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7 Examples of User Innovation

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User innovation is the idea that lead users of a product or service often innovate faster than the producer. The term suggests that firms should let users drive innovation as opposed to attempting to push innovation out from a lab. The following are illustrative examples.


An internet company takes computing hardware such as load balancers and commodity computers to create the first cloud infrastructure.


The first snowboard was created in 1965 by fastening two skis together. Many ski equipment manufacturers didn't produced snowboarding goods until the mid-1990s when they began to lose significant market share to snowboards.


The music industry was late to embrace digital music as many users converted their collections to MP3 in the 1990s before music was commonly sold in a digital format.


A mod of a video game may be so popular that it ends up driving the design of the game.

Consumer Electronics

Divers found ways to waterproof cameras before waterproof cameras were widely available.


Auto customization is a common hobby and small business that drives styling and technology trends that are carefully watched by auto manufacturers.


Diy street fashion is of significant interest to market research firms in the fashion industry.
Overview: User Innovation
Product or service innovation driven by users.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about innovation.
Business Models
Concept Testing
Cost Innovation
Crash Of Ineptitude
Design Thinking
Discontinuous Change
First Principles
Innovation Risk
Inventive Step
Latent Demand
Market Fit
Naive Innovation
Prior Art
Proof Of Concept
Speculative Design
Systems Thinking
Technology Winter
Throwaway Prototype
Trough Of Sorrow
Value Creation
More ...
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