Innovation of Products and Services: MIT’s Approach to Design Thinking

Winning companies, such as Apple, Virgin, Toyota and others, innovate continuously because of their culture of design thinking—integrating the needs of people, the possibilities of technology and the requirements for business success. In this course, you will learn how to take a similar approach in your own business—blending the perspectives of marketing, design and engineering into a systematic approach to delivering innovation.


As a core part of the course, students participate in a team-based concept development project assignment. This project, focused on opportunity evaluation and concept development, is integrated into all course modules.


At the end of this course, participants will learn to:

  • Understand the design thinking process
  • Identify and assess customer opportunities
  • Generate and evaluate new product and service concepts
  • Design services and customer experiences
  • Evaluate product development economics

Duration and Course Fees

  • Starts 29 May 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 - 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1,400


Steve D. Eppinger

General Motors LGO Professor of Management

Course Highlights

  • 62Video Lectures
  • 4Case Studies
  • 4Individual Assignments +2 Optional
  • 1Capstone Project
  • 4Discussions
  • 4Real-World Applications



a)Read: Design Thinking by Tim Brown (Harvard Business Review)



a)Three innovation challenges

– People desirability

– Business viability

– Technical feasibility

b) Example of three innovations challenges:




c) IDEO’s Systematic Innovation Process



a) Applying three innovation challenges model to a business/product/service


a) Product development process

b) Concept development process

c) User innovation application

d) Customer needs and markets

e) Lead user example – utility light study

f) Customer needs analysis process steps – NEST

g) Five guidelines for writing need statements


a) Real-life application: Identify a product or service that meets a customer need

b) Real-world group project: Select the top-ranked ideas of your team and work on the following:

– Opportunity evaluation and concept development

– Identify needs for your project idea

– Receive reviews by other team members


a) Invention, innovation, and creativity

b) Example: YCC concept car

c) Great ideas

d) Brainstorming common rules

e) Research on brainstorming and creativity

f) Concept sketches and sketch modeling

g) Concept generation process

h) External and internal search – brainstorming

i) Concept generation – example of combining ideas

j) Concept of down selection



a) Decompose project idea into key elements

b) Real-world group project: Develop a solution concept


a) The difference between goods and services

b) Services innovation at Bank of America

c) Services experience cycles

d) Examples of services experience cycle:

– Movie theatre example

– Zipcar



a) Decompose the movie theatre example

b) Real-world group project:

– Analysis and concept development

– Map out the customer experience cycle for your project idea

– Think of innovation opportunities that stem from that cycle


a) Introduction to product development economics

b) Thought experiment and product d evelopment cash-flow

c) PD project financial marketing

d) NPV and Nespresso example

e) Nespresso example:

– The numbers for machines and capsules

– Model uncertainty

f) Spreadsheet modeling – how much more do we need to sell to recover recycling program?

– Put several worst cases and see what happen to NPV

– Put in best cases and see what happens to NPV

g) Debrief on the above discussions



a) Analyze the Nespresso case from a financial perspective exercise: Make a decision if Nespresso should undertake the recycling initiative based on how their marketing costs for recycling might change

b) Real-world group project: Complete report factoring in any additional financial analysis you have learnt


a) Design for environment (DFE) principles

b) Making good DFE decisions

c) Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

– Environmental impacts

– Product Life Cycle

d) The Herman Miller story – how they have woven DFE into their product design and development processes, and still going strong



a) Exercises on DFE and LCA applications for a specific chosen product – optional

b) Real-world group project – Final project wrap-up based on a fair assessment of all factors in the RWW model. The project teams make the decision about ‘go/no go’ of their project idea with rationale and recommendations


Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Capital

  • Global Business Education
  • Rigorous and experiential curriculum
  • World-renowned faculty
  • Globally Connected Classroom: Peer to Peer Learning Circles
  • Action Learning: Learning by Doing


Brand Capital

  • Certificate from EMERITUS in collaboration with MIT Sloan


Social Capital

  • Build new networks through peer
  • Benefit from diverse class profiles


Career Capital

  • Professional Acceleration through
    our enriched leadership toolkit
  • Learn while you earn
  • Get noticed. Get ahead.

Duration and Course Fee

  • Starts 29 May 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 – 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1,400

Steve D. Eppinger

General Motors LGO Professor of Management

Duration and Course Fees

  • Starts 29 May 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 - 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1,400


Steve D. Eppinger

General Motors LGO Professor of Management

Other Programs

Global Ivy Emeritus Institute of Management