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Free Innovation$
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Eric von Hippel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035217

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035217.001.0001

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Evidence for Free Innovation

Evidence for Free Innovation

Chapter:
(p.19) 2 Evidence for Free Innovation
Source:
Free Innovation
Author(s):

Eric von Hippel

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262035217.003.0002

This chapter presents evidence that free innovation is a very substantial phenomenon with respect to the development of products consumed within the household sector. Today, tens of millions of consumers annually spend tens of billions of dollars creating and modifying products to better serve their own needs. In fact, aggregate household sector product development expenditures rival the scale of business sector expenditures by producers developing products for consumers. The chapter then shows how more than 90 percent of the developers of product innovations in the household sector meet both of the criteria for free innovation specified in the previous chapter. Finally, the chapter explores the nature of transaction-free self-rewards central to the viability of free innovation, and discusses why it can make economic sense for free innovators to reveal their innovations for free.

Keywords:   product development, household sector, self-rewards, business sector, product innovations, viability

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