At that time it was hard for PARC to understand how much we needed to invest in a new technology before approaching partners to work together in commercialization. We always wanted to get a partner sooner rather than later, in order to share risk and learn more quickly. However, we learned the difficult lesson that unless we could clearly articulate the maturity level and value proposition for a new technology within the context of our partners’ other choices, there was little or no value in the technology — regardless of how much money we had invested in it. PARC has since learned many more lessons — and is now an industry leader — in how to turn open innovation into a repeatable business model.
As an industry, Lee believes we are still realizing only a small fraction of the full potential of open innovation. How can we realize this potential? Here are some key strategies he has observed from PARC’s experiences:
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