A critical review of open innovation systems.
proposed by other participants.
˲ Many eyes: Crowd participants can
check and correct each other’s contributions, enabling remarkably high-quality results very inexpensively.
˲ Wisdom of the crowd: Crowds can
collectively make better judgments
than the individuals that comprise
them, often exceeding the performance of experts.
OPEN INNOVATION SYSTEMS rep- resent an emerging collec- tive intelligence success tory. In such systems, a customer describes a problem they want to solve (for example, “we
want ideas for new beverage products”)
and provides an online tool that allows
the crowd to submit proposed solutions, as well as rate (and sometimes
critique) other people’s proposed solutions. Many open innovation platforms
have emerged (such as ideascale, spigit,
and imaginatik) and have been used
widely in contexts that range from IBM
to Starbucks, from the Danish central
government to the White House. One
recent survey2 found that one in four
companies plan to utilize open innovation systems within the next 12 months,
and this figure is growing. Such systems
have proven they can elicit substantive contributions at a very large scale
and very low cost. In the early weeks of
his first term, for example, President
Obama asked U.S. citizens to submit
and vote on questions on the website
change.gov, and promised to answer
the top five questions in each category
in a major press conference. This initiative engaged over 100,000 contributors, who submitted over 70,000 questions and four million votes. Google’s
10 to the 100th project received over
150,000 suggestions on how to channel Google’s charitable contributions.
In IBM’s Idea Jam in 2006, 46,000 ideas
for possible IBM products and services
were generated by 150,000 contribu-
tors. Such large-scale participation en-
ables, in turn, such powerful emergent
˲ The long tail: Crowds can generate a much greater diversity of ideas,
including potentially groundbreaking
“out of the box” contributions, than we
could easily access otherwise.
˲ Idea synergy: Crowds can rapidly
develop huge volumes of novel ideas
by recombining and refining the ideas
A deliberation map1 can help enable better organizational decision making.