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Unformatted text preview: Part 1: Identification and Significance of the Innovation Businesses have always asked their consumers to make contributions to their success. Focus groups, customer surveys, and complaints are all used by companies to improve products and services, and design and develop new ones. Despite enormous amounts being spent on market research that is supposed to be the foundation for new product success the probability of product or business success appears very limited. (e.g., Urban, 2005). Now however we see user contributions fueling the growth of even the most advanced companies by systematically helping a company build their business. In most instances the people making the contribution are not paid (although some contributions can be rewarded in the form off a contest with a prize) but the businesses that collect the information make money by developing an idea into a business profit center. The proposed research will “prove” the concept of consumer generated contributions. The research will use an available community based software platform to test whether competitive user generated ideas are superior to ideas generated by more traditional methods. A common “recipe driven” platform to drive user generated ideas would allow businesses who do not have the resources to accomplish this to build their business using a technique that seems to be the province of larger more established businesses that have greater expertise and resources. The availability of this user generated idea platform is not a minor matter since economic competitiveness relies on constantly creating better ideas, products, and services. Most businesses do not completely understand the “power of the people”. If they did, we would see many more instances of user generated power in the development and creation of products and services. This could either be because the executives running companies do not see the opportunity or they see the opportunity and do not have a clear and accessible platform from which to structure a user generated competition. But first it is important to understand that although we can point to many examples of user generated contribution we cannot state with any degree of empirical certainty that user generated contribution really makes a difference. The concept simply has not been proven although there is theoretical reason to believe that this should work. Although we have anecdotal evidence that user generated content can lower costs and improve products it does not mean that it does. It is somewhat surprising given the popularity of user generated content across a range of industries there is very little empirical evidence that user generated content is effective. Recent literature suggests that “we” need to find ways to open the innovation process to external sources (not simply customers or employees) (e.g., von Hipplel, 2005). Von Hippel and his colleagues have been particularly effective in identifying users as “originators” of many innovations in different industries (von Hippel, 1976; Urban & von Hippel, 1988;...
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This note was uploaded on 02/22/2012 for the course CSR 309 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.
- Fall '08