Good article in the recent MIT Sloan Management Review on Managing Outside Innovation. It's written by Kevin Bougreau (London Business School) and Karim Lakhani (Harvard Business School). To me one of the first interesting things about this article is that it's part of the next wave of discussion of open innovation. The leading thinkers (and leading companies) are way past the discussions of should be have an 'open innovation' initiative and how to do basic scouting. Now, as this article discusses, it's about how best to structure open innovation as an element of strategy... and there's no one right answer.
So the crux of the article is the discussion of when it's appropriate to use collaborative communities (Threadless, Google Android) for open innovation versus competitive marketplaces (e.g. Innocentive, eBay, Topcoder). In the article the authors discuss the questions that drive the decision on approaches...
What type of innovation? In well established technology areas, competitive marketplaces make sense (kind of obvious). In less developed areas, and when cumulative knowledge is important, collaborative communities are appropriate.
What's the motivation? If you're trying to connect with individuals or groups that are driven by extrinsic rewards (the money!) then open/competitive markets make sense. If on the other hand you're connecting with people or groups that are in it for the passion, the fun, changing the world, then collaborative communities often work better.
What's the business model? This is a question that's not asked often enough, so I'm glad to see that authors addressing it. They discuss models ranging from 'integrator platform' to 'multi-sided platforms'. You'll have to read the article for a full explanation, but it's really about trade offs of risk and control.
Not a ton of actionable recommendations, but it's a very timely article and one you should be thinking about for your company as you move beyond the obvious 'shopping' at online marketplaces and begin to build your own ecosystem of partners, collaborators and suppliers to support your open innovation efforts.