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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Iterative Innovation Process

Massachusetts Institute of Technology via edX

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3.086x: The Iterative Innovation Process draws heavily upon the course material used in 3.086x: Innovation and Commercialization. Though there have been significant changes to the course, this course is not an entirely new edX offering.

People innovate, not organizations. This course is for anybody who wants to understand the innovation process - whether you want to foster innovation within your organization or whether you want to personally innovate.

As practicing innovators, we teach you the fundamentals of how to think like an innovator. Innovation is an iterative process, not a linear one. When innovating, there are thousands of sources of uncertainty in Technology, Implementation, and Markets. We teach you how to cycle through these sources of uncertainty until the right pieces come together in an innovation.

Throughout the course, we build up the innovation process model step by step with real examples and exercises. The goal of this course is to change and refine the way you view the innovation process, providing you with the foundation on which to build your future innovation


Week 1:

  • Course Introduction
  • Definition of Innovation
  • The Three Basic Elements in the Innovation Process

Week 2:

  • An Historical Example of Innovation: The Development of the X-Ray

Week 3:

  • How do we define Technology?
  • Technology and the Innovation Process
  • Patent Searching

Week 4:

  • What is Market Application?
  • Market and the Innovation Process

Week 5:

  • What comprises Implementation?
  • Implementation and the Innovation Process
  • An Introduction to Patents
  • Evaluating a Patent Landscape

Week 6:

  • The Generic Nature of Innovation
  • The Interaction of Technology, Market and Implementation Components of an Innovation

Week 7:

  • Reducing Uncertainty in the Innovation Process
  • The Iterative Innovation Process

Week 8:

  • Fundamental and Incremental Innovation

Taught by

Eugene Fitzgerald and Andreas Wankerl


5.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

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  • Profile image for Pathomprichakul Apidchaya
    Pathomprichakul Apidchaya
    Having studied this course makes me found many new aspects of innovation. Without a technology background, I thought this course quite difficult for me. However, I gain more details about technology issue and making a balance between marketing and implementation. It helps me to plan the projects in my organisation more smoothly and clear. Thank you!!

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