Prof. Ramaswamy answers eYeka’s questions (part 2/4): Challenges and the value of co-creation



Professor Venkat Ramaswamy, Palladium Group Asia-Pacific Fellow


Last week, we started a series of blog posts featuring Prof.  Venkat Ramaswamy, co-author of The Future of Competition and The Power of Co-Creation (read it!) and consultant for The Palladium Group. In the first part, published last Wednesday, Prof. Ramaswamy explained how co-creation differs from crowdsourcing and open innovation, two other popular concepts today. This week, Prof. Ramaswamy’s talks about co-creation as a mainstream business practice and about its value for consumers.


eYeka: What do you see as the main challenge and opportunity for co-creation to become a more mainstream business practice?

Prof. Ramaswamy: The main challenge is threefold. First, the narrow view of co-creation that most people hold, e.g., co-creation is about designing products and services with consumers, prevents them from seeing the power of co-creation in transforming stakeholder engagement at large and expanding value in new ways, especially together with partnering enterprises.

Second, the mindset of value creation in terms of products and processes, which is the dominant logic, rather than a more human and experience-centric view, also constrains the opportunities and how people go about designing value.

Third, even if we get over the first two hurdles, co-creation requires building new platform capabilities, and platform thinking is not common, although it is increasing as people see it at play with mobile devices for instance. I use the term engagement platform to characterize any environment of interfaces, people, processes, and artifacts, which is purposefully designed to generate outcomes of value through the mindset of human experiences. Building engagement platforms for enabling co-creation is a significant challenge in classic goods and services driven companies.


The Power Of Co-Creation and Cases / Notes / Automotive in Yannig Roth (yannigroth)


This Pearltree allows to interactively navigate all the cases discussed in the book The Power of Co-Creation as well as the notes for readers.


eYeka: Where do you see co-creation bringing the most value to companies and consumers?

Prof. Ramaswamy: If we take the view of co-creation I espouse and evangelize, then wherever there is engagement, there is opportunity for co-creation. So, co-creation can generate expanded value anywhere in the business-civic-social ecosystem. Having said that, much of the co-creation that is practiced today is indeed in the “consumer space” around activities such as designing products and services, gaining consumer insights, customer experience management, and marketing, sales, and delivery.

Tapping into consumer communities has become common today. The late C. K. Prahalad and I discussed the many opportunities for co-creating value with customers in my previous book The Future of Competition. Since then, the core idea of co-creation has spread rapidly into the consumer space with the proliferation of social media and networking technologies. One of the areas where it is bringing a lot of value to companies currently is in generating ideas. But as we have discussed, it can bring additional value in managing and executing ideas, in internal management processes, designing offerings as engagement platforms, as well as engaging with consumers (and other stakeholders) in their value-chain activities.


eYeka would like to thank The Palladium Group Asia-Pacific for making this interview happen. Prof. Ramaswamy is a Fellow of The Palladium Group Asia-Pacific and will be key note speaker on two international conferences this year: The 2011 Strategy Execution Forum in Sydney (May 17th) and in Auckland (May 20th).

About Yannig

Yannig was Marketing Manager at eYeka, responsible for PR, communication and research. Interested in marketing, innovation and design-related topics, he also loves to free his head by cycling, running, reading or drawing. Yannig, who holds an MSc from ESSCA School of Management and a PhD from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, tweets under @YannigRoth and blogs at
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2 Responses to Prof. Ramaswamy answers eYeka’s questions (part 2/4): Challenges and the value of co-creation

  1. Pingback: Prof. Ramaswamy answers eYeka’s questions (part 4/4): Apple uses “selective co-creation” | eYeka Co-creation Blog

  2. Pingback: Francis Gouillart’s universal view of co-creation | eYeka Co-creation Blog

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