Lead users are people who experience a need ahead of the general marketplace. Because they are on the cutting edge of a need or a trend, there are no products available for them to purchase. Hence, lead users find themselves creating their own solutions. A key feature of lead users is that their need is so great that innovating a solution is imperative. Lead users are sometimes confused with early adopters, a term coined to describe people who adopt innovations early in the innovation's life cycle. The difference is that early adopters are adopting something commercially developed and in the marketplace; lead users are creating their own innovations because there is no product for them to buy.