The One Best Way: Open Innovation (Part 3)

Is there “one best way” to do innovation?

On the surface, Open Innovation is pretty appealing.

There is a huge amount of information “out there” that you can use to deal with a problem quickly and efficiently. presents a good overview of the philosophy behind this movement.

But before charging in — some caution is in order:

  • In their desire to sell their goods, small companies may share too much too fast. Remember that assembling several off-the-shelf components into something unique is at the heart of invention. Many companies operate in a commoditized world — even so, don’t be too quick to assume away the uniqueness of your contribution.
  • Is your potential customer being open about their intentions? Open innovation searches are a great way to compile data to write a strong patent application around your technology.

Take a look at Interesting stuff. But if you review a list of their RFP’s, you’ll see that many of their clients do not disclose their identities. Should you share information with an unknown client? Definitely something worth thinking about.