November 10, 2010 2.0

This week we launch the second phase of the website, which is now called the “Open Innovation Community.”

The goals of the upgraded website are threefold
  • To go beyond the existing academic audience to also reach a managerial audience
  • To have an up-to-date source for information about all aspects of open innovation
  • To attract participation from a broad range of open innovation experts and interested parties
Open Services Innovation: Rethinking Your Business to Grow and Compete in a New EraThe change comes out of a series of conversations I had with Henry Chesbrough over the past three months. The timing was motivated by Henry’s desire to create a new website to promote his new book, Open Services Innovation.

More broadly, Henry (and Wim Vanhaverbecke and I and many others) are concerned a bout making sure that the concept of “open innovation” is used accurately. On the one hand, some of the claims made for open innovation are (in my opinion) overly expansive, stretching the original insights of Open Innovation beyond recognition. A theory of everything quickly becomes a theory of nothing

Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting from TechnologyOn the other hand, there are self-proclaimed open innovation “experts” that don’t seem to have read any of the prior research, including Chesbrough’s 2003 and 2006 books and the Chesbrough/Vanhaverbecke/West edited volume. (If you deliberately avoiding learning what’s already known about a subject, how can you be an “expert”?)

So the hope is that over the next few months and years, and the Open Innovation Community will become a more collaborative venue for reporting, writing and discussing about open innovation. If people have news tips, they can be submitted via the contact page (I think we will eventually set up an email address as well.)

While the new website will have a broader focus, most of the existing content has been retained under the “Researchers” menu of the main site. I will continue to edit this blog going forward, at the same address, although other blogs might also be added to the website at some point in the future.

As part of the shift, I have transferred to Henry control of the domain name that I created back in 2005 to promote our book. He has invested significant resources in a professional marketing communications firm to develop the new website that was launched on Monday. (Most of the previous content transferred over, but there will be some teething pains: let me know if you spot anything.)

While Henry created what we now know as “open innovation” concept, his concept for the new is his is not the only voice or perspective represented therein. Instead, as the outgoing owner of, I nominated him as Benevolent Dictator for Life of the new site — much like Linus Torvalids, Guido van Rossum or Larry Wall — and he cheerfully embraced that model. As the BDFL, he retains the master key, but wants to encourage a thriving community of external participants.

Henry and I have discussed specifics about the academic community that we would like to create, and the sort of new leaders that will be necessary to make that happen. More on this in the next post.


Unknown said...

I just wanted to echo Joel's invitation to others who want to participate and contribute to the Open Innovation Community site. All of us know more than any one of us. Henry Chesbrough

Linus said...

Hi Joel, Hank and Wim,
Great idea and good luck!