janewu (a) mit edu
100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142

Jane Wu

I am a PhD candidate at MIT Sloan interested in the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship and strategy.

My research broadly focuses on the role of metrics in shaping firm innovation. I also study the entrepreneurial strategy choices that high-growth startup founders encounter.

Prior to graduate school, I co-founded an education software startup (out of a leading Canadian entrepreneurship program and accelerator), worked in venture capital in Toronto and Boston, and conducted research at the Harvard Business School ISC.

I am currently on the job market, and interested in tenure-track positions in management departments.


"Foundations of Entrepreneurial Strategy" (with Joshua Gans and Scott Stern). 2019. Strategic Management Journal 40(5): 736-756.

Working Papers

"Nothing Happens in a Vacuum: Can a Dominant Metric Be Shifted?"

"Measuring Similarity Through Faces"

"Innovation for Dummies: Exploring the Role of Metrics in Automotive Safety"

[JMP - Click for Abstract] Metrics permeate our daily lives, yet we know surprisingly little about the crucial role they play in scientific and technological progress. This paper takes a first step at filling this void by exploring how metrics shape the rate and direction of innovation in firms. By taking advantage of a unique change in the US automobile industry, I estimate how the introduction of a novel metric for automotive safety (SID) influenced safety outcomes and firm performance. Using rich data on US vehicular accidents and car specifications, I find that the new metric significantly reduced fatalities, but did so disproportionately for occupants similar to SID. These two results were driven by different types of firms: while firms with pre-existing knowledge and strategic investments in safety were able to make improvements that benefited everyone, those without a history in safety ended up narrowly focusing on the metric. Taken together, these findings show that metrics can profoundly affect the innovation trajectories of firms, and that firms without ex-ante domain expertise may suffer from metric myopia. Moreover, the choices that firms make in response to a metric can, consciously or not, determine who benefits from innovation.

Other Writing

"Choosing a Customer" (with Joshua Gans and Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Note

"Beepi" (with Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Case

"Clover Food Labs" (with Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Case

"Bionym" (with Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Case

"Ministry of Supply" (with Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Case

"Avatech" (with Scott Stern). MIT Sloan Teaching Case

[All Cases Accessible Here]


I am enthusiastic about teaching courses in competitive strategy, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial strategy, innovation, and technology management.

I have experience working with undergraduate, MBA and executive level students, as well as running an Action Learning lab at MIT, which integrates classroom-based content with real-world startup experiences. I have also co-authored several business cases focused on the challenges that startup founders face, and developed complementary lectures and assignments.

Global Strategy, MIT Sloan Executive MBA
(TA for Hiram Samel, Rating = 6.65/7 and 6.73/7)

Competitive Strategy, MIT Sloan Executive MBA
(TA for Pierre Azoulay and Scott Stern, Rating = 6.0/7)

Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurial Advantage Lab, MIT Sloan EMBA
(TA for Fiona Murray and Phil Budden, Rating = 6.72/7 and 6.52/7)

Innovation Driven Advantage, MIT Sloan Fellows
(TA for Scott Stern and Erin Scott, Rating = 4.8/7)

Introduction to Technological Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan MBA
(TA for Scott Stern, Rating = 6.5/7)

Product and Service Development in the Internet Age, MIT Sloan MBA and Undergraduate
(TA for Eric von Hippel, Rating = 6.3/7 and 6.5/7)

If you've made it this far, check out these neat metrics: smoot, kilo-girl and micromort.