Using network theory this research explains innovation as an interactional, networked, systemic phenomenon. The proposed interdependency, dynamism, variety (IDV) model attempts to detail actors roles in intra- and interfirm knowledge diffusion during the fuzzy front-end of innovation (FFEI). Based on in-depth interviews, the results reveal that actors at the FFEI use their core competencies and knowledge diffusion in developing new products satisfying real-world requirements. Industry actors engage public research labs when the patented product demonstrates economic feasibility. The dynamic nature of FFEI prompts actors to seek external validation. Resource availability and knowledge diffusion do not necessarily lead to positive economic outcomes, but actors who demonstrate successful prototypes gain value through this collaboration. To reduce equivocality, networked actors should discuss the meaning and plausible uses of the discordant information, though equivocal information also can lead to innovation. Finally, early releases of patent information can distract actors if the patent is misused.