DIFFUSION OF USER DEVELOPED INNOVATIONS

The dissemination of user-developed innovations is essential if conclusive outcomes and added value products are pursued. Knowledge sharing and the construction of ideas under similar and complementary backgrounds avoids not only resources spare by different inventors but also allows the creation of more complete products that can effectively respond to the needs felt by the consumers. The passage to product development and manufacture raises several questions, namely, the importance of interacting with strategic partners and supporters that allow the achievement of economies of scale during product production and distribution. When talking in physical products, the prototype phase, foreseen by idea generation, is of greater importance. The results achieved in this phase, which expresses the feasibility of ideas, are crucial and have to be strategically thought in order to effectively foster the creation and development of new products.

At this point it’s important to explore Von Hippel’s (2004) question of “how can or should user innovation be transferred to manufacturers for large scale diffusion?”. According to this author there are three possible methods. Two methods are based on manufacture’s willingness to support and actively seek for user innovations. They can search for product developments that according to their market perspective can became profitable commercial products, or they can promote user interaction through the provision of toolkits for user innovation. A third hypothesis explores the possibility of users becoming manufacturers.

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