An interesting article/interview on the Product Design & Development website asks this very question with Edward Goldman, an executive with Foster-Miller, a technology and product development company.
His answer? “Absolutely not.”
And Open Innovation is not just about saving time or money. Goldman explains that it’s “the smart choice for a company with a product in a saturated market seeking to complete its product portfolio late in the game. In cases like this where there is not a defined market need for a different product; a company can “fit” a serendipitous “find” into its product portfolio.”
In terms of innovation in general, Goldman mentions “strong industry relationships” and working with experienced people, citing engineers in particular. He things that a “balance” Direct and Open Innovation is “ideal.” Goldman defines Direct Innovation as “ the focusing of ideation and brainstorming to develop a proprietary product that meets a distinct market need.”
Some projects require both. He suggests outsourcing the projects or portions of the projects that require Direct Innovation, which “fuels out-of-the-box thinking,” and overseeing Open Innovation internally.
More on this interview in my next post.