Friday, July 07, 2006

User driven innovation and Karim Lakhani

Recently I poo-pooed the "dawn of emergent collaboration" (a phenomenon older than civilization) and said I was much more excited about the resurgence of "user-driven technical invention."

Today I discovered the UserInnovation web community led by Karim Lakhani, who recently graduated from MIT and joined the Harvard Business School faculty. The welcome page of UserInnovation states:
"Empirical research is finding that users rather than manufacturers are the actual developers of many or most new products and services – and that they are a major locus of innovative activity in the economy. This finding opens up new questions and avenues for exploration in fields ranging from economics to management of technology to organizational behaviour to marketing research. Examples are patterns in innovation by users, characteristics of innovating users, design of a user-centered innovation process, economics of a distributed innovation process that includes users as innovators, and social welfare implications of innovations by users.

"We have set up this website to provide a convenient repository for papers on topics related to innovation by users. Our goal is to establish a community in which research information related to the topic of user innovation can be freely exchanged."
Thanks to Bob Wolf for introducing me to the work of Karim Lakhani.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License and is copyrighted (c) 2006 by Connective Associates except where otherwise noted.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Even without going to the Innovation by Users web site the concept makes perfect sense to me. I've had a similar discussion in statistics courses this summer. For all the non-stats majors (me included) the idea of learning SAS seems out of touch with how we will eventually work. However, learning to do basic statistics with Excel seems worth exploring. As I understand Excel will do ANOVA. Everyone has Excel, but few will leave the required stats-major-designed courses and use SAS in the workplace, especially since many of us will work in the corporate realm. (This is at the PhD level) If the stats courses required for non-stats majors were more responsive to how we will actually work in the future the classes might be more relevent and useful, possibly even more interesting. As it is, they are just a lot of work, confusing, and something to just struggle through. It's a shame they are not more responsive to the learners' actual future needs.