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Issue 23 | Citizen Innovator

By Eric Von Hippel
Published April 26, 2006 1:34 a.m.
Who knows the most about a product? The creator or the user? Take, for example, surfboards. There is a whole population of surfers whose everyday focus is to maximize their experience in taking a wave. The best experience is found using the best board. Thus, the experts are the users. Von Hippel shows us that across many industries, information technology especially, users are the best minds to influence change and advancement. User innovation benefits all and in his manifesto, Von Hippel shows us why. This manifesto has been adapted from the first chapter of Democratizing Innovation.

About Eric Von Hippel |

Eric Von Hippel is a professor and Head of the Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at MIT Sloan School of Management. Mr. Von Hippel is known for pioneering research that has shown how product "lead users" are often the developers of successful new products, rather than the manufacturers as has been commonly assumed. This research, along with that of collaborators and others, is now triggering a major rethinking of how the innovation process works. The emerging view that users are at the center of the innovation process promises to trigger major changes in company business models and also in government policymaking on innovation-related matters. Mr. Von Hippel has developed practical tools that enable product manufacturers to more efficiently participate in user-centered innovation processes.

This manifesto has been adapted from the first chapter of Democratizing Innovation.

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