Innovation as Consumption

Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency

Christoph Hienerth, Eric von Hippel, Morten Berg Jensen

    Research output: Working paperResearch

    Abstract

    In this paper we report upon a first empirical exploration of the relative efficiency of innovation development by product users vs. product producers. In a study of over 50 years of product innovation in the whitewater kayaking field, we find users in aggregate were approximately 3X more efficient at developing important kayaking product innovations than were producers in aggregate. We speculate that this result is driven by what we term “efficiencies of scope” in problem-solving. These can favor an aggregation of many user innovators, each spending a little, over fewer producer innovators benefitting from higher economies of scale in product development. We also note that the present study explores only one initial point on what is likely to be a complex efficiency landscape.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationCambridge
    PublisherMIT Sloan School of Management
    Number of pages30
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • User Innovation

    Cite this

    Hienerth, C., von Hippel, E., & Jensen, M. B. (2011). Innovation as Consumption: Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency. Cambridge: MIT Sloan School of Management.
    Hienerth, Christoph ; von Hippel, Eric ; Jensen, Morten Berg. / Innovation as Consumption : Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency. Cambridge : MIT Sloan School of Management, 2011.
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    Hienerth, C, von Hippel, E & Jensen, MB 2011 'Innovation as Consumption: Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency' MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge.

    Innovation as Consumption : Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency. / Hienerth, Christoph; von Hippel, Eric; Jensen, Morten Berg.

    Cambridge : MIT Sloan School of Management, 2011.

    Research output: Working paperResearch

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    T1 - Innovation as Consumption

    T2 - Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency

    AU - Hienerth, Christoph

    AU - von Hippel, Eric

    AU - Jensen, Morten Berg

    N1 - MIT Sloan School of Management Working Paper 4926-11

    PY - 2011

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    AB - In this paper we report upon a first empirical exploration of the relative efficiency of innovation development by product users vs. product producers. In a study of over 50 years of product innovation in the whitewater kayaking field, we find users in aggregate were approximately 3X more efficient at developing important kayaking product innovations than were producers in aggregate. We speculate that this result is driven by what we term “efficiencies of scope” in problem-solving. These can favor an aggregation of many user innovators, each spending a little, over fewer producer innovators benefitting from higher economies of scale in product development. We also note that the present study explores only one initial point on what is likely to be a complex efficiency landscape.

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    Hienerth C, von Hippel E, Jensen MB. Innovation as Consumption: Analysis of Consumers' Innovation Efficiency. Cambridge: MIT Sloan School of Management. 2011.