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Outside Innovation: How Your Customers Will Co-Design Your Company's Future Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 10, 2006

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Editorial Reviews


“Outside Innovation is a landmark book in its revelations on customer-led innovation.” (Tom Stemberg Founder and Former CEO Staples, Venture Partner, Highland Capital Partners)

“Seybold makes a compelling case for recruiting your most passionate customers and letting them help drive the pace of innovation.” (Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO, and Author of The Ten Faces of Innovation)

“An inspiring book that will change your business and help you compete in ways uniquely attuned to the 21st century.” (John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp. and Director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and Co-author of The Only Sustainable Edge)

“A thoughtful and insightful practitioner’s guide to the rapidly emerging world of customer- and user-led innovation.” (Eric von Hippel, Professor and Head, MIT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group)

“Seybold lays out the path in the brave new world of instant feedback, customer-generated content, and truly free speech.” (Guy Kawasaki, Managing director, Garage Technology Ventures)

“No one knows better than Seybold how companies must change to take advantage of the new rules of business.” (Alan Deutschman, Senior Writer, Fast Company) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Patricia B. Seybold is the author of the international best-seller and The Customer Revolution. She is the founder and CEO of the Boston-based The Patricia Seybold Group (, which for more than 25 years has specialized in helping Fortune 500 companies design and continuously improve their customer-focused business strategies.

--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (October 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061135909
  • ASIN: B000ULVK7Q
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,901,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seybold is an internationally acclaimed best-selling author. The company's Web site takes its name from the ground breaking book, How to Create a Profitable Business Strategy on the Internet and Beyond. Published in 1998, the book provides insight into how sixteen still-thriving companies designed their e-business strategies to improve revenues, increase profitability, and enhance customer loyalty.

Other books by Patricia Seybold and colleagues are: The Customer Revolution: How to Thrive when Customers Are in Control (2001) and Outside Innovation: How Your Customers Will Co-Design Your Company's Future (2006). With Martin Lindstrom, Seybold co-authored BRANDchild: Remarkable Insights into the Minds of Today's Global Kids and Their Relationship with Brands (2003).

Patty's blog, Outside Innovation, was launched as a companion to the book of the same title. Seybold's blog posts and tweets draw interest and comments from a worldwide group of followers.

Seybold's companies have published research reports and articles for over 25 years. The Patricia Seybold Group now publishes more than fifty articles per year. Access to the articles, including archives back to 2003, is available to subscribers to the® membership services.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Rollyson on February 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Excellent Primer for the Core Competency of the 21st Century

Outside Innovation is an in-the-trenches manual for evolving your company to embrace the innovation imperative.

To thrive in the Knowledge Economy, companies will have to learn how to innovate at warp speed. Ultra low costs and exceptional quality feature sets are merely expected, and they no longer differentiate. Conventional wisdom holds that "innovation" cycles reappear every five years, when companies have exhausted the then-current cost-cutting approaches and need to focus on driving the top line.

However, the Knowledge Economy doesn't call for your father's innovation. The 21st century kind will require that companies turn themselves inside-out. Winners will learn to engage and catalyze their customers' creativity. As author Patty Seybold aptly puts it, "Companies with the smartest customers win."


This book is inspiring, insightful and infectious! Patty Seybold has been a guiding light who burst on the scene in a big way with in the late 90s. Her insight and commitment cut wide and deep, and you'll be hard pressed to find a book that delivers on customer-driven innovation as well as Outside Innovation.

In the hope that an in-depth look will compel you to buy the book, I've provided the basic outline of each chapter as well as key takeaways.

CHAPTER ONE: How to Harness Customer Innovation

Gives an overview of what outside (customer-led) innovation is, terminology and some basics about how to go about it.

*Briefly defines what customer scenarios are and how to use them to understand customer realities.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Walter J. Adamson on November 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I didn't wholly enjoy this book but I enjoyed it on the whole. One third describes concepts of deep engagement and the intertwining of brand experience and customer experience and feedback, one third is a scrapbook of internet-driven or created businesses, and one third is a sales pitch for the author's consulting methodology.

The first third I enjoyed, because exploring branding in the context of task-driven lead customers, and particularly the youth market, is an area which I have not found well articulated before. Seybold starts the job, doesn't go very deep in this aspect, but held my attention. Although if you're familiar with the Staples reinvention or what's happened at Lego in the last few years then you may not get much extra out of this part.

Seybold explores categories of customers and how to engage and work with different groups in her inside-out innovation. I like her definitions of innovation, which is about creating wealth. Personally I didn't think that this was a ground-breaking work, it simply extends the business of working with your customers in the creation of your value propositions. For a consultant, it builds on the technique of working with your customer's customers. And we know that value is emotional and perceptual and personal, and the book frames those ideas back into the author's technique. That is all done well, it's useful, its important, and it is built on the back of lots of related work.

The second one third is a compendium of reasonably well-known interent business success stories, and their customer interaction or "design" methods. It also has a big section on open source.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Frank Piller on October 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In "Outside Innovation", Patricia Seybold provides one of the first general-management books on co-creation of value between firms and customers. Her book is full of great and very up-to-date case studies that make the idea of value co-creation really lively and accessible. She describes (in great detail and with plenty of background information) many classic examples like Lego's co-development of the new Mindstorm toy, Threadless, Flickr, BBC Backstage or National Semiconductor, but has also some great new (at least for me) examples of customer-centric innovation like the development of a new fitness machine (Koko Fitness - great story and concept) or SEI Wealth Networks.

And her pitch line why her book is important tackles one of the main problems of integrating customer and users in a firm's innovation process:

The good news is that customer-led innovation is one of the most predictably successful innovation processes. The bad news is that many managers and executives don't yet believe in it. Today, that's their loss. Ultimately, it may be their downfall."

I hope that her books can support more mangers to consider customer/user integration not only as a nice add-on pilot initiative, but to make it a crucial part of the company's core strategy. The book, however, offers no recipes or frameworks how a manager could do so. Its core contribution is to document and describe what is happening in a world that is not any longer dominated by companies creating things FOR users. And as Seybold does this in great detail and style, this record of promising practices may convince managers to turn away from old prejudices.
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