Democratizing Innovation

Democratizing Innovation is the title of a book by Eric von Hippel. It describes how people participate in the development of products they use. For example, von Hippel in the fifth chapter uses the history of mountain biking to propound that users can also "be sophisticated developers". The MIT Press published the book in 2005. It is licensed under a Creative Commons license and is available as a downloadable PDF document on Hippel (p. 2) summarized the book as follows.

In this book I explain in detail how the emerging process of user-centric, democratized innovation works. I also explain how innovation by users provides a very necessary complement to and feedstock for manufacturer innovation.

List of chapters

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Development of Products by Lead Users
  3. Why Many Users Want Custom Products
  4. Users' Innovate-or-Buy Decisions
  5. Users' Low-Cost Innovation Niches
  6. Why Users Often Freely Reveal Their Innovations
  7. Innovation Communities
  8. Adapting Policy to User Innovation
  9. Democratizing Innovation
  10. Application: Searching for Lead User Innovations
  11. Application: Toolkits for User Innovation and Custom Design
  12. Linking User Innovation to Other Phenomena and Fields


[1]Eric Von Hippel's Homepage with downloadable book.

See also

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