Andrei Hagiu in the HBR looks at how social networks may change product innovation at large and small companies. While it is good to see an article that includes the point of view of the little guy, it still perhaps messes the point of product innovation. Like most discussion of social network the author actually describes a combination ad-hoc broadcast network and a 24hr suggestion box. That model of social network may produce product ideas and user feedback but I question if it captures the true innovative potential in social networks.
For small companies and start-ups, the considerations are a bit different. On the positive side, new communication technologies and channels have made it easier to get on the map quickly and to create buzz and word-of-mouth. The problem is that start-ups are now subjected to new and not necessarily desirable pressures, which are exclusively related to communication channels. In short, it is the “fear of being left out” syndrome. To learn more, check out: Social Networks Will Change Product Innovation.