Business Creation: Social Media and Product Design

Winter 2022
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 40
8 Credits per quarter
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Technology is now manipulating us at a level that is unprecedented. Many problems have emerged with the rise of new media and technology, from effects on our individual mental health, manipulative product reviews, to social influence on individual beliefs. This course asks students to identify an underlying problem in different types of platforms — social networking, social audio platforms, disappearing stories, social live streaming, shoppable social platforms (finance, music, health and wellness, games, etc.), and business social media. Our goal will be to create novel solutions that will help foster more meaningful experiences and prevent mass social level manipulation. Traditionally, customer discovery centers on individual user experience. In this class, we are looking at the ways in which user experience can help us identify the problems in which participant behavior, culture, and complex systems of new media and platforms are the medium of solution design. In this experiential class, students are encouraged to explore how we interact with media and technology on the psychological level and apply that understanding.

This class will ask students to build multi-disciplinary teams from all fields to collaborate and develop a new business from the ground-up by applying design thinking and other innovation frameworks to see through wicked problems and come up with innovative solutions. How might we imagine a social network that appeals to our better natures than Facebook does today? How might we design a stock trading product like Robinhood that avoids the mass purchase of worthless stock? Working in teams, students will invent novel solution concepts that leverage tech, prototype solutions, and explore customer value propositions and business models, all while gaining fluency in the behavioral and cultural principles that might shed insights about how these tools can be applied for ethical innovation. Our class will provide many opportunities for students to practice a series of fast pitches to present the startup solutions they worked on during the program.

This course will be on-line (using Zoom, and other digital platforms for sharing video, live-social audio, or podcasts, engaging in live small group activities and hands-on projects, and posting your work). To successfully participate in this program students will need a computer and internet access. The faculty will offer alternative assignments that will allow students to earn comparable credit if extenuating circumstances prevent them from accessing our synchronous meetings. Students in the program are strongly encouraged to continue and enroll in the spring quarter.


Winter 2022 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Fr - Sr (8): 20325

Academic details

Preparatory For

Business, Entrepreneurship, Product Design, Interactive Media, User Experience (UX) Research, Social Marketing, Business Social Media, Corporate Innovation, Teaching, Strategic Brand Leadership, Digital Business Models, Interactive Technology

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
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First Meeting