Almost 30 years ago, researchers began a systematic study of innovation by end users and user firms. At that time, the phenomenon was generally regarded as a minor oddity. Today, it is clear that user-centered innovation is a very powerful and general phenomenon. It is rapidly growing due to continuing advances in computing and communication technologies. It is becoming both an important rival to and an important feedstock for manufacturer-centered innovation in many fields. In this article, I provide an overview of what the international research community now understands about user-centered innovation.
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