We all agree that innovation is important because it can fulfil the user needs, benefits the society and helps the firms to gain profits. There are also lots of other benefits of innovation but the most important factor which determines the quality of innovation is the originator of the innovation. Now here comes the interesting part. Most of us will say that the originators or sources of innovation products are manufacturers or firms which sell them. However, it is not true.I will try to explain the real originators of innovative products which are Users
First of all, let me clear the difference between users and manufacturers.
- Users of the products are people or firms who use the product
- Manufacturers are the firms or organizations who sell the products
So there are two basic components in the whole innovation process and there is a clear relationship between these two acting components.
The key point is that every innovation starts with user. It is the user who is always the originator of the innovation product. This whole process can begin because of the following factors related to user:
- User finds a problem or need and he wants to fix it but there is no solution available in market
- User wants to innovate because of enjoyment or pleasure
- User wants to innovate something because he wants to learn
- User wants to innovate for social welfare
No matter what the reason is, it is the user who starts to innovate. Manufacturers do not take part at this point because they see no market here. As the user builds a product, other users see the benefits and modify or improve the product for their own needs. Gradually, the product starts to be used by many users, each adding something in the product innovation process.
Now the manufacturer jumps in and says to users that their part is over, Now it is his time to take the product to the next levels, He takes the product and makes it in a fancy way and sells it.
Producers believe that the product is their innovation and the first user innovative product which is in fact a part of their whole product is just a crap.
Users make their innovations products open so that other users can help them to improve the product.
Today, manufacturers are driven out of the innovation products because
- Users are better in creating them
- Users are greater in number than manufacturers
- Users can combine the best solutions by other users because they share it open
- Users can get the best of all solutions but no producer can because of Intellectual Property
So the moral of the story is that users are feed stock of innovation process and there is a need for protection of this precious resource of innovation by the community.