How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services


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Firms must develop major innovations to prosper, but they don't know how to. However, recent research into the innovation process has made it possible to develop breakthroughs systematically. 15.356 How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services explores several practical idea generation development methods. To convey the art required to implement each of these methodologies, experts are invited to present real cases to the class.

4 hours of lectures

4 lectures

Course Books


Eric von Hippel  is an economist and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, specializing in the nature and economics of distributed and open innovation. He is best known for his work developing the concept of user innovation – that end-users, rather than manufacturers, are responsible for a large amount of innovation. In order to describe this phenomenon, he introduced the term lead user in 1986. von Hippel's work has applications in business strategy and free/open source software (FOSS) and von Hippel is one of the most highly cited social scientists writing on FOSS.

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How to Develop Breakthrough Products and Services by Prof. Eric von Hippel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Course content

  • Lecture 1: The Paradigm Shift from Producer to User Innovation

  • Lecture 2: Basing New Commercial Products on "Lead User" Innovations

  • Lecture 3: Users Working Together in Communities Are Powerful Innovators

  • Lecture 4: Toolkits to Support Product Development by Customers

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