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Not All The Smart People Work For You Open Innovation as an Effective Tool for Every Organization Striving to Success

Prof. Harry Chesbrough
Prof. Harry Chesbrough

如何让所有聪明人为您效力 “Not all the smart people work for you,” writes Prof. Harry Chesbrough in an Open Mind article, a shortened version of which was published at the MIT Technology Review. Open Innovation – namely, using external ideas and knowledge sources to advance a system, an organization or a process – was adapted by numerous large companies since the publication of Chesbrough’s book, “Open Innovation” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2003). Anyone can think of seminal examples of open innovation – Apple’s App Store, allowing anyone to build an iPhone app and expand the device’s abilities; WordPress, powering more than 60 million websites worldwide (including our own); Google, Facebook, SalesForce – every one of these companies combines investment in internal innovation with open innovation, allowing smart people from everywhere to contribute to the development of their product; and no less importantly, allowing customization and localization of their products – thus creating added value and fulfilling the needs of an increasing number of customers worldwide.

MitochondrioWhile traditional innovation from within the enterprise can be a lengthy process, sometimes eliminating the best ideas as “unrealistic” or “unfeasible”, open innovation welcomes projects at any stage of development and improves their chances of survival and maturing to either a full-fledged standalone product, or a component of a much bigger system. Even nature itself believes in open innovation: no complex life-forms would have developed on planet Earth if not for the mitochondrion – a simple single-celled creature that developed a symbiotic relationship with a eukaryotic cell nearly 2 billion years ago, allowing it to produce energy from oxygen.

Thus, every organization can and should use open innovation – and we do. We invite scholars and researchers of venture to share their insights with us in guest posts on our website and in Coller Venture Review articles. In addition, our current endeavor to create an interactive timeline for the History of Venture database invites ideas from all over the world.

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