup
One of the most interesting developments in higher education is the rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Starting with a course in Artificial Intelligence at Stanford taught by Sebastian Thrun that attracted 160,000 students — or over 20 separate four-year cycles of Stanford’s entire undergraduate enrollment of about 7,000, MOOCs are now gaining influence outside the university.
Thurn went on to found Udactiy, and raised over $20 million in two rounds of funding, so it should not be surprising that entrepreneurship — which has wide appeal — is a topic that quickly shot to the top of the course list.
With noted entrepreneur and Haas lecturer Steve Blank at the helm, Udacity now offers a nine-part class on How to Build a Startup. Particularly helpful as an introduction to people without startup experience, the lectures benefit in no small part from the difference with traditional school: no homework, and not exam. As with most intro courses, proven entrepreneurs will find most of the lessons fairly basic, but if you want a keener sense of what startup life is like without actually making the jump, it’s not a bad place to start.