“Open source technology and lead user innovation: two subjects very much in evidence across a diverse number of business sectors today. But how can they help companies grow, and what can we learn from the likes of open innovators ranging from small communities of windsurfers to digital giant Google?
Professor Eric von Hippel of MIT’s Sloan School of Management is known for pioneering research that has prompted a major rethinking of how the innovation process works. He is the originator of lead user theory and a leading voice on open methods of innovation development. Here he expounds on the benefits of open source technology, why users are at the center of the innovation process and how they can trigger major changes in both company business models and in government policymaking.”
Von Hippel is the T Wilson Professor of Innovation at Sloan and also a professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. His academic research examines the sources and economics of innovation. He has founded and participated in start-up firms and is a founder of the entrepreneurship program at MIT. His most recent book is Democratizing Innovation (MIT Press). In the spirit of openness, copies of this and of his earlier book Sources of Innovation (Oxford University Press) can be downloaded free of charge from his MIT web site.
(via Praveen Singh)