Thursday, October 23, 2008

Innovation communities

OK, this post is going to be "drafty-ish" but a bad post is better than no post at all, right? Today, I attended a lecture in the Open Innovation Speaker Series at UC Berkeley. Stephen Benson from Innovation Exchange explained, amongst many other interesting things, how innovation can happen around platforms and software, events and communities. He quoted Chris Townsend (Forrester) regarding these three innovation archetypes.

Innovation Exchange and Innocentive are examples of innovation communities. Companies post their innovation challenges in these online innovators' meeting places hoping for someone to "crack" their problem. Alpheus Bingham, from Innocentive, also in this speaker series two weeks ago, gave some clues on why there is a high level of user engagement regardless of the low probability of actually "cracking" the problem. He compared it to a lottery ticket: just a couple of bucks for, yes, only a remote dream, but...we all love to dream if it is that cheap.

Salesforce Ideas, and other providers of software solutions for ideas / innovation, works under the platform archetype although there is something cool about the event you can generate with it (see the myStarbucksIdea execution. Given the strategic turnaround that the company is facing, this initiative received interesting coverage in the media)

I have just bumped into a piece of news about one innovation event, the 2008 IdeaFestival in Louisville, Ky. The festival "brings together creative thinkers from different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design, business, film, technology and education."

Cross-fertilization seems to be a key ingredient in the innovation magic potion and mixing is one of the premises of this blog. Hopefully I will bring in the diversity of my readers' comments to spice up the mix.

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