E-Commerce Education


E-Commerce / Tech Entrepreneurship course materials, for free

Below are the course materials I’ve developed for an online course about e-commerce. You can use the materials to further your own learning of e-commerce and learn startup methodologies. If you’re considering integrating some of my materials into your course/book/whatever, please let me know. This course is conducted as an open-ended hands-on experience in which students are charged with developing their own startup ventures in just several weeks. It’s designed to be an experience that I, as a student, would have loved.  Much of the work is completed in self-assembled teams.  Students perform regular teammate and self evaluations, as well as referee others’ work.  This helps in fostering a lightweight form of esprit de corps.

To get college credit, you need to enroll at Saint Francis University and sign up for course MIS342/CPSC342.  Would be great to have you onboard.

Getting Started

If you’re thinking about starting your own venture, watch some of the lectures to see how you can apply the scientific method to search for a business model.  Then enlist some friends and start to hack away at each assignment. While your work will not be graded the end result will be much more meaningful than a good grade — you’ll be a giant step closer to running a successful entrepreneurial pursuit.

Since the course is still in session, this page will be updated as more content is created.


Learn about the Teams

View the Team Dossier for links to each team’s website, blog, and other info. Remember, the students are still working on their projects so links may be broken, pages may be ugly, etc.

Weekly Outlines:

Week 1 Outline

  1. Lecture s01v01 – Welcome
  2. Lecture s01v02 – Team Building

Week 2 Outline

  1. Lecture s02v01 – Creativity and Improvisation
  2. Lecture s02v02 – Business Model and Opportunity Analysis

Week 3 Outline

  1. Lecture s03v01 – Low-Fidelity Prototype
  2. Lecture s03v02 – Technology Evolution
  3. Lecture s03v03 – Customer Development (Part 1)
  4. Lecture s03v04 – Customer Development (Part 2)
  5. Lecture s03v05 – Customer Development (Part 3)

Week 4 – Marketing Concepts and Communications
Week 5 – Security and Payment. And Ethical, Social, Political Issues.
Week 6 – Opportunity Execution guidance, various topics
Week 7 – Social Entrepreneurship and Wrap-Up

"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." - Henry Ford
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford
"Find a better way to fail, recover, and try again." - Aza Raskin
“Find a better way to fail, recover, and try again.” – Aza Raskin

Projects and Assignments:

Introductory Assignments

Bad/Good E-Commerce Idea


Opportunity Analysis Segment (1st half of course)

Team, Site, Blog info

Business Model Canvas

Low Fidelity Mockup

OA Project

Customer Development in a Diagram, by Steve Blank.
Customer Development in a Diagram, by Steve Blank.

Opportunity Execution Segment (2nd half of course)

High Fidelity Prototype

OE Project

Additional Resources

  • MIS342 Discussion – For MIS342 students and guests to discuss their projects, to assemble teams, etc.
  • Useful resources for this course – This document is collaboratively edited by the MIS342 students.
  • Startup Tools wiki – A comprehensive list of tools, services, and everything that startup founders may need. Have a contribution? Add it to the wiki.
  • LeanCanvas – The folks at Spark59 were generous enough to provide all of the students with free access to their business model canvas collaboration tool.  Thanks, Spark59!

Some elements of the course are based on work by C. Eesley, Steve Blank, and various tools, talks, and other media. Browse the weekly outlines for links.

What course content is not available here?
The content that is not available include the case studies, quizzes, exam, and additional slides that are based on content tied to the course textbook I adopted, the excellent E-Commerce

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