Free Innovation

by Eric von Hippel

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Book Description

Free innovation is already widespread in national economies and is steadily increasing in both scale and scope. Today, tens of millions of consumers are collectively spending tens of billions of dollars annually on innovation development. However, because free innovations are developed during consumers' unpaid, discretionary time and are given away rather than sold, their collective impact and value have until very recently been hidden from view. This has caused researchers, governments, and firms to focus too much on the Schumpeterian idea of innovation as a producer-dominated activity.

Free innovation has both advantages and drawbacks. Because free innovators are self-rewarded by such factors as personal utility, learning, and fun, they often pioneer new areas before producers see commercial potential. At the same time, because they give away their innovations, free innovators generally have very little incentive to invest in diffusing what they create, which reduces the social value of their efforts.

The best solution, von Hippel and his colleagues argue, is a division of labor between free innovators and producers, enabling each to do what they do best. The result will be both increased producer profits and increased social welfare - a gain for all.

This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND). You can download Free Innovation ebook for free in PDF format (4.1 MB).

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Overview of Free Innovation
 
Chapter 2
Evidence for Free Innovation
 
Chapter 3
Viability Zones for Free Innovation
 
Chapter 4
Pioneering by Free Innovators
 
Chapter 5
Diffusion Shortfall in Free Innovation
 
Chapter 6
Division of Labor between Free Innovators and Producers
 
Chapter 7
Tightening the Loop between Free Innovators and Producers
 
Chapter 8
The Broad Scope of Free Innovation
 
Chapter 9
Personality Traits of Successful Free Innovators
 
Chapter 10
Preserving Free Innovators' Legal Rights
 
Chapter 11
Next Steps for Free Innovation Research and Practice
 
Appendix 1
Household Sector Innovation Questionnaire
 
Appendix 2
Modeling Free Innovation's Impacts on Markets and Welfare
 

Book Details

Publisher
MIT Press
Published
2016
Pages
242
Edition
1
Language
English
ISBN13 Digital
9780262035217
ISBN10 Digital
0262035219
PDF Size
4.1 MB
License
CC BY-NC-ND

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