Co-creation: the power of conversations [2 of 4]

The Co-creation process © C. Bughi

The Co-creation process © C. Bughi

Co-creation Vs crowd creation

So, when looking back at what media often portrays as co-creation, the confusion becomes evident.

Co-creation is no co-production: many initiatives labelled as co-creation are actually co-production experiences, which are experiences where customers participate to the production and delivery of the product or service: the self-service checkouts at supermarkets are a typical example of co-production. One of the consequences of co-production is also known as the Ikea effect, that cognitive attitude that leads to an increased perception in value of objects customers have build by themselves, because of their involvement in the production phase.

The focus of co-production is the technical aspect related to new products and users’ engagement is limited to functional aspects: based on this definition, user testing can be seen as an example of co-production, since users are involved to test and validated the product or service and take part to the production of the final result.

Open/collaborative Innovation is not co-creation: as a more distributed, participatory, and decentralized approach to innovation, Open innovation capitalizes on the distributed knowledge and promotes contamination between internal and external knowledge.

Prof Henry Chesbrough, who introduced this concept, defined it as: the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate internal innovation, and expand the markets for external use of innovation, respectively” (2011).

User Generated content is not co-creation: UGC refers only to the users’ effort to create content that they want to share on certain platforms. But UGC misses the collective effort to create a unique and shared/collective idea. There’s no collaboration among users generating content, each creates independently to share results with the community.

Mass-collaboration is not co-creation: Wikipedia shows how people tend to collaborate and contribute, but it’s based only on collective actions, with no act of creation, negotiation and social interaction. Wikipedia has many contributors, but there is no dialogue to develop new ideas and innovate, the goal is to share knowledge and enrich an existing product, with no intention to generate ideas and innovate the existing product or experience. Mass-collaboration is very close to the next concept crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing in not co-creation: people sometimes tend to confuse those terms, based on the fact that crowd sourced projects are based on large collective efforts. However, crowdsourcing can be seen as a part of co-creation, but it’s not co-creation.

Crowdsourcing can produce results with no need to co-create. Crowdsourcing is a method of production, while co-creation is an innovation-focused process.

Crowdsourcing is a call to collaborate and to contribute to existing ideas, while co-creation goes one step further and calls to innovate and create new ideas collaboratively.

To better understand then the difference between all the different co-experiences, the following table summarise the key aspects of each of them:

Co-creation Co-Production UGC Crowd sourcing Open Innovation Mass-Collaboration
Value oriented ()

<<< Read Part 1 | Read Part 3 >>> COMING SOON


6 Responses to “Co-creation: the power of conversations [2 of 4]”

  1. It’s a fruitful post. Do you have further details about the table?

  2. Thank you Tamer!
    The table comes from my thinking and reflection, so it’s my view and take on different collaborative , or participative, way to involve customers – I always cite the references, if no reference is there, it’s my stuff 🙂

  3. Happy to talk about it, if you like – any comment or suggestion, always welcome – I am always happy to get feedbacks and ideas t think about 🙂


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