A Modular Approach to Rapid, Design-Focused Innovation

What if we employed an open and modular approach to innovation, in much the same way that open-source software developers create a “platform” that others can build upon and riff off of – a “design thinking API,” if you will? By doing so, we can significantly improve organizational communication and unleash not only new product ideas but new organizational designs to enable them, predicts Nicolas Bry.

Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, enable data to be shared between applications and organizations. They can be used to facilitate knowledge sharing, and can create endless chain reactions for innovation. Using the standardized communication interfaces specified by the API, even customers can write code that connects to these modules, enabling new applications to take shape that even its developers never envisioned.

While scaling innovation in the 20th meant manufacturing, in the 21th, scaling innovation relies on information network connections. Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs are a key way to do that. Bry proposes developing a set of modular “internal APIs” that companies can use to streamline communication and accelerate innovation.

Setting-up a portfolio of components enables infinite possibilities of modules combination and assemblage. New businesses can be formed almost instantly by linking components together in ways that provide new services and value to customers. In this article, Bry outlines a conceptual framework to enable this type of API-fueled innovation.

Read full article » nbry.wordpress.com/2012/10/18…