2007-07-16

Horizontal innovation networks—by and for users
Eric von Hippel
Industrial and Corporate Change 16(2) 2007

Innovation development, production, distribution and consumption networks can be built up horizontally—with actors consisting only of innovation users (more precisely, "user/self-manufacturers"). Some open source software projects are examples of such networks, and examples can be found in the case of physical products as well. In this article, we discuss three conditions under which user innovation networks can function entirely independently of manufacturers. We then explore related empirical evidence, and conclude that conditions favorable to horizontal user innovation networks are often present in the economy.

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