15.356 How to Develop "Breakthrough" Products and Services

Spring 2004

Bell curve showing lead users at the tip.
Because they need a solution sooner than most people, lead users have an incentive to create innovative products and services. (Image courtesy of Prof. Eric von Hippel and OCW.)

Course Highlights

15.356 offers videos of several course sessions, showing how this highly interactive class operates. The assignments page describes how students should approach writing their essays, which cover topics of their choosing.

Course Description

To prosper, firms must develop major product and service innovations. Often, though, they don't know how. Recent research into the innovation process has made it possible to develop "breakthroughs" systematically. 15.356 presents several practical concept development methods, such as the "Lead User Method," where manufacturers learn from innovative customers. Expert guest speakers present case studies that show the "art" required to implement a concept development method. 15.356 is a half-term subject.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .rm.

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Prof. Eric von Hippel

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session