HBS Working Knowledge has an article on user led innovation / crowdsourcing. There has been a lot of discussion about the trend, and I maintain that for a small-medium company the process is generally expensive and time consuming.

However this article – which focusses on white water kayaking – makes an excellent point about the concept :

For user innovation to be a force, the cost of creating a new design must be within the reach of a single user, whose reward is solely the improvement of his or her own experience.

This is an extremely important point which is missing from much of the conversation about crowdsourcing.

Airtime