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October 20, 2010 AT 9:17 am

‘Eureka moments’ and other myths about tech innovation

‘Eureka moments’ and other myths about tech innovation @ CNN.com – thanks Rick!

Myth No. 2: Big tech firms do most of the innovating today

Based on the spectacles that tech companies make out of announcing new products (when Apple unveiled a new iPod in September, Chris Martin from Coldplay and Lady Gaga were on hand), it would be easy to think that the big companies of Silicon Valley are doing most of the innovating these days.

Not so, according to a recent study.

Eric Von Hippel of MIT and colleagues found that regular Joes spend more money in aggregate on developing new consumer products as all of the innovation firms in the UK. And more than 6 percent of the 1,173 people studied had participated in “household” innovation.

“Hippel’s work suggests that people like you and me (and Mark Frauenfelder) are a hidden engine of economic development as we reshape the things that we buy,” Alexis Madrigal writes in The Atlantic’s tech section. “If we assume that American households are as innovative as their British counterparts, 14.5 million of us develop products, and we spend something like $18 billion a year doing it.”


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