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  • What is Outside Innovation?
    It’s when customers lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models. It’s when customers roll up their sleeves to co-design their products and your business. It’s when customers attract other customers to build a vital customer-centric ecosystem around your products and services. The good news is that customer-led innovation is one of the most predictably successful innovation processes. The bad news is that many managers and executives don’t yet believe in it. Today, that’s their loss. Ultimately, it may be their downfall.

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      Eric von Hippel coined the term "lead users" to describe a group of both customers and non-customers who are passionate about getting certain things accomplished. They may not know or care about the products or services you offer. But they do care about their project or need. Lead users have already explored innovative ways to get things done. They're usually willing to share their approaches with others.
      I use the term "lead customers" to describe the small percentage of your current customers who are truly innovative. These may not be your most vocal customers, your most profitable customers, or your largest customers. But they are the customers who care deeply about the way in which your products or services could help them achieve something they care about.
      We’ve spent the last 25 years identifying, interviewing, selecting, and grouping customers together to participate in our Customer Scenario® Mapping sessions. Over the years, we’ve learned how to identify the people who will contribute the most to a customer co-design session. These are the same kinds of people you should be recruiting when you set out to harness customer-led innovation.
      You no longer win by having the smartest engineers and scientists; you win by having the smartest customers!
      In more than 25 years of business strategy consulting, we’ve found that customer co-design is a woefully under-used capability.
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    « Has Your Firm Adapted to the Blurred Boundary between the Internet and Your Products and Services? | Main | Back to School at the African Rural University for Women »

    August 30, 2007


    labview programming

    Let me clarify my point on LabVIEW and touch ready...
    I mean that the concept of direct manipulation in LabVIEW,
    of picking blocks and placing them and then wiring them together is more amenable to "touch-based development" than using a touch-based text editor to write code.
    I am optimistic, that for many use cases, developing code on a pure touch interface with LabVIEW will be preferable to mouse and keyboard

    Scott Jordan

    Patty, I spotlighted a few of your comments in my own blog post:

    Scott Jordan

    Thank you, Patty, for this insightful and detailed post. I enjoyed serving with you on the NI Week "Industry Experts" panel on Breakthrough Innovations, and learning more about your work with organizations seeking to optimize the innovation process by putting the customer in the driver's seat.

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