My Experiences in BUS 358: Innovation, Design, and Prototyping

Essay 9

Venturesome Consumption

Amar Bhide

  • “Supply side” factors (availability of venture capital, rule of law, etc.)
  • “Demand side” focusing on the neglected role that consumers play in innovation
  • Entrepreneurs are more willing to innovate – and devote resources (marketing, selling) – if they anticipate a large market for their product
  • Limited capacity of ‘backward’ countries to put new investments (and their innovations) into productive use
  • “A growing body of empirical work shows that users are the first to develop many and perhaps the most new industrial and consumer products”
  • “The contribution of users is growing steadily larger as a result of the continuing advances in computer and communications capabilities.”
  • “Learning by using” by customers often play a significant role in transforming products and redefining them
  • Purchasers cannot form objective estimates of an innovation’s risks and returns
    • Does it actually do what it is supposed to? It can also cost money later (trade-offs, costs, defects, etc). Can never be “proven good”.
  • Customers have to acquire knowledge, taste, etc. for things they use daily
  • Developers and users of innovations need high degree of venturesome resourcefulness in problem solving often times
  • Innovators must act resourcefully to novel situations with can-do, will-do, attitude, imagination, willingness to experiment, etc.
  • Not all innovations come with clear and complete instructions on how to use
    • Deriving utility from them often requires problem solving and/or learning
  • Figuring out how something is supposed to work is ½ the battle, the other ½ is making the product work well for them
  • Have to take a chance without knowing the risks/returns sometimes
  • “Users often play a venturesome or ‘entrepreneurial’ role in the design of new products, bearing ‘unmeasurable and unquantifiable’ risks and developing ground-level knowledge.”
  • The willingness and ability of users to undertake a venturesome part plays a critical role in determining the ultimate value of innovations

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