Social thecnologies lie at the core of a new model that spurs user participation and speeds up a product innovation.

Open innovation isn’t a new phenomenon. The first Oxford English Dictionary was an open-source project: editors solicited the participation of hundreds of amateur volunteer readers. Fascinating examples of information sharing and innovative intellectual-property arrangements can also be found in the evolution of Cornish pumping engines in the 18th century and of blast furnaces in northern England during the 19th century. Software itself was distributed free of charge during the 1950s.

But open innovation has been gathering force in recent years, thanks to the emergence of the Internet as a global information-sharing network; the increasing importance of digitizable, knowledge-based products and services; and the sheer volume of data being generated, processed, and stored by a wide range of enterprises. From a beachhead in software (see companion article, “Managing the business risks of open innovation”), open innovation has spread to a range of industries that use external insights to boost internal R&D efforts or even rely on outside networks for core product ideas. Our latest research on Web 2.0 technologies reveals that more and more executives are taking advantage of these opportunities and foresee the need for organizational change if their companies are to compete in a more open, networked environment.

Fon i fotografia: notíca:, gener 2012