Thursday, March 13, 2008

Commercializing Management Science

Universities around the world make some of their money by commercializing the results of their research. A professor has a scientific breakthrough, a grad student develops a technology based on that breakthrough, and a company spins off to commercialize that technology. It happens in the hard sciences all the time, so why not the soft sciences too?

Commercializing Management Science is how I've always thought about what I've been doing since business school. In recent years, the academic leaders of Innovation Science, a sub-field under Management Science, have produced scientific breakthroughs that have advanced our understanding of how innovation works. Professor Eric von Hippel discovered Lead User behavior, Professor Henry Chesbrough discovered the Open Innovation phenonmenon, and Professor Clayton Christensen discovered Disruption Theory and the Jobs-to-be-Done framework. These discoveries are the scientific underpinnings of the technology powering my company's products and I owe great thanks to these fathers of Innovation Science for their contributions. Thanks guys!

Soft sciences that focus on understanding human behaviour are gaining more and more credibility as legitimate scientific fields. I'm proud to be helping the cause by showing that these scientific fields also have technology based on their breakthroughs that can be commercialized and put to good use by industry.

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