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The Max Concept

The Max Labs are a radical departure from the traditional "today-you-will-learn-how-to-add-data-to-a-table" style of labs. Instead, they're designed to be experiential, to engage today's iGeneration students with a compelling story, delivered the way they like getting their information best–social media.

The Max Labs are named for Max Flanagan, a fictional character, an imaginary student in a real Business Systems course at SJSU. Max is definitely NOT a geek. She's Business/Marketing major and she's not especially interested in technology–not until she stumbles her way into a startup, applying the Salesforce tools she's learning in class to build an app for their venture capital campaign. Along the way, Max blogs her experience, detailing her trials and errors and includes step-by-step instructions for her "followers" to share the experience vicariously as she adds features and value to the startup effort.

The Max Labs are written in the first-person form. They use the students' vernacular so they read like a peer's blog. Students find them fun and entertaining. 


They're composed to have the "look and feel" of a real blog though they're provided as PDFs. That way students can work with a printed copy by their side and/or the digital form with live hyperlinks that provide "deeper dives" for students who want to learn more.

The story begins as Max introduces herself and her new class and blogs what she‘s learning about Silicon Valley and the "Innovation Industry." She explains how the class is using free Salesforce accounts to learn about business systems and how she's already created a mobile app on her first try. Then, for extra credit, she attends a meeting of the campus Entrepreneurship Club meeting and meets Riley, an MBA student, who's looking for a custom mobile app to track the funding pitches she's making to venture capital firms and "angels." Riley challenges Max to build her app and the story unfolds from there.

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