User Product Innovation Examined @ MIT

12 07 2007

MIT, professor Eric von Hippel (author of Democratizing Innovation), and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration have created a paper repository for research in the examination of product co-creation as the driver of good product design.

Empirical research is finding that users rather than manufacturers are the actual developers of many or most new products and services, and that they are a major locus of innovative activity in the economy. This finding opens up new questions and avenues for exploration in fields ranging from economics to management of technology to organizational behaviour to marketing research. Examples are patterns in innovation by users, characteristics of innovating users, design of a user-centered innovation process, economics of a distributed innovation process that includes users as innovators, and social welfare implications of innovations by users.

Research papers cover:

  • Use of toolkits to integrate users into new product development
  • How virtual brand community emerges
  • Collective customer commitment, a new method to decrease the flop rate of new products
  • New modes of cooperation among users, retailers and manufacturers resulting from co-designing a customer-centric business strategy
  • Role of the user within a user co-design process
  • How users deal with “the invitation to innovate” and how attractive individual user designs might be to other users
  • Exploiting the value of lead user innovations for commercial advantage
  • How user involvement affects the originality of new service ideas
  • Benefit of involving users in suggesting new product ideas in an innovation project

Von Hipple presented this at MIT Sloan on “Developing Breakthrough Products & Services” specifically focusing on lead users.




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