“Open source innovation” is rapidly becoming an accepted strategy, an increasing trend as the communication tools on the net make it progressively easier, and people think up new ways to use them.

Eric Von Hippel     a professor at MIT wrote “Democratising Innovation” some years ago, and put it on the web for free download,  P&G have a deliberate strategy of seeking innovation from outside the firm rather than keeping it all internal, this is not outsourcing, rather it is casting around for the best ideas wherever they come from. Now, the idea has spread to more modest companies, one of my clients is experimenting with a “Wiki” as an adjunct to their more traditional and too slow technical processes.

These types of initiatives thrive on low communication costs, low barriers and transaction costs,  it is the speed to market, the creative networks, personal kudos, and energy created that works for the initiators and participants, not necessarily the promise of royalties.