Eric von Hippel

Eric von Hippel

Lead Instructor, Entrepreneurship and Product Innovation via the Lead User Method
Professor of Management of Innovation and Engineering Systems, MIT Sloan School of Management

The T. Wilson (1953) Professor of Management of Innovation and Engineering Systems at MIT Sloan School of Management, Professor Eric von Hippel’s research focuses on patterns of innovation across industries. Author of eight books and numerous articles, he has spent his career investigating the impact of user innovation communities on product development—a topic he explores in-depth in Democratizing Innovation (MIT Press, 2005). In his most recent book, Free Innovation (MIT Press, 2017), he examines the phenomenon of consumers giving away their designs for free, and the positive impact this can have on social welfare.

Professor von Hippel’s current work focuses on the nature and economics of distributed and free innovation. He also develops and teaches practical methods that individuals, open user communities, and organizations can use to enhance innovation processes. He holds a BA in economics from Harvard College, an SM in mechanical engineering from MIT, and a PhD in business and engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.