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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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Tightening the Loop between Free Innovators and Producers

Tightening the Loop between Free Innovators and Producers

(p.89) 7 Tightening the Loop between Free Innovators and Producers
Free Innovation

Eric von Hippel

The MIT Press

This chapter looks at how both free innovators and commercial project sponsors are increasingly competing to “tighten the loop” between themselves and free innovators to obtain a larger share of voluntary and unpaid design efforts. Crowdsourcing calls by both free innovators and producers asking for assistance on innovation projects from the household sector are on the rise. Producers are also learning to support free innovators, seeking to channel their work into privately profitable directions. Hence, the chapter explains how producers are learning to support free innovators in ways that benefit themselves but not their rivals. It then explores how lower-cost pathways to commercialization are becoming available to household sector innovators. Finally, the chapter discusses how, via crowdsourcing, free innovators and producers are both learning to more effectively recruit free innovation labor from the household sector.

Keywords:   household sector, crowdsourcing, innovation projects, commercialization, supporting free innovators, free innovation labor

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