I'm curious if some of the delays in launch are to allow some of the instructors to hastily cobble together the textbooks that they are using for these classes. For example, the Stanford SAAS class starting this February is taking a "customer development" approach to the class textbook. The SAAS class is testing the textbook on a Berkeley class and then testing it on the 50,000 people signed up. But they aren't just "testing" it, they are selling it at a reduced rate ($9.99 on Kindle) for the early adopters who use the alpha electronic version in the class. They are also launching an iPad and print version. Such a brilliant way to craft an excellent book with user driven errata reporting and feedback while making a great profit on a first class of over 50,000 people. This free class business model is going to make a pretty penny. Here's a link to the SAAS book: http://beta.saasbook.info/
Too bad the Lean Launchpad and Tech Entrepreneurship class seem to be gone. I was really looking forward to those.
I thought my hypotheses may have been incorrect because Steve Blank already has a book that he could use in the class (4 steps to the epiphany). However, looks like he is double timing it to release a new book for the Lean Launchpad class.
Snippets of the email from Steve Blank:
"First the bad news: I wanted to update you that the start of my upcoming online Lean LaunchPad will be delayed. But the good news is that, I will indeed be launching an online LaunchPad course. It will be offered within the next 60 days.
Why the delay? I am revamping the Lean LaunchPad class to base the new course on my new book, The Startup Owner's Manual (The book that is just what its subtitle says: the step-by-step guide to building a great company). This book replaces its 10-year-old predecessor, The Four Steps to the Epiphany. So the course and The Startup Owner's Manual will both provide you with ten years of real-world learning amassed since The Four Steps to the Epiphany was first published.
The Lean LaunchPad course will be in modules you can take asynchronously and digest at your leisure, ideally with your fellow startup team members. If you want to get a head start, you can buy the recommended text, The Startup Owner's Manual. (The book is recommended, but not required, for course participants.)"
(Read to the end of the link)