The FutureLab blog has released a short series on co-creation, which looks at mass customization, real-time self-service, service redesign, new product co-creation, and community product design. I’m going to focus on there latest post which details how some companies have used community product design in their business models to foster new product development.
Guy Kawasaki gives the example of Threadless, which is an organization that has built their business model solely around community product design. They have a site where consumers can upload their own t-shirt designs. Users can they vote and comment on these designs, and every couple of weeks the most popular designs are chosen and printed on t-shirts.
Other companies like Innocentive ask their communities to solve a particular problem, and then they reward them either financially or with prizes. Community product design can be used for many different purposes as these two companies have shown.
Guy finishes the post with this quote, “the cleverest people don’t work for you.” Inviting participation from your community is an effective way of bringing forth new ideas to the table. What are some examples of community based innovation in your organization?