If Memorial Library's stacks aren't creepy enough, try hitting them up on Halloween eve (as I'm currently doing). Anyway, this online pumpkin carving site is pretty slick and allows users to order gifts with submitted designs on them. Happy Halloween, and yay to discounted candy at Walgreens tomorrow!

PS: The day isn't complete without this. Peace.

In lecture, we have discussed the various forms of user innovation and consumer involvement. We have explored the different forms of user innovation, engaged in our own user innovation and discussed the different processes in which we do participate in. However, what is the underlying reason as to why we do it? What are the motivations? In class we touched on this topic a bit, but this article explores it much more and gives different insights on this idea.

This article (by Johann F├╝ller at the University of Innsbruck) discusses the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations that consumers go through when participating in product development, as well as identifying eleven basic motivations felt by consumers. The article describes a study done to determine these motivations and outlines the results and their significance.

I found this article intriguing because I could identify with many of the motivations when I was completing my class exercises. As you read this article, think about what motivations you identified with most during the exercises you did (Jones Soda, Lego Design, Wikipedia, etc.). Enjoy!

Here's a really cool example (www.hitrecord.org) of open source innovation in the entertainment industry. It brings together artists of all kinds: actors, graphic artists, musicians, writers, composers, etc. This is just more proof that open source isn't just for software... it can be applied to anything! Check out a video below explaining the process and check out the website.


I came across this article and thought that it would be extremely helpful for those people who are writing their Case Report about the Linux case. It's very relevant to our course material for this week.
Basically, the article highlights the benefits of both Microsoft and Linux-type software. The authors conclude that it is unlikely that one of the systems will force the other one out. However, they explore the different situations that could arise that could potentially make this happen.
Parts of the article get a little detailed and hard to follow, but for the most part it is very informative. The most interesting part to me was the section that discusses how Microsoft could benefit from piracy when that piracy is from people who would not buy Microsoft to begin with. This is because Microsoft is not losing sales to them, yet they are still increasing the value of the system and moving users away from Linux.
Anyway, hope you enjoy because I did!

Customer collaboration and co-creation are relatively new ideas. However, as we have seen in class and through readings, more and more companies are taking on these practices and many new companies are solely based off these practices. Gaurav Bhalla, a strategy, innovation, and marketing professional with global experience, examined how customer collaboration and co-creation are becoming mainstream business practices. The ideas are being featured in many conferences around the world with companies like Local Motors being in the spotlight. Further, nonprofit organizations and government agencies are taking advantage of these strategies. See Global Pulse 2010, which was put into place after Obama's speech delivered to the Muslim world in Cairo. It was "a 3 day online collaboration and global conversation" attracting participants from over 155 countries resulting in about 10,000 ideas and opinions. We see here that this idea of collaboration and co-creation can span across cultures. The best part about it- all of us can contribute in any which way. Raj Shah, a key organizer of Global Pulse 2010 quotes, "By listening to each other and collaborating, each of us can become an agent of change and contribute to innovative and sustainable solutions to local and international challenges."

Co-created Story

Today in class, we engaged in a collaborating exercise by co-creating a story about our class. The inspiration for this was Penguin Publishing's A Million Penguins initiative (in Spring 2007). Here is what each section produced. What do you think?

Section 1 (11:00)
Marketing 440 is an undergraduate marketing class taught at the Wisconsin School of Business. This class consists of lots of interesting case studies about new product development and is taught by Aric. He likes to enhance our learning by blasting music before class using Wisconsin favorites such as Teach Me How to Bucky. Aric is also a closet Packer fan. Today we are discussing collaboration, and it is difficult for me to understand because we keep talking about aliens. What the hell is that about? Now Aric is claiming to be an expert on Extra-Terrestrial life, which he is!! What's next? Is he an alien? Is that how he is such an expert? His hair is definitely out of this world... I don't believe anyone would question the expertise of a man wearing a flannel. One time, I was walking to class, and to my surprise, Aric was on crutches claiming he "hurt" his knee playing basketball...but we all know that he hurt it climbing out of his spaceship. He keeps saying that he goes to these conventions to lecture but how do we know that he is not flying off to his homeland to deliver the news to his alien comrades that he has successfully convinced his human students to believe that he too was a human just like them. Stupid University of Wisconsin students... Now that he has accomplished this step, he must next get the students to love the Packers. Now back to the beginning. One day, the unassuming Aric was ghost-riding his whip to class when, all of a sudden, he realized he doesn't know what ghost-riding is.

