I’m not chatting, i’m innovating! locating lead users in open source software communities

TitleI’m not chatting, i’m innovating! locating lead users in open source software communities
Publication TypeManuscript
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBreach, G
Refereed DesignationNon-Refereed
Secondary TitleUniversity of Technology, Sydney School of Management Working Paper Series
Manuscript Number2008-7

The Lead User Method recognizes that certain end users of products are a valuable source – in some industries the only source – of new product innovations. Organizations that seek out these lead users and invite them to assist with the new product development process will produce products that perform far better in the marketplace than those developed by traditional methods based on research and development and market research. The individuals who author Open Source Software (OSS) – complex and high-quality computer software that is typically distributed free of charge and without restrictions on use – appear to share many common characteristics with lead users. These skilled computer programmers develop their software collaboratively, and often form large communities that congregate in Internet 'chat rooms' to discuss and manage their software development projects. In response to a call for further research to improve the performance of the lead user method, this paper integrates concepts from the fields of innovation management, data visualization and open source software to a proposal to improve the process of identifying lead users in OSS communities

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