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Democratizing Innovation Hardcover – Apr 1 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (April 1 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262002744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262002745
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 16 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,307,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When I say that innovation is being democratized, I mean that users of products and services-both firms and individual consumers-are increasingly able to innovate for themselves. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 23 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
More than another open innovation book April 9 2005
By Frank Piller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book beyond the typical managerial how-to-do checklists. This is the reason why I recommend this book especially to managers and practitioners (innovation management researchers will read the book anyway as Eric von Hippel is one of the leading scholars in this field). Managers may find the book, on a first glance, academic, full with tables, numbers and references. But von Hippel is driven throughout his book by the motivation to present not only a fascinating new idea, but to show that this idea is already a reality and that there is empirical evidence that his concepts provide value for companies and customers. This is the main difference to other books in the area which present various fuzzy weak signals but no proof.

Von Hippel's book goes also beyond the open innovation idea of Chesbrough and others as mentioned by the first reviewer. Chesbrough names a lot of important actors in the innovation process, but neglects the - in my opinion - most important one: the customer or user of the innovation. Von Hippel starts exactly here. His approach is focused on the role of users and customers for the innovation process. In this regard, he builds on his earlier word of the 1970s and 1980s, but has a new story to tell: that user innovation is not only changing the corporate innovation process but also the nature of value creation: If manufacturing is outsourced to Asia, and users take over innovation (and perform this process superior to internal innovation processes), what is left for the corporation?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
State-of-the-art May 5 2005
By Nils Eule - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book comprises an outstanding publication in the field of innovation management. It has the potential of becoming the central textbook in the field of user-centered innovation which is an increasingly important research area.

The objective of this book is to provide a state-of-the-art overview of research in the field of user innovation. Also, it aims to show how the different (so far more or less isolated) aspects are related. These are ambitious goals.

From my perspective, the manuscript fully meets them. It offers a profound, concise and easy to read overview of the research done in the past decade. Its outstanding quality is that it manages to relate different aspects in an innovative way and shows the rationale of the research field. It delivers new insights even to a researcher active in this field for some years now.

The book it interesting for a broad audience. It is stimulating even for a specialist in this field. But of course, the main audience is much broader. It should be of interest for scholars and students in the fields of innovation management, new product development, market research, economics and other. It will be of interest also for practitioners and policy makers in the corresponding areas.

I really like the many easy-to-understand examples and its conciseness. One does not necessarily have to have an understanding of the research field before in order to learn from the book (and enjoy it!).
35 of 44 people found the following review helpful
the editor was asleep March 18 2005
By S. M. Felton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I have been for most of my working career a "practitioner," that is someone in business struggling to out-innovate current or future competition. Von Hipple's earlier book, "The Sources of Innovation," back in 1988, was a pathfinding work and got many of us to look more closely at "lead custoners and users" for new ideas and innovations. They were a great source!

In recent years, a new concept, "open market innovation," has helped many of us go beyond our corporate walls to the outside world for new ideas and innovations in designated fields, primarily using the Internet to help cast our net widely.

Proctor & Gamble, for example, help to pioneer this concept, starting in 2000. In 2003, Henry Chesbrough's book, "Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology," went into some detail telling us how to use the concept to improve the flow of worthwhile ideas. His book was followed by C. K. Prahalad, Venkat Ramaswamy's work,

"The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers.

Yet, for some reason von Hipple makes no mention of the Open Market Innovation concept to help cast a net to early adopters and way, way beyond. I wonder why? Certainly, he's not that far out of touch.

But more fundamentally, von Hipple's book is too academic - perhaps written more for an academic audience than practitioners who should be interested in applying his ideas in practice. Perhaps his editor was asleep, or couldn't quite figure out what he was trying to say.

In spite of this drawback, I recomment his book. Perhaps senior executives will give a copy to a junior worker and ask him/her to translate it and recommend what their company should do.

Sam Felton
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great ideas on innovation March 28 2006
By SDM Matt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a great read, especially for someone who has not been taught about user innovation and who questions the open source business model. Von Hippel is a pioneer when it comes to user innovation. If you thought that companies come up with winning ideas, or that the only way to make any money on a great idea is to patent it then this book will open your eyes to a much greater world. The concepts of free revealing (vs. IP) and of lead user (vs. manufacturer) innovation are great. It goes deeping into the idea that information is sticky and cannot be communicated from users to engineers very easily, even in consumer focus groups. Also discussed is the opportunity to create a toolkit to allow users to do the development work for you. This book is truly outstanding.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Needed more editing Dec 12 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The concept behind this book is exciting. The first few chapters were well worth the read. Then it felt like a diet book where it is making the same point again and again to prove there is something behind the theory.

What this book is: A good description as to how the customer/innovator symbiotic relationship propels inovation.

What this book isn't: I just didn't need to be as long as it is. The point could have been made in 2/3s of the length. The repetition made it a far more academic book than the other writing style.

This book is one of those where it is worth reading the first third to half and then the final chapter. It is worth reading, but not every page.

Neil


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