Vintage Innovation

Since 2009 I focus my research on a specific socio-technical phenomenon, that I call "Vintage Innovation". This is my own scientific concept, developed and accepted by the academic community after several attempts.

This is an innovative approach for the improvement of service characteristics and customer effectiveness of products becoming obsolete after the emergence of a new competing technology.
Such improvements are achieved through the development of a new technology-based product (a “vintage product”) that a) works as interface of communication between the old declining product and new technology and b) changes solely the original level of its service characteristics. I found cases of vintage innovation to improve the service characteristics of analogue turntables, analogue cameras and traditional radios for radioamateurs. I keep working to find and study other cases across industries.
This innovative approach shows companies can extract value from products becoming obsolete. Vintage products can produce value for some communities of users even after technological change. The issue of making old products and new technologies interoperable by “bridging innovations” becomes critical in vintage innovation. Technology managers might promote this approach for more strategic and market motivations.
Such decisions should be grounded on users’ preferences and needs, knowledge and competencies of the focal company, also paying attention to developments in the wider innovating industry.


To date (March 2013), I published four articles about this research subject:

Schiavone F., “Vintage Innovation: How to Improve the Service Characteristics and Costumer Effectiveness of Products becoming Obsolete”, forthcoming in IEEE-Transactions on Engineering Management.


Schiavone F., “Resistance to Industry Technological Change in Communities of Practice: The “ambivalent” case of Radio Amateurs”, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 25, n. 6, 2012.

Schiavone F., “User innovation e cambiamento tecnologico nelle tribù high-tech”, in Mercati & Competitività, n. 3, 2011.

Schiavone F., “Cambiamento tecnologico e nicchie di mercato antiquate: la Vintage Innovation”, in Economia e Politica Industriale, n. 1, pp. 65-86, 2010.



Other papers should (hopefully!) be accepted  in other international scientific journals soon. A book of mine about this phenomenon has been just published by Springer.

Schiavone F., 2013. Communities of Practice and Vintage Innovation. A Strategic Reaction to Technological Change, Springer, New York.

Click here to read the front matter.


In March 2013 I gave a seminar on this subject at Erasmus University in Rotterdam (NL):
http://www.erim.eur.nl/events/detail/2949-communities-of-practice-and-vintage-innovation/

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