My Photo


  • 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.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter


      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.
    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    « Why Microsoft Is Acquiring FAST | Main | Quick Takes on Consumer Electronics »

    January 14, 2008



    Really good article. I'm a student in Germany, working in CRM environment and starting to get familiar with the topics related to empowered user communities and open innovation platforms for my final thesis. I really like your thoughts and your easy & understandable way to transfer them. Thumbs up!


    Jon, I agree. A research community is not right for all brands. However it can be too easy to dismiss. I have found that many Marketing Managers are surprised at just how much their customers are interested in discussing their brand.

    Last week I introduced two marketeers at different firms to their respective facebook groups. They were very surprised at the level of engagement their brand had.

    An alternative to setting up and running your own online branded research community is to outsource it to a company like ours FreshNetworks Research Communities

    Jon Burg

    Love the post, and ideally sure, every brand should WANT a community, but how many brands have a sufficient pool of brand advocates or consumer with a strong brand affinity on which to build a community?

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Patricia Seybold Group Web Site

    RSS 2.0 Feeds
    PSGroup New Research
    Add the latest research to Google
    Add the latest research to My Yahoo!

    Your email address:

    Powered by FeedBlitz


    • Google Analytics for Blog
    Blog powered by Typepad