What is more influential in idea generation for innovation: information or individual adoption category?


Contrary to our naïve understanding that ideas for innovation are generated by supply-side such as product developers, studies suggest that ideas can be generated by consumers, especially the group of users called “early adopters” who behave differently from product developers in regard to product adoption and general knowledge. This research includes an experiment with consumers to test what is more influential in idea generation for innovation: information, i.e. previous ideas about new uses of a product, or individual adoption category, i.e. innovator or early adopter. The result suggests that “information” is more influential in generating creative ideas for innovation, and early adopters, rather than innovators, make effective use of information in idea generation. An additional experiment for information retrieval suggests that innovators tend to avoid communication with non-innovators and focus more on the function and specifications of the product, potentially decreasing their performance in creative idea generation.

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