April 1, 2008

Blaming OI for Boeing's woes

Business Week published an article Sunday blaming the Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) woes on open innovation. The article is entitled “Did Boeing Go Too Far In Open Innovation?”

There are many problems with the story’s claimed implications. The title implies that Boeing would be better off vertically integrated. The story is about how Boeing vetted its contractors but not their subcontractors, but the latest problems are due to a center box made by two of Boeing’s three main contractors.

Finally, open innovation is about finding the most innovative or efficient technologies, inside or outside the firm. The global source of Boeing and Airbus are about cooperating with host country desires to transfer technology and spread aircraft manufacturing revenues. For example, Japan’s ANA was the 2004 launch customer for the Dreamliner.

I don’t know what to call this, but it does not appear to be part of an open innovation strategy.

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