Henley: Open innovation & werewolves

February 24, 2010

Göran Roos now, intending to be controversial by challenging open innovation. Three types: outside-in (integrating external sources) Insider-out (bringing ideas to market) & coupled (both).

  • Outside-In – tend to be low tech, highly modular, high knowledge intensity and act as knowledge brokers and/or creators
  • Inside-out – tend to be research driven, multiply technology etc. (flipping through slides too quickly for me to absorb I am afraid but I suspect he is summarising a paper so you can probably find it)

Sources of external knowledge – suppliers and customers are the highest, Universities and Research Institutes are the lowest! Suggests this is because of discontinuities between timelines. Low technology customers get the highest return from understanding customers. High Tech, on the other hand, start to get returns by having many shallow relationships with many Universities but that takes resource (claims this from research). Generally better to go broader rather than deeper.

Open innovation means added costs and the external sources do not share the same context with cost implications. Engagement in open systems starts high, but then declines due to motivational and other issues. Tradeoff issues for provider do not match context of requester. No written contracts, what is foreground and background IP? Which legal system etc. etc. Some people are malicious (Victor is starting to look like an optimist in comparison!)

Why does it not pay? number of sources to be handled past three gets negative, past six you can’t handle it. Therefore limited by definition. Good point here, but there are better ways to handle that, will pick up in my presentation later (fragmentation, multi-source assessment, fitness landscapes)

Moved on to what should we do. Early stages of life cycle, then use a small number of key sources intensively. As the market matures etc then more and more actors have specialized knowledge, So you need to scan a wider number of search channels. Good advice, they are no silver bullets . Open innovation can not be a substitute for internal innovation.

Most useful item of knowledge – there is a supplier of silver bullets in the USA who will warrant their effectiveness against werewolves. Do a google search on “silver bullet suppliers” to be really scared.

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