MEng students test the market with Springboard, Dearduck, and Stackhawk
Silicon Valley veteran and lecturer Martina Lauchengco shows MEng the importance of product-market fit.
For the past several years, Martina Lauchengco has taught the Berkeley Master of Engineering’s E270G: Marketing & Product Management boot camp course. In this course, students gain exposure to a wide variety of product and marketing approaches, technologies, and business models. This year’s class immersed themselves in the business mindset by examining the product market landscape for three real-life companies: Springboard, Dearduck, and Stackhawk.
Over the course of ten days, students analyzed, brainstormed, diagnosed, and offered recommendations of each business’s product marketing efforts to date. In their collective research, the class directly interviewed, surveyed, and tested 3,989 people and reached over 32,766 people via advertisements in less than a week! The two sections met the market by testing messaging, branding, price points, feature ideas, e-commerce concepts, and reached out through every major platform, including texts, LinkedIn, WeChat, Instagram, Facebook, Quora, Google, Reddit, review sites and even walking up and down the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley. The most interesting market tests were as follows:
- Send screen shot of last three Amazon purchases to show willingness to share purchase history with friends
- Logo matching quiz testing the power of brands and clarity of messaging for developers
- Conceptual versus descriptive messaging at busy San Francisco street corner, then adapting and taping to a post to take the human bias out of it
- Retina contraction test after noticing that people seeing your shirts from afar were already having a reaction to a company and university brand that they may not have admitted to when asked
- Online video game MVP on ‘how well do you really know each other?’ to test an engagement concept for a commerce app.
At the conclusion of the course, Martina shared these collective insights and more with the three companies to consider in their respective strategies.
Manish Ravi, MEng ’20 (ME/Product Design), gained deep value in this bootcamp course. “This class taught me things more than just academics. Over the course of ten days, I realized how I could leverage my experience and technical background to become a product manager. This class has quite literally shaped my future career path,” he shared.
Martina Lauchengco is an Operating Partner at Costanoa VC, SVPG partner, and a UC Berkeley lecturer. She has spent over 20 years as a marketing & product executive at Microsoft, Netscape, and Loudcloud. Connect with Martina.