Section 2 (1:00)
Marketing 440, aka Venture Creation, is an undergraduate marketing class taught at the Wisconsin School of Business. MKT 440 uses real world examples and does not depend on text books. We watch videos of bisson, Aerosmith, and UFO conspiracies. YouTube has been a stand-in "text-book" for the class. These videos have shown us that Aerosmith and Run DMC were leading the way which "tinkering," one of the many co-creation techniques we've been learning about. Other than watching videos we also do some exercises in class, which enables everyone to get involved while creating user innovation. These exercises might not seem like homework, but somehow they also tie into what we are learning. So far, we have contributed to MyStarbucksIdea.com, submitted photos to Jones Soda, and made our own Lego designs. One other requirement of the class is to analyze and write about one of four case studies presented in class. Case studies focus on companies including InnoCentive, Threadless, Local Motors and Linix, all of which rely heavily upon user innovation in their business models. Along with exercises and cases studies, we will also have the opportunity to interact with new innovative ideas and companies in a group project. As a class we will create something new using a MakerBot, a 3D printer. Right now we are watching a video of Yochai Benkler! His beard is out of control! This guy has one of the most boring voices ever. He sounds almost like the guy from eye drops commercial--Ben Stein. We should teach him how to Bucky.

Square Coke Bottles

I know this is a few days behind, but last week we talked about tinkering and changing attributes of the Coca-Cola cans. This is a design by a student who came up with a more environmentally-friendly square Coke bottle. Here's what it looks like. I wonder if they'll use it?

Toying with the idea to introduce beer and wine into their stores, Starbucks has begun testing the idea at one of their learning labs located in Seattle.
Starbucks possible product expansion "is in response to our customers telling us that they want more options for relaxing in our stores in the afternoon and evenings." Mixed opinions have already began to filter into mystarbucksidea.com. Some complain that they will take their business elsewhere if their local Starbucks ever make the move. Others are excited about the possibility for a coffee shop by day, bar by night.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, socially conscious students get together every other week to discuss an issue of great importance that is unfortunately not discussed enough: the dangers of unethical advertising and its effects on society. This student organization, known as the Altruistic Advertising Club, not only discusses the ethical concerns of the advertising industry, but they proactively investigate ways in which advertisements can be both ethical and successful in capturing a large market share. Members of the club place various controversial marketing and advertising strategies such as, Neuromarketing, under a microscope and talk about whether or not these practices should be permitted. The objective of the organization is to shed light on a relevant issue that is heavily debated in the marketing and advertising world today.
The Altruistic Advertising Club was started because students felt that these issues were important but were not being addressed in the classroom. Also, up until now, there was no organization on campus that addressed specifically ethics and advertising. The club is collaborating with other marketing and advertising clubs on campus to host professional speakers. The AAC meets every other Tuesday (the first meeting was October 5, the second meeting is Ocotber 19 etc.) from 5:30-7:00 in room 346 of Birge Hall (located on Bascom Hill). For more information e-mail club president Zac Miller at zac.altad@gmail.com.

Jay Rogers

Jay Rogers is revolutionizing the US auto industry via his new start-up, Local Motors, which is currently offering the world's first co-created car, the Rally Fighter in Chandler, Arizona. Here is a recent video of Jay explaining what Local Motors is all about, his motivation for starting this operation and his life journey. Fascinating stuff!

