This month's Academic Focus features Professor John Hauser and the highly-regarded team at MIT. Perhaps no other university in the world stands for innovation as much as this one. MIT is an innovation powerhouse because of the way the faculty looks at innovation through multiple lens and collaborative approaches. MIT is great blend of innovation research, technology research, and commercialization research.
Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation by Dr. James Utterback is an innovation classic. It describes how technologies and industries in the past have evolved over time, usually resulting in the large, established firm losing out to the smaller startups. Looking forward, I have no doubt his models and insights will be used to explain the evolution of firms and industries with us today. "A major work that will be cited for decades," says Professor James Brian Quinn at Dartmouth. I predict a much longer time frame than decades.
Innovation is anything that is new, useful, and surprising. "Surprising" means that the idea makes you slap your forehead and say, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?"
Here's a great example. Researchers at the MIT Media Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a new display technology that automatically corrects for vision defects — no glasses (or contact lenses) required. It is a classic and clever example of the Divison Technique, one of the five techniques in Systematic Inventive Thinking.
On December 3, 2014, the first session of the Entrepreneurship Educators Forum Webinar Series took place. The vision for the project is to create a meeting place for the community to discuss the challenges of teaching entrepreneurship, and to build an open-source platform that will enable us to collect, curate and share knowledge, teaching materials and tools that will help us guide our students effectively. Bill Aulet opened the session with a review of a roadmap for entrepreneurship education at MIT that divides the process into three main stages – nucleation, product definition and venture development.