In Need of Creative Mobile Service Ideas? Forget Adults and Ask Young Children
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It is well acknowledged that innovation is a key success factor in mobile service domain. Having creative ideas is the first critical step in the innovation process. Many studies suggest that customers are a valuable source of creative ideas. However, the literature also shows that adults may be constrained by existing technology frames, which are known to hinder creativity. Instead young children (aged 7-12) are considered digital natives yet are free from existing technology frames. This led us to study them as a potential source for creative mobile service ideas. A set of 41,000 mobile ideas obtained from a research project in 2006 granted us a unique opportunity to study the mobile service ideas from young children. We randomly selected two samples of ideas (N=400 each), one contained the ideas from young children, the other from adults (aged 17-50). These ideas were evaluated by several evaluators using an existing creativity framework. The results show that the mobile service ideas from the young children are significantly more original, transformational, implementable, and relevant than those from the adults. Therefore, this study shows that young children are better sources of novel and quality ideas than adults in the mobile services domain. This study bears significant contributions to the creativity and innovation research. It also indicates a new and valuable source for the companies that seek for creative ideas for innovative products and services.