In the last couple of decades, entrepreneurial innovation has been linked to the Internet. Although one can argue that every day new innovations emerge that have nothing to due with the Internet, it’s also true that Internet is playing a main role in the appearances of new types of innovations.
To start, over a decade ago Henry Chesbrough coined the term Open Innovation. With this term he describes a new type of innovation, where companies don’t have to invest millions of dollars and years in the creation of new products, methods and procedures, among others. He says that with Internet there are platforms that can convey people around the world to think different types of solutions, obtaining results in an economic and simple way. The people who send in these solutions are competing for an economic price that is interesting but a fraction of the cost of the millions invested in research and development.
Another important element is that the Internet allows us to share and transmit information in very simple ways. Knowledge is widespread and it’s not the advantage of a few persons. You can see this with platforms such as Wikipedia.
An exercise I perform in a regular basis is to browse the web to obtain ideas for new products and new web paradigms. The idea isn’t to steal what others are doing, but instead, to be inspired by their actions. For example if I encounter a company that is doing something interesting and I see that one of my clients can be inspired by this action, I recommend this website. However for this to work, I have to take into account some elements that will de different, including the language, product, type of clients, culture and budget.
I’ve read from several authors the phrase “there isn’t anything really new under the sun”. I agree with this idea because I believe that 100% new things are rare. Most innovations, including new products, are based on previous ideas. Internet is an example, where we usually find websites or platform that make a previous idea better. For me this is the real objective of innovations on our organizations.
The gap between the so-called first and third world countries, when talking about innovations, has gotten smaller thanks to the Internet. There are still other gaps that don’t make this situation 100% better, such as economic differences, but many third world countries’ companies have top-grade knowledge. You can see this advances in areas related to Internet and technologies and also to “offline” areas such as Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, Education and even Medicine.
This topic of how the Internet related to Innovation is just starting. In the following years you’ll see much more advances and your company has to take the decision if they want to be on the front row or simple spectators.
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