After today's discussion regarding tinkering, I couldn't help but post this video. The Avalanches are an Australian DJ collective; in order to produce their most popular and critically-acclaimed album "Since I Left You" (completed way back in 2000 and released in 2001), the musicians compiled 3,500 obscure vinyl samples for just 18 tracks. Impressed by Girl Talk? Just give this a whirl. Make sure you stick it out long enough to hear the mixing of the bird noise...you'll understand.
For a (slightly) less-bizarre and uber-funky cut, check out the album's title track. Happy tinkering!

Google seems to have poked their noses into every aspect of our lives. For example, they love to know what our web searching patterns are so they can better advertise to our peculiar purchasing behaviors. But now they want to develop software that drives our cars for us?

According to an article I read this morning, a world full of computer-driven automobiles may be nearing. Does this scare you? Google assures that safety is their main purpose and claim that the software in the automatic cars makes them drive safer than if a human were driving. One of the biggest benefits is that daily commuting time would be saved so the driver (or now passenger) could focus on work or entertainment. They are currently testing the software on California and have logged about 140,000 miles so far.

Basically Digg implemented a new system that led to many errors with their website. People began to come upset and revolt against the website and began to "digg up" content posted from its competitor's website, www.reddit.com. Many of its hardcore users were upset with the lack of content, the errors brought by the change of systems, and the sponsored advertisements that appear with the list of articles, acting as an article itself. In turn many have left the website for Reddit. Some of the reasons given are that Reddit is more transparent, it doesn't lack content, and many say "it is what Digg used to be." I'm sure there are some Digg users on here, so have any of you guys made the switch to Reddit?

Slim Odds for inventors

This is from today's Wall Street Journal. It directly relates to our class discussions regarding how more and more companies are going to online users to gain new and innovative ideas. The article makes reference to Clorox Co, Kraft Foods Inc, General Mills Inc, and Staples as just a few companies that are utilizing the online community.

In today's world of the greener a product is the better, was clearly shut down when involving one of consumers favorite snack foods. When Frito-lay came out with its new 100% compostable chip bag last year, the idea of being environmentally proactive must have seemed like a sure fire success. After numerous complaints over the past year they have decided to go back to their original bag. Clearly none of the scientists have ever eaten a bag of chips during a college lecture or in a corporate office. This is a prime example of very intelligent people creating a great product, but forgetting to acknowledge a very obvious flaw with the functionality. Bob Stolmeier, business development manager for Zip-Pak, which creates a lot of packing for new products said it best, "There is no reason to offer solutions that the market would not accept." If you could choose would you prefer a bag that was environmentally friendly, or quieter and more convenient?

Here is a LINK to a full report of this new product fiasco.

Design Collective

When discussing the Threadless case in class today, I began to think about a very cool clothing boutique in Minneapolis, Design Collective. While it does not have an online component, I think the company is very innovate in its business structure, and also sells cool clothes. Design Collective's mission is to give local designers exposure and a retail outlet to sell their goods. To do this they solicit submissions from local designers and select the lines/products they like the best. I think the coolest part about all of this, and the best thing for the designers, is that the store includes a statement from the designer, their bio, and a mention on the website about what they do. Just another example of a company using crowdsourcing/submitting to not only help their business but also the local community. If you're in MPLS you stop by and check it out!

Acura adds 2D barcodes to its advertisements. This is an innovative way to trace which locations the ads are most effective! Do you think more companies should utilize this method in their marketing campaigns?

This link is a video from Dan Pink's talk that focuses on the factors that motivate us or that give us drive.  This innovative video, similar to the one posted below about where good ideas come from, offers a different type of thought process as to what really and truly motivates us both in and outside of the workplace.

I think this is an interesting concept as in class we have been talking about several companies who offer large incentives for ideas and projects, but is that really the approach to getting the most motivation or best ideas?

One of the most innovative ideas I took away from the video was the idea that one company has that one day employees can work on whatever they want, however they want, and just present it at the end of the day.  This seems like a great (yet extremely out of the ordinary) way to get the ideas that make a difference.


Est. 2008 | Aric Rindfleisch | Wisconsin School of Business | Banner Image by Bruce Fritz