The article presents two important forces influencing the development of product innovations by suppliers of environmentally sound technologies, namely competitors and consumers. It discusses these phenomena on the basis of different theoretical approaches (Ansoff and Stewart, 1967; Von Hippel, 1987, 2005, 2007; Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004). The results of the study show that Polish companies-suppliers of environmentally sound technologies are willing to gain inspiration from both demand and supply-side market players. In case of supply side of the market, in most cases inspiration was not aimed at copying existing successful ideas. The competitors are perceived rather as a source of inspiration for further development of technological solutions. Although companies concentrate on having a relationship with customers and track their behavior, these relations have not been established by the Polish companies researched here in order to treat users as co-creators of product improvements or novelties.
Keywords: environmentally sound technologies, customers, competitors, product innovations, user-driven innovations.