Outside Innovation (hardcover)

How Your Customers Will Co-Design Your Company's Future

October 30, 2006

The ability to innovate is what keeps your organization at the top of its field. The faster and better you innovate, the more likely you are to remain in the lead and to set the new rules that others will have to follow. But the innovation game is changing dramatically. You no longer win by hiring the smartest engineers and scientists—you win by engaging the smartest customers.

In Outside Innovation, Patricia Seybold, author of the best-selling Customers.com and The Customer Revolution, argues that the only way organizations can break out of the pack is to open up their entire business to passionate customers and welcome them into every aspect of product and service design. In fact, those companies that bring customers into the innovation process—the ones that innovate from the outside in—will create products that better meet the needs of prospective customers, revolutionize business models and practices, and build fanatically loyal customers.

From millions of consumers who collaborate to create and evolve next-generation multiplayer games—games that would normally cost $100 million to develop—to competing research scientists who work together to create breakthrough medical treatments and heartier crops, customers all over the world are already changing how companies innovate. Drawing from dozens of fascinating stories of outside innovation pioneers such as LEGO, Staples, Hallmark, Kraft, and others, Seybold shows how to win the innovation wars by:

  • Finding lead users in your industry and commercializing their inventions.
  • Engaging with your most visionary customers to co-design new products and new processes.
  • Enabling customers to troubleshoot each others' problems, hack your solutions, and modify and extend your products to meet their needs.
  • Providing toolkits for your customers to design very specific solutions for themselves—customized solutions that leverage your firm's deep domain expertise.

    Lively and practical, Outside Innovation provides businesses large and small with the strategies they need to let customers co-design their futures and lead them to success.


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