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Satisfying heterogeneous user needs via innovation toolkits: the case of Apache security software

Book or journal references : Research Policy, vol. 32, pp. 1199-1215 (2003).

Author(s) : Franke , N. and von Hippel , E.

Abstract :

Manufacturers customarily provide only a few product variants to address the average needs of users in the major segments of markets they serve. When user needs are highly heterogeneous, this approach leaves many seriously dissatisfied. One solution is to enable users to modify products on their own using "innovation toolkits." We explore the effectiveness of this solution in an empirical study of Apache security software. We find high heterogeneity of need in that field, and also find that users modifying their own software to be significantly more satisfied than non-innovating users. We propose that the "user toolkits" solution will be useful in many markets characterized by heterogeneous demand. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.


Keywords :

toolkits; user innovation; need heterogeneity; open source software WILLINGNESS-TO-PAY; CLUSTER-ANALYSIS; SEGMENTATION; VALIDITY; PATTERNS; MARKET

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