Lean Product Development

Do you desire freedom and flexibility in your life and career?

Many of us desire freedom and flexibility in our careers and our lives. It’s natural to want the freedom to create, be financially stable, and fearless in our interactions with others.

At the same time, we want flexibility so we can to relax, be healthy, travel, spend time with friends, and care for a family.

However, our day-to-day lives are all-consuming filled with overcommitments, aggressive deadlines, and an endless to-do list. Leaving us feeling like freedom and flexibility are at odds, which ultimately leads us to sacrifice both. So we get stuck doing the following:

  • Questioning our abilities and dreams and instead fulfilling others demands.
  • Accepting rejection from others as the norm instead of challenging their approaches, because they may have many more years of experience or a fancy title.
  • Valuing known discomfort because we fear the failure we may face if we try to pursue the unknown.

10 years ago I desperately wanted freedom and flexibility! I wanted to be creative and financially stable. I wanted to change the way products and businesses were built. But I didn’t know how to make it happen… I had a LOT to learn and experience before I could take an idea and transform it into a business that could give me the freedom and flexibility I needed to feel not just happy but fulfilled.
Over the past 10 years I’ve learned the following:

  • Product development and marketing
  • Recruiting technical talent
  • Funding businesses through a variety of methods

While I wish I could say that all my learning came from a number of influential books, it didn’t. The books provided me some inspiration and direction, but not a clear and comprehensive plan. I had to learn how to create that on my own, and much of it came through my experiences building my startups: Mint, BizeeBee, and Femgineer.

Now I’m sharing my plan and learnings through this online course on Lean Product Development.

Unlike most courses on the subject, it is a highly interactive course on product development that provides individualized attention and instruction to students. I’ve developed it along with the following prominent product professionals: David Kadavy, Lyndi Thompson, and Sarah Doody.

Who is this course for? This course is for for entrepreneurs, engineers, product managers, product marketers, and designers who are creating a brand new product or looking to refine an existing one.

Students will leave with a clear plan for validating their idea, productizing it, and building it into a business. They will also learn how to build a team or lead existing teams down a path to a more positive and productive process that isn’t dictated by aggressive deadlines and feature-bloated product.

This 8 week course is taught online for 1 hour twice a week, making it convenient for busy professionals to attend from anywhere! Instructors will also provide 1 hour of office hours weekly for students.

No technical or prior product development is necessary. We welcome students who create premium denim to mobile apps, but we do assume you are interested in leveraging the internet as an initial distribution channel for your product.

I hope you’ll consider participating in this course and let me help you gain the freedom and flexibility you want!

Poornima Vijayashanker
Founder of Femgineer

Spring 2014

We are in the process of collecting applications for our Spring 2014 course, which will begin Monday April 28, 2014.

Early applicant deadline is Friday March 14, 2014. Early applicant tuition is $1075.

Regular applicant deadline is Friday April 18, 2014. Regular applicant tuition is $1375, and tuition is $1575 for those who wish to be on a 3-month installment plan.

We have two upcoming online info sessions where we’ll answer all your questions and concerns regarding the course!

Apply Now! or Learn More

The course distills the best books, research, and experience down to an actionable process for how to build a product. You’ll learn by doing!Jessica Jalsevac, Sales & Seller's Success @ Gumroad
I generally don’t like thinking about marketing but this course forced me to, and I think it was pretty valuable. I know I’ll be able to talk about my product and about the market that I’m trying to reach intelligently.David Cruz, Senior Software Engineer @ Evernote

Inspiring instructors who will provide individualized attention!

Course Details

Course BenefitsCourse Format & SyllabusCourse TuitionFAQs
Course Benefits

This course is packed with content but it is also filled with hands-on exercises to get you thinking and doing on your own, with other students, and of course instructors!

Course Timing:
The course will take place online on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5pm PST for 1 hour. Recordings will be available in the event that you have to miss a class, but we encourage students to attend as many classes as possible. Students will have a chance to interact with peers during the course as well.

We may open up a second session for students at an earlier time. If you are interested, please indicate it on your application.

Office hours will also be held online.

Have you struggled with the following?

  • Transforming an idea that’s been in your head for months or years into a product.
  • Getting people to pay for your product.
  • Figuring out who your customers are and reaching out to them.
  • Recruiting technical talent.
  • Shipping a product successfully.
  • Reducing the scope but still meeting customer needs.


Then this is the course for YOU!

From a high-level you will walk away having learned how to clarify your vision for yourself, your product, and your company.

And you’ll be able to by learning the following:

  • How to put a process in place for validating ideas before you build, to save you time and money!
  • How to identify and attract early adopters.
  • How to mold your idea into a product.
  • How to create a worthwhile experience for customers.
  • How to attract and communicate to a team of technical and non-technical teammates, who can help you build your product.
  • How to price your product.
  • How to fund the development of it.
  • How to create a comprehensive marketing plan on a scrappy startup budget.
  • How to put a product development process in place that broadens ideas but narrows scope to ship consistently!

We will also provide students with the following texts:

  • Design for Hackers by David Kadavy
  • Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda
  • Lean Analytics by Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
  • Mental Models by Indi Young


How much longer are you going to deny yourself freedom and flexibility?
Apply Now! or Request More Info
Course Format & Syllabus

Each class will be composed of a 30 minute lecture, followed by a hands-on exercise. Students will complete the exercise with their peers. The purpose of the exercise is to reinforce the concepts covered during the lecture, and to foster interaction amongst students to learn from each other. The exercise will be based on a sample product, and instructors will post the exercise prior to each class so that students may prepare for it.

