Would you give your invention to a company for open innovation?

Would you give your intellectual capital to a company for open innovation?Jack Dahlgren wrote a good post, Cisco I-Prize and Spigit – Innovation Competition. In it, he examines some of the dynamics surrounding the recent Cisco I-Prize, and open innovation contests in general.

He raises a good question in this part of his post:

“If your organization is filled with people so steeped in the company culture and business that they can’t envision a world outside, then getting fresh ideas for free is a win-win situation, at least for the winners. It may not be so great for the people who don’t win.”

The first thing to note is, if you’re an entrepreneur with an idea you want to develop yourself, you don’t enter this competition. People are in charge of their destiny here.

But there are many people with good ideas, but for whom entrepreneurship may not be an option. They may not be comfortable with that level of personal financial risk. They may have families where career stability is a must. They may have job situations they love, and aren’t interested in dropping out. They may not have the skills and connections to move their idea forward by themselves.

Motivations to participate include:

  • The prize itself
  • The chance to interact with others over your idea
  • Personal competitive spirit
  • Desire to see idea turn into a product/business that interests you
  • Early signal whether you have the “stuff” to enter into a new field

From such people, great ideas can emerge. And indeed, they did. Large enterprises have the resources to co-create with external parties. It’s just a matter of a willingness to do so. Like Cisco.

Editor’s Note: For a bit of a flashback, check out this article announcing the second Cisco iPrize competition (including a video interview with Cisco’s Sharon Wong).

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Hutch CarpenterHutch Carpenter is the Vice President of Product at Spigit. Spigit integrates social collaboration tools into a SaaS enterprise idea management platform used by global Fortune 2000 firms to drive innovation.

Hutch Carpenter




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No Comments

  1. Ronald Johnson on September 5, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I am a inovator with a prototype in the out doors fitness industry. My idea if in the hands of a company with vision could impact the exercise industry for years to come. So what is needed for my prototype to come to pass is a sponser who is willing to take the lead and interject whatever it will take to enter the globe market. Thanks for your interest!

  2. Tucker Garage Door installation on January 11, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Amazing post! I initially found your blog a while ago, and I subscribed for your RSS feed the identical day. I have several cool ideas for quite a few upcoming posts you could possibly write. I¡¯ll send you an email shortly. Keep up the nice work.

  3. Volodymyr Sykhov on February 1, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Hi im independent inventor. I just got patent applicatio number from USPTO for my invention.The main idea is to simplify an
    intercom-to-cell phone system. The intercom station includes regular parts
    of an entrance door intercom like a push buttom,microphone,speaker,and
    optinal video camera.You can check what is going on at the place from a cell
    phone from a distance by calling there and listening in via the misrophone,
    watching via the camera.The controller will send an SMS or special signal to
    cell phones in case of an emergency if any signal from security
    sensors,and/or other optional devices. Im looking for compan for license.Thanks for your interest.

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