Deliberate Innovation

Speaker: Merrick Furst , Georgia Tech

Date: Friday, February 07, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM to 1:45 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Public: Yes

Location: 32-D463 (Talk until 1:145pm; optional workshop until 2:30pm)

Event Type: Seminar

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Host: Daniel Jackson, CSAIL- MIT

Contact: Maria Rebelo, 617-253-5895,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: Deliberate Innovation

Beliefs on the subject of how successful innovations happen swing between two poles. On one end of the spectrum is the magic entrepreneur theory. Examples of successful innovators like Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk look like they have the Midas touch – something you can’t bottle. The other side believes in market research – form a theory then go out and talk to customers; build what they want.

People on both sides point to examples, but the truth is that both groups construct their views from whole cloth, and neither is able to produce reliable results. Whether you hitch your wagon to someone who looks like Midas or you talk to hundreds of customers and carefully A/B test everything in sight, your chance of getting from an initial idea to doing something that sustainably adds value to the world is dismal; clearly less than one in a hundred, and probably much less than one in a thousand. Innovation failure is the norm.

The scientific revolution hasn’t come to innovation and entrepreneurship. People somehow still think that innovation and entrepreneurship should be carried out in an improvisational way – come up with ideas, check them anecdotally, make products, and see what happens.

Let me share with you a different approach.


Dr. Merrick Furst is a Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and the Director of the Center for Deliberate Innovation at Georgia Tech. He founded Flashpoint@GT, a first-of-its-kind startup engineering studio that fostered the development of exceptional technology startups worth in aggregate over $2 billion. Merrick was the President of the International Computer Science Institute at Berkeley, and a professor and dean in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon. Merrick has worked with hundreds of founders and innovators. He and a group of permanent faculty fellows at the CDI are developing and applying the discipline of Deliberate Innovation.

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Created by Maria Rebelo Email at Tuesday, February 04, 2020 at 1:44 PM.