There is a need to develop approaches and methods for accessing necessary information early into the process of developing innovative (functional) products. Such information is normally located outside the focal company, and thus requires communication and tools/methods that enable decoding weak signals from different sources, not least from end users, i.e., human beings. Information based on human criterions, e.g., perceptions, experiences, activities and goals, is recognised as vital to communicate into the development process of innovative products. In this context, concepts such as Business Intelligence, Bench Learning, Lead-User Innovation, and Needfinding have been developed. In general, the logic behind such approaches is to avoid tunnel-vision and the Not-Invented-Here syndrome by widening the space for input into the product development process, and thereby identify more (and more potential) routes for further product and service development.
Luleå, Sweden, 2007.