Open Innovation

Since Open Innovation is becoming very popular, I’m curious if anyone has any direct experience with models for participation that are different from Royalty based contracts?

As much as the business press, academia and talk circuit trumpet Cheesebrough’s open innovation, I think it is yet another fad, or new syntax for codevelopment, extant for many years.

Numerous projects I’ve been involved with included collaborations with technology, academia, or 2nd and 3rd parties’ core competencies and all of the actual commercial contract aspects were a fee for service or acquisition, some followed by ongoing purchasing commitment. About the only slightly unique models were between medical-research equipment manufacturers and some “Innovative Users” commissioned research and publications, to be leveraged by said manufacturer.

I’ve seen lead users provide signifigant, propriatory knowledge in exchange for essentially “free” use of the eventual solution. In this way, the hope is to establish a proven path for the application and success of the design…one for everyone else to follow (and pay for).

Let’s see if we can define Open Innovation. Should consumers be an active part of the design process? Should companies license internal technology to other companies? Competitors?

I think it’s too early to tell what the best working system will be.

People still expect to get paid for their ideas - opinions are free, of course.
The internal corporate ‘open innovation pipe’ is withering on the vine, the old system of bonus-per-patent is still in place.

I suspect some consultants may have made some cash off a buzzword, setting a system the culture hasn’t bought into, nor been incentivised to participate in, and now it’s over.

Interesting observation. Do you think the “Innovation” thing has run it’s course?

I think there’s a wait and see attitude about open source.

There’s definitly not going to be royalties going to in-house people and you can understand how going into a R+D meeting saying “I found this proffesor in India whose project we can licence today and save us the next year of work” will not win you many freinds.

I think “Innovation” is moving beyond the hype, it may loose it’s buzzword status soon, but it’s not going away.

As a small company of two, we try to use what we coin opne innovation as much as possible.

We have set a structure of a virtual company, where we can work with other non competing companies to co create innovations for mutual gain. This seems to work well with a discussion prior to opening the project and a good legal document.

This structure means to date that we are a company of almost 100 strong people from many disciplines and backgrounds

What do you think?

I think this is a big problem for most companies. Most companies are paralyzed by their codified practices and are deathly afraid of participating in this kind of practice. Many will disappear.

I think there has been and will continue to be open source innovation that is completed at a commando level…not a model within an organization but methodologies that specific groups do as a matter of course. User Centered design is essentially open innovation.

Passionate Commandos. Our design group meets with end users to generate concepts letting the users sketch out and brainstorm ideas while interacting with designers who translate those loose ideas into more solid concepts. We are lucky that most of the users love the product culture (bicycle culture) and for this reason give freely to us only expecting some food in return as well as simply being heard! We have completed quite a few “design the future” -for food- events and they have been warmly received…actually people love them. They forget they are developing products that will be sold by our company but they know they are having a direct impact on their culture and I think in some small way feel they are making their culture better.

The determining factor is fun and a true love of the lifestyle and culture.

Thus, I feel that if there is a passionate culture in place certain people will give and ask for nothing in return beyond the satisfaction of fellowship. This is very similar to many churches…people give their time, money and wisdom to create better communities ex-Habitat for Humanity. They know and I know that the benefit goes to someone else but that benefit is felt throughout the larger community and within oneself by contributing.

Thus I feel if an organization developed community based models that seek to elevate the community they serve they will likely get all the support they could ever ask for and more.

Similar communities to bicycling- web/computer, dj’s, crafting (don’t laugh, crafting is huge $$$'s and communities), cooking, gaming, NASCAR, amateur botanists etc. There are so many existing communities and models it is mind boggling.

Maybe this could be called the PassionModel.

To be honest I think humans have been open sourcing for quite some time…building bonds for advantage in community or society is very human.
The problem is so many companies have no community or have a community that lacks the passion to capitalize on giving.

i can not agree more with the last sentences of velodesigner. same thoughts while reading Henry William Chesbrough’s Open Innovation… nothing new to me…

Really frustrating… i realy can not understand people who name themselves, or allow others call them gurus how can they introduce “new” theories that actually exist for thousand years and claim that “re-discovered america”.

Even more sad is when all these people (even in universities…) follow, aspire these theories somehow like a religion just because Chesbrough wrote it…

by the way… somehow the same applies to me regarding the “branding” term… branding was ALWAYS part of the human nature but now once again is a trendy term that some try to capitalize by selling books or whatever…

just look at people; at human nature.