open innovation

This tag is associated with 12 posts

The Apple exception: where open innovation theory breaks down

Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed more folks pointing out a paradox that has been driving me nuts. As many companies embrace open innovation and culture, there is one incredibly successful holdout: Apple. Three articles on the subject here, here, and here.

I suspect few people would claim Apple has an open culture– stories about secrecy at Apple are legendary. You could argue that Apple has done some impressive experiments in open innovation– most notably their iPhone App Store. But even their open stuff seems decidedly, well… closed.

I’ve noticed Google has been making a much bigger deal about their openness recently, and you have to imagine that part of the reason for this is to differentiate themselves in the consumer market from Apple.

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More proof that sharing is good, von Hippel style

Our video called the Red Hat Way starts:

“Your mother was right. It’s better to share.”

There’s more proof that your mom was right in the business world every day.  Today in Orlando, experts from around the world are gathering for the inaugural Open Innovation Summit, highlighting companies like Proctor & Gamble, Mozilla, Xerox, and Johnson & Johnson who have seen success with collaborative innovation. My company, Red Hat, has also done pretty well with this approach.

Now, in a new working paper released yesterday entitled Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation, Eric von Hippel and Carliss Baldwin examine the body of research to draw some conclusions about why more people are moving away from simple producer/consumer models to open collaborative innovation models.

You may have heard of Eric von Hippel, one of the world’s leading experts on open innovation. I like that he’s written about open source many times before, including in his 2005 book Democratizing Innovation and in his 2002 HBR paper Customers as Innovators.

In this paper, von Hippel and Baldwin argue that the number of places where traditional 20th century “producer” innovation (companies making products for users without collaborating with them) makes sense is rapidly shrinking. Why? From the paper:

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