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Free revealing and the private-collective model for innovation incentives

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A central tenant of open innovation is free revealing of the detailed workings of novel products and services, so that others may use them, learn from them, and perhaps improve them as well. We explain that innovators frequently do freely reveal proprietary information and knowledge regarding both information-based products and physical products they have developed. We explain why free revealing can make good economic sense for innovators and for society as well. The article develops the case for free revealing in terms of a ‘private collective’ model of innovation incentives.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Sloan School of Management, MIT, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA 02139, USA , Email: 2: ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, Kreuzplatz 5, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland , Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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