Eric von Hippel

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ARvH DvH JRJ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The research reported on in this book spans a period of twelve years. In that time I have been helped by many colleagues, students, innovators, and research sponsors. I have striven to make the research and this book worthy of the generous help I have been given. for giving me many valuable comments as the research proceeded. I(More)
Accurate marketing research depends on accurate user judgments regarding their needs. However, for very novel products or in product categories characterized by rapid change such as "high technology" products most potential users will not have the real-world experience needed to problem solve and provide accurate data to inquiring market researchers. In(More)
In the traditional new product development process, manufacturers first explore user needs and then develop responsive products. Developing an accurate understanding of user needs is not simple or fast or cheap however, and the traditional approach is coming under increasing strain as user needs change more rapidly, and as firms increasingly seek to serve(More)
Traditional idea generation techniques based on customer input usually collect information on new product needs from a random or typical set of customers. The “lead user process” takes a different approach. It collects information about both needs and solutions from users at the leading edges of the target market, as well as from users in other markets that(More)
Innovation development, production, distribution and consumption networks can be built up horizontally – with actors consisting only of innovation users (more precisely, “user/self-manufacturers”). Some open source software projects are examples of such networks, and examples can be found in the case of physical products as well. In this paper we discuss(More)
Informal" know-how trading is the extensive exchange of proprietary know-how by informal networks of process engineers in rival (and non-rival) firms. I have observed such know-how trading networks to be very active in the US steel minimill industry and elsewhere, and they appear to represent a novel form of cooperative R&D. When one examines informal(More)
Currently two models of innovation are prevalent in organization science. The "private investment" model assumes returns to the innovator results from private goods and efficient regimes of intellectual property protection. The "collective action" model assumes that under conditions of market failure, innovators collaborate in order to produce a public(More)
Empirical studies of innovation have found that end users frequently develop important product and process innovations. Defying conventional wisdom on the negative effects of uncompensated spillovers, innovative users also often openly reveal their innovations to competing users and to manufacturers. Rival users are thus in a position to reproduce the(More)
In this paper we model the pathways commonly traversed as user innovations are transformed into commercial products. First, one or more users recognize a new set of design possibilities and begin to innovate. They then join into communities, motivated by the increased efficiency of collective innovation. User-manufacturers then emerge, using high variable(More)