In this fourth and final course of the specialization, you will synthesize your learning into a Strategic Action Plan. The goals of this course are twofold: One, it’s for you to identify a specific need or problem within the financial services industry that can potentially be solved using blockchain technology. Two, it’s for you to investigate possible solutions to this problem, and to develop a strategic plan for how these solutions might be executed. You will accomplish different project milestones each week, and will be introduced to several tools to organize your findings. Throughout this process, you will hear from real-world practitioners who have hands-on experience in the blockchain ecosystem. Additionally, by participating in this course you will gain access to our Blockchain Case Commons—a crowdsourced collection of blockchain applications and use-cases spanning multiple industries. As an outcome of this course, you will walk away with a consolidated, peer-reviewed Strategic Action Plan, which you can use to pitch your idea to your organization and/or potential investors.
Almost every industry can expect to experience a major business model disruption as blockchain technologies take hold. In this module, you will explore current applications of blockchain in the financial services industry, and will perform some preliminary market research in order to identify a specific market segment that shows promise for blockchain technologies. Throughout this process, you will use and contribute to our Blockchain Case Commons, which will serve as a shared, continuously-evolving repository of blockchain applications and use-cases for all course participants.
When identifying opportunities for blockchain technology within your chosen market, it is important to understand the kinds of problems that it can and cannot solve—at least in its current state. In this module, you will learn to distinguish between problems that are and are not well-suited to blockchain-based solutions. After considering various opportunities for blockchain technology within your chosen market segment, you will use a decision matrix to select the most promising idea to pursue for your final project. By the end of this week, you will clarify the purpose and objectives of your project, you will identify your target customers/audience, and you will prepare a statement of need and statement of benefit for your proposal.
In the last module, you identified a promising idea or opportunity for blockchain within your chosen market segment. This week, you will work on positioning your idea—carving out a niche or identity for your product/service within the minds of your target customers. By the end of this week, you will explain how your idea will bring new or added value to your customers, and how your idea will affect the positioning for your organization.
An idea may seem great on paper, however actually executing this idea will require careful consideration of various strategic decisions, including those related to funding, risk, talent, timing, corporate boundaries, and partners/allies. In this module, you will begin to think about what would be required to transform your project from idea to reality.
So far in this course you have performed an industry analysis, selected a specific market segment, assessed your competition, and identified a promising opportunity for blockchain within your chosen market. As well, you have described how you will position your idea, and have given consideration to the strategic decisions that need to be made in order to transform your idea into reality. In this final module, you will consolidate all of the work you have produced thus far into a final, peer-reviewed project deliverable, which you can use to pitch your idea to your organization and/or potential investors.