Educating Founders on Building Technology Businesses

By Cameron Neil on 13 Jan, 2020

2 min. read

At Common Code, our mission is “Building enterprises, products & communities for a better world”. We’ve been working with founders to build technology-led product and service startups for years.

In 2018, LaunchVic put out a call for organisations to deliver founder education courses for founders and startup teams. Common Code successfully pitched a course for those building digital product startups and technology-focused businesses (you can see more about the LaunchVic funding round and the other successful programs here).

Common Code’s Founder Education program was our attempt to distill a decade of experience in Agile and Lean environments into six 2-hour workshops that would give entrepreneurs functional tools and techniques to make the right technology decisions for their startup. Each session was complemented by mentoring from our delivery team between each session, and access to their choice of up to 3 workshops to deep dive into a founders particular needs. More detail on the topics covered is below.

It was our privilege to work with 56 startups (75 founders and team members) across the 6 Founder Education program cohorts from March 2018 to March 2019. Their experience and feedback validated our hypotheses about the value of:

  • Greater understanding of the interconnection between business and product roadmaps.
  • Improved communication capability through enhanced literacy in software and technology development processes.
  • Committing to continuous learning about the market, product and software through hypothesis driven development.

While the LaunchVic funded program is now complete, Common Code continues to draw on the content and process of the Founder Education program in its work with startups, and is actively exploring partnerships and collaborations for further iterations of the program delivery. The Founder Education program represents a Lean and Agile playbook for startup founders and executives attempting to create meaningful product or service offerings that leverage technology, particularly software.

If you are interested in learning more about Common Code’s work with startups and founders, or the Founder Education program specifically, get in touch with us to explore further on weare@commoncode.io.


The Founder Education Program

The six workshops:

  1. The Clear Vision. -- The Complete Coherence Framework and Understanding Your Startup Journey, Business Roadmap & Stories
  2. The Introduction to Agile & Scrum. -- Methodologies & Implementations for Managing Software Teams
  3. The Sprint & Validation Cycle. -- Utilising the Backlog, Priority, Sprint Simulations, Sizing & Estimation
  4. The Art of Meaningful Communication. -- Defining Work, Roles, Processes and Types of Communication in Software Teams
  5. The Development Team. -- Tech Teams, Stacks, Environments & Debt for Product Build, Test, Deploy, & Prototyping.
  6. The Build & Wrap up. -- Lifecycle of a codebase; The Exchange of People, Programs & Code.

Deep dive workshop topics included Introduction to Software; MVP/Feature Roadmapping; Customer/Product Market Fit; Feature/Product Strategy; Gaining Traction; CX; Hiring Roadmapping; Tech Decision Making & Strategy; Tech Stack Review; Business & Revenue Models; Early Product Validation

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