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The Age of the Consumer-Innovator – The Magazine - MIT Sloan Management Review Recent research shows that consumers collectively generate massive amounts of product innovation. These findings are a wake-up call for both companies and consumers — and have significant implications for our understanding of new product development. It has long been assumed that companies develop new products for consumers, while consumers are passive recipients – buying and consuming what producers create. However, this paradigm is fundamentally flawed, because consumers themselves are a major source of product innovations. The authors have framed a new innovation paradigm, in which consumers and users play a central and active role in developing products on their own. In this article, they summarize key findings from studies on consumer product innovation conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan.
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