It was a while ago when I first started following Henry Chessbrough’s “open innovation” movement. The core idea is simple and it seems fairly obvious. Companies cannot and should not try to innovate in a vacuum. Sometimes, they come up with great stuff that they cannot really use. So they need partners to share it with (perhaps via licensing, joint venturing or any one of a million other ways9. Sometimes they need great ideas that other companies have already developed. In both cases, it pays to be part of networks that make partnering possible.
But how does a company get into these network? Well if you are Apple or Google you can through a small army of researchers and evangelists at the problem. But what if you don’t have these kinds of resources? Hmm … that can lead to challenges less easy to meet.
One idea is to keep an eye on the start up community that is active in your industry. But as Laura Stuart for Giga points out
Most enterprises will not find the best startup technologies by simply strolling into, say, a local, state-funded, incubator. It generally takes a wider and more informed search, involving network contacts such as colleagues at other enterprises, venture capitalists of some type focused in a target technology area, and/or industry analysts with a similarly matched focus.
Sounds like a platforming niche to me. And it would be based on a rather interesting idea – “intelligent reciprocity”.