Eric von Hippel

Eric von Hippel (born August 27, 1941) is an American economist and a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, specializing in the nature and economics of distributed and open innovation. He is best known for his work in developing the concept of user innovation – that end-users, rather than manufacturers, are responsible for a large amount of innovation. In order to describe this phenomenon, in 1986 he introduced the term lead user. Hippel's work has applications in business strategy and free/open source software (FOSS), and he is one of the most highly cited social scientists writing on FOSS. The BUGvonHippel, named for Eric von Hippel and bearing his name in Braille, is a breakout board module and an example of open-source hardware.

Eric von Hippel is the son of the material scientist and physicist Arthur Robert von Hippel, who was also a professor at MIT. His great uncle is the German ophthalmologist Eugen von Hippel.

von Hippel has been awarded the EU Innovation Luminary Award (2015), the Schumpeter School Prize (2017), and the Portugal Medal of Science (2020). He is a member of the Advisory Board of Patient Innovation (, a nonprofit, international, multilingual, free venue for patients and caregivers of any disease to share their innovations. Provided by Wikipedia
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by Hippel, Eric von.
Published 1988
by Hippel, Eric von
Published 2017
by Hippel, Eric von.
Published 2005