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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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    « Best Practices/Take Aways from MIT User Innovation Lab Forum | Main | What's the Winning Formula for Unleashing Customer Innovation? »

    September 17, 2006



    This is a very good blog site, and from this I learned a lot of incredible knowledge and theory . The most unusual is that you share a lot of valuable information, which gives us a lot of help. Thank you !

    True Religion Outlet

    If we have thousands of scientists looking at a problem, the chances are better that one of them will take a bath." On the other hand, professional research scientists aren't exactly the teeming masses that the term "crowdsourcing" implies.

    Patty Seybold

    Thanks, Lionel,
    Yes, that's a helpful clarification! Can't wait to see this idea in action.. Pls. drop by to let us know when you're ready for prime time!


    Lionel DAVID

    Hello Patricia, sorry for having not answered you before as I did not notice your reply. your comment is right. In fact, we have 2 approach, the one that you mention: We sell the design to manufacturer. The second one is more ambitious as we'll jointly design the product with the Original Design Manufacturer (ODM). The products will then distribute and sale with our brand by using our network of distributor.
    Regarding your second point, this is clearly an alternative that we're looking for as well. In fact, in order to select the best product, we will ask people to invest money on the best product in order to finance the development. They will get a comfortable share of the revenue based on the product sales as a motivation for investing. This approach is similar to but we will restrict the list of products as we're not able to manufactur everything. Hope it clarifies a litte bit.

    Patty Seybold

    Sounds interesting... So, it sounds like you're going to create a venue for customers to suggest product designs they'd like to have manufactured, and for manufacturers to be able to "buy" these designs?

    Will you use the notion of having customers commit to buy as a way to prioritize and vet the customer created designs that Kohei Nishiyama at Elephant Design pioneered with his site and later with Muji in Japan?

    Lionel DAVID

    Hello, let me introduce my initiative which aims to make a revolution on the manufacturing industry. you dream about a product, post your idea, and you will get paid for it. Bookmark our interim blog( and you'll be able to join this promising communityr very soon.

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