Social Media has the power to change the way products are conceived, developed, funded, and deployed. It’s happening now. Companies like Quirky and Kickstarter offer the ability to test and identify potential markets with minimal investment. In some cases web participants can “invest” in ideas by critiquing them and offering suggestions for improvement. When an idea has a certain amount of traction, potential customers can invest actual dollars by placing preproduction orders at a discounted price. This really turns the traditional scheme of marketing, manufacturing, and distribution on its head.
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