12 October 2007

The Economist on open innovation

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Economist special survey on innovation
The Economist has published a good, and critical, overview article on open innovation – the notion of looking for bright ideas outside of an organisation – that also features Professor Eric von Hippel, head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The article is part of a special report on innovation published today in The Economist.

“Eric Von Hippel, of MIT, has long advocated user-driven innovation. He says you can see it all around you. Users who feel passionate about certain products often fiddle around with them because they fail to provide exactly what they want. It might be a mountain bike, a kayak or even a car. He reckons open innovation misses the point if it is not inspired by users, because companies are then “just talking about a market for intellectual property rights, it’s still the old model.”

Mr Von Hippel thinks that firms that are close to their lead users can come up with much better designs for new products and get them to market faster.”

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