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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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Pioneering by Free Innovators

Pioneering by Free Innovators

(p.53) 4 Pioneering by Free Innovators
Free Innovation

Eric von Hippel

The MIT Press

This chapter shows that there are basic differences in the types of innovations developed, and in the timing of innovations developed, within the two paradigms. This is because the incentives and behaviors of innovators acting within each paradigm fundamentally differ, thus innovation outcomes also systematically differ. Free innovators, being self-rewarding, are free to follow their own interests. Unlike producers, they need not work only on projects they expect the market to reward. They therefore generally pioneer functionally new applications and markets prior to producers understanding the opportunity. Producer innovators generally enter later, after the nature and the commercial potential of markets have become clear.

Keywords:   free innovators, producer innovators, innovation pioneering, innovation outcomes, self-rewards, market rewards, innovation opportunities

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