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The Iterative Innovation Process


Experience the iterative innovation process and learn how you can use this process to develop your own innovative ideas.

MIT Online Course Highlights
  • weeks long
  • 4-6 hours a week
  • FREE, Upgradable
  • Self-Paced
  • Taught by: Eugene Fitzgerald, Andreas Wankerl, Arne Hessenbruch, Jessica Sandland
  • View Course Syllabus


Online Course Details:


.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

What you’ll learn

  • The iterative innovation process
  • The interconnection of Markets, Implementation, and Technology
  • How to research and develop a Technology, Market, and Implementation universe for an innovative idea
  • How to research and assess areas of uncertainty


Week 1:

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

Week 2:

  • A 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 the 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

Take This Online Course