Portrait: Eric von Hippel, User Innovation, and FOSS

“The traditional concept of innovation, defined by Joseph
Schumpeter in 1934 in The Theory of Economic Development, is that
manufacturers are the ones who develop new products for users. By
contrast, von Hippel suggests that users can be a major source of
innovation. In fact, in some cases, such as the construction of
scientific instruments, users can be as responsible for as much as
80% of new products, although usually the percentage is much


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