Empirical research is finding that users rather than manufacturers are the actual developers of many or most new products and services - and that they are a major locus of innovative activity in the economy. This finding opens up new questions and avenues for exploration in fields ranging from economics to management of technology to organizational behaviour to marketing research. Examples are patterns in innovation by users, characteristics of innovating users, design of a user-centered innovation process, economics of a distributed innovation process that includes users as innovators, and social welfare implications of innovations by users. [Emphasis added]
I find this view to fit my own experience extremely well. It is often users of a business application that see its limitations and are inspired to build a new application that better fits the business they came from.
I just started the paper "Profiting from Voluntary Information Spillovers: How Users Benefit by Freely Revealing Their Innovations".