Anthon P Botha


Will the market adoption of innovative products and services in the fourth industrial revolution require an alternative reality? This question is investigated in a concept paper in which new product adoption patterns, alternative innovation regimes that include intelligent machines as innovation partners with humans, disruption of the producer, the fourth industrial revolution consumer, and a fundamental change in business models are considered. Thought models are proposed in which these four entities drive a new concept of ‘life-world’ products through which consumers innovate for their own personalisation and customisation, manufacturing plants for volume products become algorithm factories, and the linear value chain is destroyed and replaced by the value network. This happens because the consumer becomes part of the value chain, and overlaps of producer and consumer functions as we know them merge into a new production ecosystem driven by social commerce. Innovation by the consumer takes away the producer’s concerns about market adoption; they may now servitise innovation support. This paper is meant to stimulate academic debate and to initiate research that will validate the thought models it suggests.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Anthon P Botha

ISSN 2224-7890 (on-line) ; ISSN 1012-277X (print)

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