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How coinvention shapes our market

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1 Author(s)
Greenstein, Shane ; Illinois Univ., Champaign, IL, USA

Users actually do much of the inventing in the computer market. They invent for a simple reason. Rarely is a new technology useful immediately after purchase. It needs customizing, reshaping, and improving. Users change things after trying them out for a while. Users do a lot of “coinventing,” as colleague Tim Bresnahan and I have termed it. Coinvention makes technology useful. It is impossible to understand the computing market without appreciating why and how users coinvent. The costs of coinventive activity can be substantial and can easily swamp the initial outlay for the technology. More to the point, Bresnahan and I believe that coinvention is the key to understanding the diffusion of client-server systems. In particular, we examined this diffusion to large-scale users. Why did some buyers act boldly and others cautiously? Why did some experiment early and others late? Our answer is all wrapped up with coinvention. We studied establishments from 1988 to 1994. A summary of the results of this survey is presented

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan/Feb 1997

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