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Customers increasingly drive firms' innovations Answered

Instructables got a nice mention in an article about customer innovation by the Columbia Tribune.

Customers increasingly drive firms' innovations
by Mary Paulsell

How many times have you complained about a product or service and then dismissed your unhappiness with a shrug and a comment: "If they had asked me about this, I could have told them ... but, well, they didn't ask me."

Well, they're starting to.

Consumer-driven innovation - or simply asking what customers want - has gained traction in recent years. Seems rather obvious, doesn't it? But for many decades, consumer goods and services were designed around what company executives and business owners thought we wanted.

Now, not only are they asking us more about what we want, in many cases they are asking us to design products ourselves, often taking the old-fashioned focus group into the new technological age using online communities and social networking.


Another very fun site is Instructables.com, where participants have formed a community to share ideas about customizing and improving upon common products. The CEO of Instructables is an MIT graduate who studied under a fellow named Eric von Hippel, who is the guru in the field known as democratized innovation - the bottom-up method of product development and improvement.

More news and press about Instructables here.



10 years ago

LOL - I didn't know you had a guru. Shouldn't your hair be longer?


10 years ago

Another little mention, this is an interesting article, one thing that always bugged me is that average people don't exist, or maybe one does, the exactly middle person, however products by people means that they're going to be what we want, or at least what more want... I'd love to design an iPhone, Imagine the fun to be had in that, or a rival, however asking what people want from it would mean building it about the size of a portapotty...