Eric von Hippel is T Wilson Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT. He specializes in research related to the nature and economics of distributed and open innovation. Recently he spoke with Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Scholarly Publishing and Licensing Consultant in the MIT Libraries, about his own innovation in publishing. He made two of his books available openly on his website at no cost to the reader: Democratizing Innovation, published in 2005 by the MIT Press, and Sources of Innovation, published in 1988 by Oxford University Press.
||Libraries: What motivated you to make your books openly available, and to what extent was your motivation a direct result of the subject of your research?
EVH: My whole purpose â€“ doing all of my research â€“ is not to get money from book royalties. Thatâ€™s not my goal. Iâ€™m trying to diffuse my work and ideas, much the way MIT does with OpenCourseWare. Society is already paying me for my work via my research funding.
Libraries: So your motivation to make the book openly available was not so much directly related to your work in open innovation?