Customers are increasingly being viewed as partners versus passive recipients in the innovation process. Customers can be included in the early stage of idea generation, and throughout the development process. Their input helps to make manifest barriers to diffusion as well as ways to surmount barriers, thus reducing the risk of innovation.

Finnish telecommunication giant Nokia solicits input from users to help refine existing product offerings, to broaden its customer segments, and to generate new ideas for offerings (Ewing, 2008). In an effort to encourage people to take advantage of the full capacity of their handsets, Nokia has used the Internet to test consumer reaction to products that are works in progress. For ...

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