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There are an outstanding series of videos sponsored by the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. One in particular is outstanding in the area of early adopter’s contributions to a start-up trying to sell software over the Internet. It features Eric Ries, co-founder and CTO of IMVU, best-selling author and board member for several companies.
In this segment he discusses how early adopters can often deliver excellent insights and help more effectively tailor a new application to specific market needs. It’s well worth the time spent watching. If you have time his entire talk given at Stanford in 2009 is worth checking out.
Also check out this later blog entry on Seeing Potential in the Passion to Innovate: Why SaaS Platforms May Have an Edge for additional insights into how companies are nurturing innovation. In addition the post Lessons Learned from the SAS Launch of Social Media Analytics is worth checking out.