a new era of innovation – Social Innovation?

A new social innovation model of fractional ownership will emerge encouraging modular team formation, rapid prototyping, fast failures, jumpstart business creation, and a new model of wealth distribution to spur a new area of innovation.

It’s been an exciting few weeks for me. I’m seeing a new model of innovation emerge here in southern California. One of my greatest passions is innovation. As with most everything in my life, I begin with deep study. I spent a lot of my time at IBM working on innovation. It was during the last great resurgence of innovation, led by the prophets of Open/Collaborative innovation. We spent time defining innovation (ask me about this one), understanding how it REALLY works, how it was changing (both in scope and participation), what that all meant to actually fostering (dare I say managing) it and the economic impacts.

The basic conversation was that innovation was moving from a model of proprietary nature with one organization to a model of open multi organizational models. This was an exciting transition and one I’m grateful to have participated in. But more exciting to me is something that is at it’s very early germination phase – SOCIAL INNOVATION. The model takes the best of the OPEN model and pushes right out into the open, further distributing idea sourcing, team forming, development, commercialization and economic distribution. I have experienced it a lot lately – people from Italy, Czech Rep and India contacting through LinkedIn asking me to help them with their startups, talking to dev shops about outsourcing my product concepts and raising money when prototype actually works, meeting new people with common interest in the twittersphere and just today proposing a new product concept with a group peeps on twitter. This is a new era.

What are some of the drivers?

  • The social web is making it easier find people with similar passions for creation/innovation
  • The social web is making it easier to find people with complementary talents
  • Web 2.0 has driven modular, lower cost development models making experimentation easier
  • Talent is hungry for opportunities to test ideas and work with other talented folks
  • People are more open to contribution/gifting models of creation (understanding innovation is a numbers game

I am most definitely going to be posting more on this topic and bringing in clear attributions to all the people I’m working with in varying capacities. But more importantly I’m going to be working with some really sharp folks building a model of social innovation. More about the people and products soon.

3 Responses to “a new era of innovation – Social Innovation?”
  1. Luca Meyer says:

    Can you be a bit more specific about what you mean by social innovation? Is it a concept close to what Sawhney & Prandelli (2000) in “Communities of Creation — MANAGING DISTRIBUTED INNOVATION IN TURBULENT MARKETS” define as the community source innovation model?

  2. gammill says:

    Luca, Thanks for the comments/question. To be honest I just starting framing the concept today based on the frameworks I developed a ‘few’ years back. What I can say now is it shares a lot of commonality to previous community & open models. The definition of Innovation rarely changes, but how it happens is ever evolving and lately I’m experiencing a new model. I think this may turn out to be more about how ad hoc groups form to create shared outcomes in a new way. That is the more interesting piece to me – how the groups form to collaborate and how the outcomes are distributed. If done well, this could create a new form (at least new to me) of rapid innovation (or maybe just rapid trial and error which is still a good thing).

    I have not read Sawhney & Prandelli. My thinking was shaped by Christensen, Chesbrough, Moore, Mauborgne, Afuah, Menon, etc in my past when I had time to read extensively on the topic and is shaped by my direct startup experience as of the last few years.

  3. gammill says:

    Another thought on Social Innovation…
    Right now its a bit of an experiment in the community to see how we can collaborate for wealth creation, instead of competing for the few dollars of early stage funding that is available…

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