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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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    « How to Think About the Cloud | Main | Apple: iCloud = Seamless Multi-Device Experience »

    June 02, 2011


    Patty Seybold

    Good points, Pete!

    I also LOVE the idea of PERSONAL music/movie licensing, rather than device-based. Let's add that to our collective Wish List!

    I agree that the rumoured server capabilities for Time Capsule will address my points 1, 2 & 3 brilliantly. If EACH of us has our own backups on our "personal clouds" and personal disks, then the issues about "where" my data resides go away..

    Also, of course, this is a key step in the direction that every family will want one in their home.. Apple takes over consumer market!

    Pete Horne

    I'm quite excited about the Apple re-definition of the cloud... I reckon it will go something like this:

    MS - you are a PC
    Google - you are a browser
    Apple - you are whatever you are doing right now.

    I also think 1) that server capabilities in time capsule would be brilliant as anyone with 7 apple computers on a home network knows that the first of the month is basically a network dead day when all the updates come out and 2) time capsule and apple TV will become one over time, and 3) the big change to licensing that will come from the apple cloud will be personal licensing rather than device licensing. This will change music/software models once again...

    The comments to this entry are closed.

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