Karl T. Ulrich is CIBC Endowed Professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches innovation, entrepreneurship, and design. His books include Product Design and Development, Innovation Tournaments, The Innovation Tournament Handbook, and Winning in China. At Wharton, he has won the Anvil Award, the Miller-Sherrerd Award, and the Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Ulrich is a prolific innovator and entrepreneur, holding 24 patents. He earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from MIT.

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  • Finding Content on This Site

    Most content here is a WordPress “post.” The exceptions are books and published articles, which are listed on dedicated pages you access directly via the main navigation menu. You can probably find the content you are looking for by searching using keywords. I’ve tagged most posts so that the search should work pretty well.

  • Competition and Product Strategy

    You may believe that you have identified a unique opportunity to create value with your new business. You’re probably mistaken about the unique part. Others have likely tried to do this job before, and some scrappy entrepreneurs just getting started elsewhere in the world probably share your hopes and dreams. Even if your insight is…

  • Upside Foods (fka Memphis Meats) (alternative protein) – Uma Valetti Interview

    Original Air Date: January 25, 2017

  • Boom Supersonic (aerospace) – Blake Scholl Interview

    Original air date: January 11, 2017

  • Cotopaxi (outdoor gear / apparel) – Davis Smith Interview

    Original air date: December 12, 2018

  • JUST ICE Tea – Eat The Change (food and beverage) – Seth Goldman Interview

    Original air date: October 25, 2022

  • Carrot Fertility (health) – Tammy Sun Interview

    original interview October 11, 2017

  • Understanding Customer Needs (Diamond 2)

    Let’s say I want to create a better eat-at-home meal solution for work-from-home professionals. That’s not really a strikingly novel problem. Indeed, food and beverage services are some of the oldest businesses in existence. I will face fierce competition to do the job. Why will customers choose my solution and not those of my competitors? …

  • Concept Development (Diamond 3)

    The triple diamond model is a user-centered approach to design and concept development. The first two diamonds really focus on better defining the “what” – who is our customer, what is the job to be done, and what needs are potentially most relevant to them. In this chapter, we turn to the “how”? Given an…

  • Assignment – Entrepreneurship Journal and Self Assessment

    You will keep a journal for the duration of this course. You will make entries in the week following each of the weekends in which we meet. The journal is for you. However, to maximize the learning across students in the course, you will post one reflection from your journal in the weekly discussion forum…

  • The Triple-Diamond Model of Design

    I’ve been a product designer my entire adult life. Here is one of the products I created, the Belle-V ice cream scoop. In full disclosure, I had a lot of help from a talented team. When people see the product they impute genius to the designer – wow, that’s amazing. How did you come up…

  • Opportunity Identification

    I’ve written a lot about opportunity identification in my books Product Design and Development, Innovation Tournaments, and The Innovation Tournament Handbook. The topic is also covered fairly extensively in the course OIDD 614 Innovation Management. Consider this chapter a quick summary of the big ideas in the context of identifying entrepreneurial opportunities. Often the Opportunity…

  • Flava Naturals (Nutraceuticals) – Alan Frost

    Original Air Date April 10, 2019

  • The Infatuation (restaurant info) – Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal

    Original Air Date: November 18, 2019

  • Frutero Ice Cream (food) – Mike Weber and Vedant Saboo

    Original Air Date – April 10, 2022

  • Rebellyous Foods (alternative protein) – Christie Legally

    Original Air Date – March 13, 2023

  • East JUST (food, alternative protein) – Josh Tetrick Interview

    Original air date May 13, 2023

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship

    It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy. Steve Jobs What is Entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship is the creation of a new economic entity to do a job in society. The hallmarks of entrepreneurship include a focus on solving a problem, creative exploration of solutions, experimentation to reduce uncertainty, formation and operation of…

  • TAM, SAM, SOM and the Beachhead Market

    Most investors agree that the two most important factors in a decision to invest are the market size and the quality of the team. This chapter focuses on market size. The most common ways to think about market size, and the estimates most institutional investors expect to see are: Some investors, advisors, and entrepreneurs (including…

  • Go-to-Market (GTM) System

    This little piggy went to market,This little piggy stayed home,This little piggy had roast beef,This little piggy had none.This little piggy went …Wee, wee, wee,all the way home! Mother Goose What is Go to Market? Go to Market or GTM is a term of art originally used in the enterprise software industry in Silicon Valley.…

  • Allocating Equity to Teams

    One of the most common challenges faced by founding teams is how to allocate equity in their enterprise. This is essentially equivalent to the challenge of how to value the different inputs required to create the product, service, or company. There are no predefined formulas, but basic economic logic applies here. This figure illustrates how…