Students will be given homework assignments similar to the hands-on exercises in class, which they can apply to their own product idea. The homework assignments are self-paced, and usually take about an 1 to 3 hours to complete, but also depend on how much time students want to invest.

During the course we will cover the following topics:

Ideation and Brainstorming Techniques
Learn to refine your ideas and recruit teammates to help further them.

Market Research Techniques
Understand the current market you’re going after in order to position your product.

Customer Discovery Through Mental Models
Learn how to segment customers and develop personas for them using mental models.

Customer Development
Develop a deep understanding of your customer by learning how to conduct interviews and usability tests.

Focus on Insightful User Experiences
Develop an understanding of insightful user experience and how those insights can help us keep our focus on people. You will learn how to apply insightful thinking and then derive key deliverables such as personas and use cases from these insights. Finally, you’ll see examples of how insights at both the behavioral and emotional level can be applied to craft an experience.

Focus on planning product features
In this class, we’ll build upon the understanding of our users’ needs developed in the previous class and begin to identify how features will fulfill those needs. We will see how features help us identify key pages of an experience. From there, we’ll learn techniques to begin to visualize those key pages through sketching and simple wireframes. We will also discuss the importance of proper sequencing and prioritization of features.

Product iteration
Accepting change as a constant. Dealing with changing scope, budget, and timeline.

Visual Design, Reverse-Engineered
You’ll learn about the “whys” behind Visual Design. Learn about the factors that lead to good design, how to choose and pair typefaces, how to choose a color palette, and how to use the grid and whitespace to create a clean and clear look and feel.

Hiring and working with engineers and their motivations
You’ll learn about the motivations of excellent software engineers/developers. Learn about how to convey your product vision as a sales tool to bring on talented developers. Whether you work with contractors or full time developers, you want them to have a level of excitement about your product. Learn how to gauge it in prospective hires. You will also learn about how to hire and manage developers overseas.

Breaking down complexity to achieve success
In this class you’ll learn about how to break down complexity. You’ll get an understanding of how developers and product owners can break down high level features into user stories. You will learn how to determine the order in which features should be built and whether certain features must be nixed in order to release your product. You will understand how to balance the legs – budget, scope, and timeline – of an imaginary stool, which represents the project’s success or failure. You will also learn the roles and responsibilities of a product owner, the developers, and the customer in achieving this balance.

Scrappy Marketing Strategies
Learn how to leverage online marketing techniques to build awareness for your product.

Analytics, Metrics, and Pricing
We’ll cover the key analytics and metrics you’ll need to track your product’s progress, as well as showcase how to test various pricing models.

During the course students will complete homework assignments based on their own product idea or the sample product idea given by instructors. They are to present their assignments as a final project.

Course Tuition

Spring 2014 Course: early applicant tuition is $1075, regular tuition is $1375, and a 3-month installment plan is $1575.

Apply Now! or Request More Info

If you wish to cancel your registration before the start of the course, we’ll refund the tuition you’ve paid minus a $525 non-refundable deposit.


We do not refund tuition after the course has started.
Where is the course offered?
It is online, so anyone with an internet connection participate! We require students to login through their computer each week for the lectures. We strive to give as close to an in classroom experience as possible. To that end we test each student’s internet connection.
When are the classes?
Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesday at 5pm PST, starting Monday April 28, 2014 and ending Wednesday June 23, 2014.
Will recordings of the classes be made available?
We provide recordings to all paying students, and recordings are available within a week of when the class was taught.  However, we strongly encourage students to attend classes to get the most benefit.
What if I have teammates who want to participate?
We’d love to have your teammates participate! You can have as many teammates join as you’d like for an additional $675. Please only submit one application per team, and indicate on the application if you will have additional teammates joining.
What additional resources and training will be provided?
Slides for each class will be made available, and students will receive homework assignments for each class. The homework assignments will provide students with additional practice on tools and techniques. The assignments are self-paced, but should be completed by the end of the class class.

There will also be supplemental reading assignments to reinforce concepts taught during the lecture portion of the course.

Who should take this course?
Designers, engineers, product managers, product or brand barketers, and especially entrepreneurs!
When is the payment due?
Those who opt to be Early Applicants for our Spring 2014 course will need to pay in full by Sunday March 16, 2014 to receive a $300 discount. Those who opt to be Regular Applicants will need to pay in full by Sunday April 20, 2014. Those who opt for the 3-month payment plan will need to pay their first installment of $525 on Sunday April 20, 2014.

If you wish to cancel your registration before the start of the course, we will refund the tuition you’ve paid minus a $525 non-refundable deposit.
We do not refund tuition after the course has started.
When will this course be offered next?
Fall 2014

Apply Now! or Request More Info
Do I need to know how to code?
There is no coding requirement, because not everyone is building a software product.
Is this course only for women?
No!  We welcome everyone, and believe that products are built by diverse teams. If you’re still not sure, then read our post: Why would a man be interested in working with Femgineer?
Does this course offer a certificate?
Apply Now! or Request More Info

Student success stories!


See what students are saying about the course!