Friday, April 22, 2005

Innovation and invention

NY Times - Innovation Moves From the Laboratory to the Bike Trail and the Kitchen

"[A] lot of significant innovations do not come from people trying to figure out what customers may want. They come from the users themselves, who know exactly what they want but cannot get it in existing products ... Because users are often quite different from each other, their innovation, by definition, accommodates variety ... 'Users are designing exactly what they want for themselves; they have only a market of one to serve,' Professor von Hippel said in an interview. 'Manufacturers are trying to fit their existing investments and existing solution types to the largest market possible'."

Read Democratizing Innovation by Eric Von Hippel, MIT Press, 2005


Centre for the Study of Invention and Social Process, Department of Sociology, Goldsmiths College


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