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Course Introduction

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

4:30 - 5:25

Welcome to PM101!!

For our first session, we'll do three things. First, we'll use an example to consider the attributes of great and flawed software products. Next, we will discuss PM101’s learning objectives, structure, and requirements - this is probably going to be the most unique, high action, course you take at HBS, prepare for lots of details! We will have several course alumni as guests to share tips and do Q&A. Finally, students will briefly describe their projects for everyone get acquainted and to wrap up any joiner matching (if necessary).​


Read the below very carefully - this is more information than a typical assignment for PM101.

Required Reading

  1. (book) Talking to Humans - Giff Constable, Must complete by September 21

  2. (book) Escaping The Build Trap - Melissa Perri - Must complete by October 28
    [Both books will be mailed to students or provided as pdfs]

Recommended Reading



  1. In a Google Doc - jot down a few bullets about what you think makes Airbnb a great product.

  2. Then, Read this article about Airbnb.

  3. Then, Read this article about Great Product Managers by Julia Austin

  4. In the same google doc, reflect on what Airbnb must have done to become a great product, and how that relates to Product Management. This should be just a few bullets. 

Note: PM101 will regularly require the submission of small assignments like this in advance of our class sessions. These submissions count toward your course grade.


Session Prep

  1. Each student should be prepared to discuss how Product Managers contribute to making great products.

  2. Each team should have one team member prepared to deliver a two minute spiel (no slides necessary) describing the problem you are trying to solve and for whom.


Schedule full team office hours with Melissa. ALL team members must attend this first meeting of the semester.

9/11 Deliverables:

  • Each student (not team) must sign the Student Participation Agreement. Please read, sign and digitally return to Eric by 9/11. You may print, sign and scan or use a tool like DocuSign. Prof. Perri will review and answer questions about SPAs in class on 9/2.

  • Your team will be developing a first draft of your Customer Research Plan the week of 9/21. Be sure to set aside team time outside of class and lab sessions to develop this deliverable. More info on the details of the deliverable in class on 9/2.

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