While we have been spending time dealing with innovation and innovation management, a new trend has snuck up on us called ‘open innovation’. The term was first coined by author Henry Chesbrough in his path-breaking book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology.
The book brought to attention the growing but subtle trend of companies drifting away from closed R&D and adopting a more open innovation process. Enterprises have always worked hand-in-glove with external partners like universities to match steps with the latest and greatest in research. But open innovation brings in a whole another dimension.
Not long ago, Christopher Nolan’s cult movie, Inception, received overwhelming viewership and critical acclaims globally. In the film, the protagonist conditions human mind to incite it and draw out a particular behavior. Inception’s success reflects our fixation with the human mind.
For years now, we have been obsessed with the idea of predicting human behavior. We have developed several disciplines that undertake microscopic analysis of human behavior. And now, we have gone a step further with the social analytic solutions.
The end of April 2011 witnessed an interesting event. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service was struck by a large scale outage that lasted for 4 long days. While Amazon scampered around to deal with the worst outage in cloud’s history, the world watched on with fascinated horror. Nobody had ever thought that a cloud computing giant like Amazon would encounter an outage. But it did and it took down almost 70 sites with it including bigwigs like FourSquare, Reddit, Quora, parts of New York Times, and more.
“Back to basics” is the prophecy that market pundits are dispensing these days. Enterprises are fighting tooth and nail to come up with new strategies to success. But is it really that difficult? I don’t think so. All we need to do is stop in our tracks and listen to what our customers have to say.
Our modern-day business dealings are fraught with complexities of different information collecting systems and data analytics. In such a milieu we have ignored the most important aspect of our business – customer opinion. Our customers are talking and we need to pay attention.