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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Innovations by users are an old phenomenon that has been gaining much momentum in the Internet age. Creative users are now connected and the exchange of innovation-relevant information is easy and cheap. This chapter explains why users innovate, how they organize, and why they are often willing to share their innovative outcome with other users and also with companies. Then, the three essential methods how companies can benefit from user innovativeness are discussed: (a) The lead user method that enables companies to search for particularly attractive user innovations and identify radically new business opportunities, (b) toolkits for user innovation and design that allow individual users to self-design their own individual product according to their individual preferences, and (c) crowdsourcing, open on-line calls for solutions to a specific problem the company faces.

Keywords: user innovation, open innovation, lead user, toolkits for user innovation and design, crowdsourcing

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