Crowd powered innovation
Back in the days, innovations were created in secret basements of companies. In our technological advanced society, everything is speeded up. The accessibility of information for everyone and global communication put a lot of pressure on a company’s R&D to create better, cheaper and faster innovation. That’s where open innovation comes into play.
What is open innovation?
In our digital age, we can use very efficient ways of sourcing company improvements and innovations.
Imagine you run a platform that connects creative people with businesses with design needs. By listening to your community of creatives and listening to their criticism you can substantially improve their experience hence also your customers experience. By leveraging the collective wisdom of customers, suppliers and startups you can open a new chapter in your organizational innovation capabilities. Opening the process of R&D to the public works like an accelerator for innovation and let’s you source a wide range of possible solutions to a specific problem.
The Wisdom of Crowds author James Surowiecki talks about the popular carnival game where people randomly guess, say, the weight of a person or the amount of marbles in a very large jar. The guesses will be on the extreme but, at a certain inflection point, the average of the guesses nearly always ends up being correct. People individually are wrong, but together they eventually reach the right conclusion.
Tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Alibaba already use Crowd knowledge through their giant data bases. But the advantages are not only reserved for them.
To gain from open innovation and Crowdsourcing, companies need appropriate risk management tools and services in place to hedge against the risk of IP right infringement. If you open your challenge up to the world, the sun will shine on you. But as we all know, where there is sunshine, there is rain hence be sure to prepare for a rainy day.
If we look at larger challenges, climate change for example, we see big companies like Tesla Motors leading the way by opening all their patents for public use.
Toyota has followed Tesla by sharing more than 5,600 patents related to hydrogen fuel cell cars. Ford has also decided to allow competitors to use its own electric vehicle-related patents, provided they are willing to pay for licenses.Any company thinking about imitating the open IP model adopted by Tesla must learn the subtle art of knowing when to guard good ideas and knowing when to share them.
The benefits of open innovation are in our opinion exceeding the risks. The speed, quality and cost savings are immense and available for everyone. If you want to learn more about the topic and how your business can consult the Crowd, feel free to reach out email@example.com.