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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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    « What Frightened Customers Want to Hear | Main | Opportunities to Improve Customer Experience While Cutting Costs »

    September 24, 2008


    Stan Wiechers

    Very nice review! We also did some other physical hyperlinking projects:


    Commercial Tracking:

    John Dodds

    QR was used last year in London to advertise the movie Sunshine via a billboard-size poster in one of the geekier areas of town.


    Hi there,
    Semapedia is really nice to share already existing content about places and objects. But you can also generate mobile tags for your 'private' use (if you want to share your blog, music, vCard, pictures, social network profile etc) at

    You can create Codes and print them on shirts, caps and other apparel. If you don't like the content of your Code anymore, just change it on the website as it dynamically determined, based on your settings. The Codes are easily created and can be read by all QR Code readers that allow opening URLs (which are ALL of them :) ).


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