Course Details

Course Number: 95-723

Managing Disruptive Technologies

Units: 12

We live in a rapidly changing world dominated by technology-enabled disruptions. As a consequence, there is a strong need for individuals who understand the nature of these innovations and how they affect markets. In line with this need, this course is about understanding disruption from both a technical and a managerial point of view. The course will focus on understanding the differentiation between incremental and revolutionary innovations. Students will study some of the technologies behind these innovations and their implications for business models and for the geometry of markets. This course will combine a number of lectures introducing fundamental concepts of economics and management applied to technology-enabled markets, such as network externalities, two-sided markets, first mover advantage and two-part tariff pricing models. This will be supplemented by case studies looking at specific real world companies such as Facebook, e-Bay, Akamai and Hulu focusing on innovative technologies like the Internet, content distribution networks, virtualization, mobile-payments and cloud computing. Students will learn how to anticipate disruptive technologies and will be exposed to frameworks and tools to characterize and manage these technologies in the workplace. The course will also include a number of invited lectures by prominent speakers from the industry and academia.

Learning Objectives:

The course has four primary learning objectives.
1. Learning frameworks to differentiate between disruptive and incremental innovations by examining market and technological forces.
2. Learning about economic frameworks to evaluate how these innovations bring about changes in the market by altering its geometry and/or by prompting new business models.
3. Ability to identify disruptive innovations and predict their impact on different markets. A secondary goal is to identify market gaps and develop technological innovations that can address these gaps.
4. Ability to assimilate prior coursework on programming, economics and statistics and apply all their learning in specific real world contexts.


95-710 Economic Analysis 6 Credits

Vibhanshu Abhishek
Pedro Ferreira