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The pace of business today requires creativity, new ideas and new product innovations on an almost on-demand basis. Small and medium enterprises are often constrained by limited resources and struggle to quickly and affordably identify new market opportunities, solve business and technical problems, and access partners and talent.
To solve this problem, a growing number of small and medium sized companies are turning to open innovation and crowdsourcing as a way of leveling the playing field with large, global corporations boasting extensive in-house marketing, R&D and business development departments, without increasing fixed costs.
Open innovation is accelerating lean, startup ventures and kick-starting more established small and medium enterprises by distributing work to a large network of problem solvers, allowing them to pay only for success. Investing only in solutions is a highly efficient way to run a business and make limited budgets last longer and go further. Open innovation enables small and medium businesses to focus on their core capabilities while allowing them to find solutions to their biggest problems and bring products to market faster and more cost-effectively.
Recognizing the opportunities that open innovation presents, below are some tips to help you take advantage of open innovation in 2012:
The global marketplace is demanding and can force companies to act mature at a very young age. Open innovation essentially changes the economics of work by bypassing the “ramping up” phase that stymies so many small companies. By taking advantage of the opportunities that open innovation presents, small and medium enterprises can not only innovate like the “big guys,” they can often beat them at their own game.
By Dwayne Spradlin
Dwayne Spradlin serves as President & CEO of InnoCentive, the pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing. Previously, he served as President of Hoovers Online, President and COO of StarCite Inc., Senior Vice President at VerticalNet Inc., and Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he spent ten years delivering technology and strategy solutions to Fortune 500 clients. He has been featured on CNBC, ABC, NPR and BBC and quoted in the Economist, BusinessWeek, The New York Times, and many other journals and periodicals. In April 2011, Dwayne and co-founder of InnoCentive Alph Bingham co-authored the groundbreaking book, The Open Innovation Marketplace, published by FT Press.