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Not long ago, innovation was a largely internal affair. The journey from the laboratory to the marketplace took place largely within the four walls of the firm. Think of Bell Labs, IBM Research, or Xerox PARC. Each of them created important technological breakthroughs. And each breakthrough was commercialized through the company’s own businesses.
In recent years, though, this “do it all yourself” approach is increasingly hard to sustain. It costs a lot of money to support each of the many processes needed to achieve success in the market. It takes a long time to complete the journey, at a time when the world is changing more and more rapidly. And it places all the risk squarely on your own shoulders.
This unpromising combination of cost, time, and risk has caused many organizations to rethink their approach to innovation. There is an alternative approach that offers a better combination of lower internal cost, faster time to market, and shared risk. It is an approach known as Open Innovation.
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