Friday, March 15, 2013

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

Having enthused in a previous post about how much I enjoyed my first Coursera course, History of the World Since 1300, it's only fair to report that, like any university, there are good courses and bad courses at Coursera.  I put Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies, given by James Green of the University of Maryland in the latter category.  [Full disclosure: I teach a course called Managing Innovation in a couple of different MBA programs, and so I have strong views about the topic.]

The title of the course suggested it would be about innovation, but it was really about entrepreneurship.  The concepts in the course would be of some value to someone starting a business, but they would not enlighten one about how to undertake innovation.

The delivery style was plodding and studded with several annoying speech habits*.  The professor mostly read off very detailed slides in a slow monotonic voice and I was ever so glad of the Coursera feature that allows you to speed up the lecture to 1.5 times normal speed.  Even the navigation and exercises of the course were not as well thought out as other Coursera courses.  All in all, I don't recommend this course.

* many non-value-adding repetitions of 'with that', 'in that way', 'what that means', 'for that', 'within that' and so on.

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