64.650 Innovation and Emerging Technology
Innocentive - Full Case Analysis
It is fair to say that the idea of an "innovation marketplace" was brought to fruition by Alpheus Bingham and Aaron Schacht, founders of the website Innocentive.com in 2000. The website served as a platform for connecting two groups of people, called "seekers" and "solvers". Seekers refer to companies, non-profit organizations or government agencies that require solutions to specific problem/challenges related to the daily operations of the organization while solvers are independent individuals with internet access from any part of the world. These solvers responded to posted challenges, proffered potential solutions and were rewarded with prizes in exchange for intellectual property rights associated with adopted solutions.
The company was created from a parent company, Eli Lily and Co. and set out to correct a deficiency of adequate expert solutions to scientific problems faced by companies, whose options for solutions were limited to locally sourced consultants, by linking these solution seeking companies with external sources. By providing potential external solutions, innocentive.com also created a platform where individuals from diverse fields and areas of specialization also provided solutions that may not have otherwise been considered, more like an out-of-the-box scenario. In seven years, the website had proven successful, having posted more than 600 problems from 80 seekers and attracting more than 135,000 solvers from 175 countries. Within this timeframe, there was a payout of about $2.6 million worth of prizes for a challenge solving percentage of over 33% from seekers to sol...
... middle of paper ...
...n successful. To this end, I would recommend a hybrid of solutions 3 and 4. I think the basic concept of solution 3, merged with the simplicity of solution 4 will provide the best mode of collaboration. There should be a differentiation between competitive and cooperative challenges, so that collaboration efforts are encouraged on specific areas. On these cooperative challenges, teams should be allowed to set up and agree to their own operating procedures, which will then be ratified by both seekers and Innocentive team. The complexity of the voting process of solution 3 and merging of solutions is not suitable for a seamless collaboration process.
Schilling, M. A. (2010). Strategic management of technological innovation. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
InnoCentive case, Harvard Business School Publishing.