Designing Learning Launches

15 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010

See all articles by Jeanne Liedtka

Jeanne Liedtka

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Edward Hess

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

This note lays out in detail a technique, the learning launch, for generating increased revenues through conducting small experiments in the marketplace. A learning launch is a process for testing and improving (or abandoning) a new business idea quickly and inexpensively. Although the process involves selling a new product or service to a customer or group of customers, a learning launch is not a traditional new-product rollout. Instead, it is an experiment designed to generate insights and actual market feedback that can then be used to refine or entirely redefine the business idea and to determine whether it deserves a larger commitment of time, people, and other resources.

Excerpt

UVA-BP-0529

September 15, 2009

DESIGNING LEARNING LAUNCHES

Definition

A learning launch is a carefully designed experiment or prototype designed to test the key underlying value-generating assumptions of a potential new-growth initiative. In contrast to a full new-product roll-out, a learning launch is a learning experiment conducted quickly and inexpensively to gather market-driven data to determine whether a growth idea has enough merit to warrant detailed investigation with the commitment of further time, people, and resources.

The learning-launch concept is based on the Darden Growth Leader Research Project and research in the area of successful serial entrepreneurs. From these, we have learned that the key to success is an entrepreneurial mindset of action and not analysis; speed and not long study times; engaging potential customers in the creation, design, and testing of new ideas as soon as possible; and learning as you go, iterating constantly for improvement.

. . .

Keywords: learning launch, innovation, experiment

Suggested Citation

Liedtka, Jeanne and Hess, Edward, Designing Learning Launches. Darden Case No. UVA-BP-0529, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1583278

Jeanne Liedtka (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
804-924-1404 (Phone)
804-924-6378 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/liedtka.htm

Edward Hess

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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