What is ‘customized open innovation’?
In an open innovation (OI) model, companies leverage the discovery of others and are willing to commercialize innovations through third party firms. These third party firms often have business models that are better suited for bringing the innovation to market (Chesbrough 2003).
The best manner to leverage these third party firms is with a detailed ‘requirements document’ for a known proposed solution. With this document, the third party will crowd source the globe and sort through responses. This is a very linear process. In this search, precise terms that match what the corporation is looking for exactly are sought. Very often, there is a mismatch and disconnect because there is no ‘perfect answer’.
The OI model will not yield ‘partial solutions’ or solutions with potential that require slight iterations to create greater value and redefinition in the space. The process will also not yield adjacent innovations in the market or adjacent markets.
“Customized OI” is an iterative method of crowdsourcing to find an optimum solution. Customized OI is used at the Front End of Innovation (FEI) where the technology requirements are loosely defined at the outset to enable a creative process of discovery. The process is more dynamic, non-sequential, and iterative to help discover the right external technology that both “fits” and “enables” breakthrough innovation. Customized OI solutions, with iteration, will result in a winning outcome.