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Dr. Eric von Hippel and Open Source Innovation
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By Tench Forbes

Posted May 28, 2013

The BPMA and the MIT Sloan Alumni Club will hold a Partner Event in June on Open Source Innovation with Dr. Eric von Hippel. This post provides some background information on Open Source Innovation, or how companies partner with their customers to create new products.

Category: Product Design & Development & Launch 

When Dr. von Hippel and his colleagues first wrote about customer driven innovation, many companies in multiple industries were facing increasing product development costs as their market segments were shrinking. Additionally, customers were increasingly asking for customized products that needed many iterations before finding a solution, or companies were using computer-based simulation and prototyping tools to develop new products. This trend in customer driven product development prompted Dr. von Hippel and his colleagues to initiate a body of knowledge focused on open innovation. More information on Dr. von Hippel and his tools for Open Source Innovation can be found at his MIT Webpage.

Now, Product Managers are under more pressure than ever to develop products faster and less expensively. The concept of customers developing their own product innovations, therefore, is accepted practice by many companies from finance to industrial manufacturing. In the NYT article, Seeing Customers as Partners in Invention, Mary Tripsas describes how 3M Company has made customer driven, open innovation a cornerstone of its new product development process. For information about some open innovation software tools, processes and risks, see Protecting the Cloud Based Collaboration that Drives Innovation by Todd Inskeep of Booz Hamilton.

Come to the BPMA-MIT Sloan joint event on June 20th to hear the latest thinking on open innovation, and how to incentivize customers to share this innovation by Dr. von Hippel. Registration information is available on the BPMA event page at:

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