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Vintage Innovation: How to Improve the Service Characteristics and Costumer Effectiveness of Products Becoming Obsolete

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1 Author(s)
Francesco Schiavone ; University Parthenope, Italy

A number of studies analyzed how old technology often improves its technical performance or rate of innovation after technological change. Many authors focused on the “technical part” of old technology-based products and analyzed their improvements of performances in relation to gains in technical efficiency (more efficiency leads to more technical performance). However, such improvements could be analyzed even from consumer side. This paper adopts the Saviotti and Metcalfe theoretical framework in order to analyze such costumer-related perspective. The present conceptual paper contributes to the literature by explaining an innovative approach for the improvement of service characteristics (performance) and costumer effectiveness of products becoming obsolete after the emergence of a new competing technology. The name proposed for this approach is vintage innovation. This paper reports an illustrative case study: the vinyl emulator for turntablists disc jockeys. This approach shows that companies have to focus, paradoxically, their R&D efforts on new technology in order to improve costumer effectiveness of declining products. In particular, vintage innovation generates value for companies when users form a community of practice.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 2 )