Patty’s book-in-progress is titled Outside Innovation. Outside Innovation is all about customer-led innovation, which Patty describes in her new blog as “…the innovation that will keep you ahead of the curve forever”.
In Patty’s Early Book Fodder post she defines customer innovation as follows:
What is customer innovation? It’s when customers lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models. It’s when customers roll up their sleeves to co-design their products and your business. It’s when customers attract customers to build a customer-centric ecosystem around your products and services. It’s big business. It’s inevitable. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s dangerous to your business if you’re not prepared.
For a point of clarity, when Patty says “customer”, she doesn’t limit the definition of customer to a person paying for a product or service. Customer also includes consumers of a product or service, such as people who search using Google, or
readers of a public blog.
In a follow-up post she outlines 12 Roles Customers Play in Innovation:
- Builders—Build their products on top of your products
- Change Agents—Change your business models
- Co-Designers—Co-Design their/your business processes
- Contributors—Contribute their products, solutions, ratings, and intellectual property to other customers
- Collaborators—Build on other customers’ designs to create new designs/products and make them available to others
- Creators—Create their own new products with your help
- Customizers—Configure their own products
- Inventors—Invent new products for you to sell
- Market Makers—Play a key role in evolving the design of your market and/or ecosystem
- Problem Solvers—Solve each others’ problems
- Promoters—Select and promote products for you
- Providers—Provide their stuff for you to offer and sell
As is Patty’s practice, the book will interweave business theory and real world examples: case studies, anecdotes, best practices, and mistakes to avoid.
How You Can Participate
A. Provide Insight on Open Source Contribution, Projects and Benefits. An important area of customer-led innovation Patty will be exploring in the book (with an assist from me) is the open source movement. Our current thinking has us looking at open source from three perspectives: contributor, community/project, and broad software market effects. I think (at least) 6 of the customer innovation roles (above) apply: builders, contributors, collaborators, market makers, problem solvers, and promoters.
So, here’s your part…Since my readers are active in open source (contributors, consumers, suppliers) I’m hoping you can take some time to comment on any (or all) of the following. If you’d rather not comment publicly, send me an email: bmichelson at psgroup dot com.
My Questions for Readers:
1. What open source project(s) have you contributed to? What was your role? Why did you choose to contribute? What did you gain? What (if anything) did you lose?
2. What open source project(s) have you consumed? Was it for personal, enterprise IT, or commercial software development use? What did you gain? What did you lose?
3. What open source project(s) have a really good story as it relates to customer-led innovation?
4. What do you like/dislike about the ‘commercialization of open source’?
5. Anything else you’d like to share?
B. Check out Patty’s Outside Innovation Blog. Interact with her. As she states:
Give me your examples of customer-led innovation and customer co-design. Argue with my premises. Help me shape my next book. Become an active contributor!
But before you go over there, help me here! Thanks!